Grace and Good Faith
There is so much hype and confusion today concerning the topic of God's
'grace.' Some teach that it is unmerited pardon, some that it is
forgiveness and some teach that it is mercy. Others teach that
grace is some God given talent, gift or skill set. Still others teach
that grace is superatural abilities or Jesus Himself. To many, grace
is simply a short prayer to bless a meal. And a few believe and
teach that the topic of God's grace encompasses all other biblical
topics. Lately it seems that the term "grace"
is being used to religiously refer to everything but the kitchen
sink. And that doesn't bother me personally, but I believe that it
will eventually cause considerable confusion to many.
But, "Grace," generally speaking, simply means
"favor." But there are many sub-categories of grace or favor. The
favor or grace of God is one of these sub-categories which is limited to
members of the God family. And another biblical sub-category of this favor or
grace is the "grace clause" which Jesus brought with Him from Heaven
to legally append to all of our violated, broken and breached contractual
relationships with God and others. Jesus appended these grace clauses so that
upon our repentance, He could exercise that clause to allow us to re-enter into
those previously breached contractual relationships, as if, they had never been
breached, reversing our bad reputations and benefitting all parties involved.
(Ephesians 2:8) says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
You were "SAVED" through your faith in that grace clause, back into
that previously breached relationship, through no effort of your own
other than your repentance over breaching the relationship, benefiting
both you and God. You are reconciled to God, and God adopts a new child
into His family.
One of the ways grace is being used is in grace versus the law teachings,
with the description of the law ranging from the ten commandments to
every word preceding Matthew 1:1 and just about everything in-between.
One popular teaching is that grace is the opposite or reciprocal of the
Contrary to recent popular opinion, grace is not the opposite of the
law. The opposite of the law is lasciviousness or lawlessness, which is
not want we want. However, the entire biblical admonition concerning
law vs. grace is this: When under the inditement of the law, ALWAYS
seek favor over any type of legal justification.
If you sin or breach against God, demonstrate the desire to change or
to make the breach good, (repent), ask for God's forgiveness and mercy,
readily accept the favor that comes from you being His child, and don't
try to justify your actions or behavior legally or otherwise.
The same goes if you sin or breach against another person.
Demonstrate your desire to make things right, ask for the person's
forgiveness and mercy, seek and readily accept any favor that is
offered over legal wrangling to justify what you did.
Voluntary commitment to the New Covenant law of Love and subsequently
good faith encompasses or includes voluntary commitment to the "ten commandments"
codified by Moses.
One is only "under the law" if one is under inditement for the
violation or infraction of a law. If your record has been remitted or
wiped clean, then until you violate another law, you are no longer
under the law.
Now when it comes to grace or favor, you either have it, or you do not
- regardless as to wheather you are currently under inditement or not.
In the case of God's grace, you are either His child or you are
not. If you are His child then you have special favor in His eyes.
The key here seems to be that if you know what grace really is, then
you will be less likely to confuse grace with what it is not.
Paul wrote about grace in Romans 6:14. This is the King James
translation, which is essentially 1500 AD English. When Paul wrote
these words, he did not use the 1500 AD word "grace", but rather the
Greek word "charis". We are saved by this charis. But what is it?
Everybody TALKS about "grace", they sing songs about "amazing grace",
they know grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, but few can
definitively explain what it is! Religious wars have been fought
over "grace versus works" when neither side really understood what
grace really even was. So what is this grace?
I was taking a walk one day, minding my own business, looking at the
sky and trees and not even praying, when God spoke to me in an agitated
voice. "Tim, people make my Word too complicated!" I
thought to myself, "Oh boy, what have I done this time?" and asked,
"What, what?" He said, "Take 'grace' for example. There are
Bible schools and seminaries that have multiple semester courses on
GRACE! When my 'grace' is nothing more nor less than - the favor
that comes from being a child of God."
He continued, "Do you see those two children on the swings in the
park?" "Assume that those two are your children." "Now, of
ALL the children in the park, which ones have favor in YOUR
eyes?" "Which ones will YOU be willing to take responsibility
for, to feed, clothe, shelter, care and provide for until they are old
enough to go off on their own?" I answered, "the ones that belong
to me!" He said, "Exactly!"
"And another thing," He said, "Continually reminding my children that my
favor is not merited or deserved is - just as rude as the other
children continually reminding your children that they were
adopted!" "You (Christians) are ALL adopted - except for
Jesus! Jesus chose you and I adopted you! But being adopted
in no way means second class! You ALL start out with equal favor
in My eyes!" Then there was silence and I got home as soon as I
could to write it all down and studied it all out. Father God is
unhappy that the religious have so complicated His simple Word.
From then until today whenever I hear or read the word "grace" in
relation to God, I automatically translate it to "the favor that comes
from being a child of God." From God's perspective, grace is not
"unmerited pardon," for that is actually the definition of "mercy,"
which is only part of that favor. Throughout the King James version of
the Bible, "charis" is or should be translated as "favor." But if
you were adopted by Father God, then you have that special favor that
comes from being His child. You have the same favor with Father God -
that Jesus has.
Rom 1:5 (TGV) Through Him we received both the favor that comes
from being a child of God (grace) and from Him we received the urgent
task of passing the offer on to others who then receive it by entering
into and committing to good faith contracts in the name of Jesus.
Rom 5:2 (TGV) To whom (Jesus) we have access by good faith
contracts/promises/agreements made available by the favor that comes
from being a child of God (grace) in which we stand, and rejoice in
exuberant expectation with God.
It is that "grace", that favor that comes from being a child of God
that makes those thousands of contracts, agreements, promises and
offers available to you. If you are a born-again believer who has
received Jesus as your King, then you have the favor that comes from
being a child of God.