Pilgrim’s Keyboard

February 13, 2015

Attributes of God – The Grace of God

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The Grace of God

 

NT ––

 

Ephesians 1:5-7, 9 | Having predestined us … according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace … In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace … which He purposed in Himself.

 

Romans 11:5-6 | Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

 

  • Gk. charis – Is [translated] “grace” or “favor” | [It is] the acceptance of and goodness toward those who cannot earn or do not deserve such gains. Favorable regard.[1] I refer to this grace of God as His “Unmerited Favor” – His “Marvelous, Infinite Grace!”

 

OT ––

 

Genesis 6:9 | … Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 33:19 | … I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious … [KJV]

 

  • He. chenDescribes that which is favorable or gracious, especially the favorable disposition of one person toward another [finding favor].[2] 
  •  

GRACE

 

Kregel Dictionary of the Bible and Theology[3]

Grace – All that God does in undeserved love to benefit human beings in general and His children in particular. … Christians tend to describe God’s grace, especially in salvation, as unmerited favor, lavished according to His loving will. This definition is helpful in emphasizing fallen humanity’s unworthiness, so long as humans realize that there is no such things as “merited favor” before God. Humans can give God nothing He requires (Pss 49:7-9; 50:7-15), so any attention God gives to human welfare is grace. God’s grace includes His attitude of lovingkindness and any action or thought on their behalf.

 

Holman Bible Dictionary[4]

Grace – Undeserved acceptance and love received from another. Although the biblical words for “grace” are used in a variety of ways, the most characteristic use is to refer to an undeserved favor granted by a superior to an inferior. When used of divine grace toward mankind, it refers to the underserved [unmerited] favor of God in providing salvation for those deserving condemnation.

 

Wayne Grudem[5]

Grace means God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.

 C. D. Cole[6]

Grace is one of the Divine perfections or attributes in the nature of God which is exercised in the salvation of sinners.

 

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 | For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [ESV]

 

Quoting:

Alexander Maclaren | The word grace is a kind of shorthand for the whole sum of unmerited blessings which come to men through Jesus Christ. Primarily, it describes what we, for want of a better expression, have to call a ‘disposition’ in the Divine nature; and it means the unconditional, undeserved, spontaneous, eternal, stooping, pardoning love of God. But there are no idle dispositions in God. They are always energizing, and so the word glides from meaning the disposition, to meaning the manifestations and activities of it, and the grace of our Lord is that love in exercise. And then, since the Divine energies are never fruitless, the word passes over further, to mean all the blessed things in the soul which are consequences of the Promethean truth of God’s loving hand, the outcome in life of the inward bestowment which has its cause, its sole cause, in God’s ceaseless, unexhausted love, unmerited and free.

[?] Phillips | Grace is something in God which is at the heart of all His redeeming activities, the downward stoop and reach of God, bending from the heights of His majesty, to touch and grasp our insignificance and poverty.

  • John 1:14, 17 | And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. … For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [ESV]

 A. W. Pink[7]

Grace is a perfection of the Divine character which is exercised only toward the elect. … Grace is the sole source from which flows the goodwill, love, and salvation of God unto His chosen people. … Abraham Booth defines this attribute of the Divine character as “the eternal and absolute free favour [sic.] of God, manifested in the vouchsafement [sic.] of spiritual and eternal blessings to the guilty and the unworthy.”

Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. Nay, more; it is the favor of God shown to those who not only have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving. It is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether untracked by anything in or from or by the objects upon which it is bestowed. Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace. When a thing is said to be of “grace” we mean that the recipient has no claim upon it, and that it was nowise due him. It comes to him as pure charity, and, at first, unasked and undesired. [Cf. Romans 11:6.]

  • Romans 11:6 | … if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. [ESV]

Stephen Lawson[8]

Grace is “the greatness of God’s glory!”

Grace is “God’s unmerited favor – we deserve Hell – Grace is what we do not deserve!”

 

 

Grace Bestowed:

 

  1. Is Free – unmerited, undeserved, cannot be earned, it is a gift –
  • Romans 3:21-25 | But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets testify to it –– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. [ESV] 

Cf. Ephesians 2:8-9 (God’s gift); Romans 11:6 (of grace not works).

  1. Is Eternal – in eternity past God choose His elect –
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 | Who [God – v. 8] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. [ESV]
  1. Is Sovereign – it is His selection, not ours –
  • Ephesians 1:3-6 | Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ … even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace … [ESV] 

Cf. Exodus 33:19 (gracious to whom he is gracious); Romans 11:5 (a remnant, chosen by grace).

  1. Is Far-reaching – is made real to all men [Jews/Gentiles – every kind] –
  • Titus 2:11 | For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. 

Cf. John Ch. 3 (Nicodemus – the teacher of Israel; John Ch. 4 (Samaritan woman – hated by the Jews); 2 Kings Ch. 5         (Naaman, the commander of the Gentile army of the king of Syria).      

 

  

  1. Is Mediated – in Jesus, the Son of God –
  • Romans 5:15 | But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. [ESV] –– CF. 1 Timothy 2:5; John 1:17.
  1. Is Saving – delivered from great danger / rescued from great peril –

 

  • Ephesians 1:7-8 | In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. [ESV]

 

Cf. Romans 3:24 & Titus 3:7 (justified by his grace); Acts 15:11 (saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus).

 

 

Closing Thot:

A. W. Pink[9]

 

There are three principal characteristics of Divine grace.

    • It is eternal – Grace was planned before it was exercised, purposed before it was imparted: “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Tim. 1:9) [KJV].
    • It is free – For none did ever purchase it: “Being justified freely by His grace” (Rom. 3:24) [KJV]
    • It is sovereign – Because God exercises it toward and bestows it upon whom He pleases: “Even so might grace reign” (Rom. 5:51) [KJV]. If grace “reigns” then it is on the throne, and the occupant of the throne is sovereign. Hence “the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16) [KJV]. … Just because grace is unmerited favor, it must be exercised in a sovereign manner. … God is under no obligation to any of His creatures, least of all to those who are rebels against Him.

 

  • 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 | For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.  

 

NOTE:   I refer to this grace of God as His “Unmerited Favor” – His “Marvelous, Infinite Grace” [bea]!

 

 

Steve Lawson[10]

Summation: He is Grace!

[1] Mounce, Dict., 303-304; Vine, 277.

[2] Mounce, Dict., 303.

[3] Holloman, Krekel Dictionary, 184-185.

[4] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 678.

[5] Grudem, 200.

[6] Cole, 78-79 (adapted).

[7] Pink, Attributes, 66 (adapted).

[8] Lawson, “The Grace of God”.

[9] Pink, Attributes, 67 (adapted).

[10] Lawson, “The Grace of God”.

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