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09
Grace in the Presence of the Lord God

Genesis is the book of beginnings.  In Chapter 6 is the first mention of the word "Grace" in the following verse:

"But Noah found grace in the presence of the Lord God." (Genesis 6:8)

This leads us to a series of more questions.  For example, What is grace?  What does it do for us?  How do we obtain it?  Once obtained, can we lose it?  etc...  To attempt to answer these questions we did a Topical Bible Study on "Grace" to attempt to gain more understanding and insight.  In doing so, we believe all the above questions are answered and more.  Having said that, we do not believe that this is an exhaustive study about grace.  This study does not include many sayings of the fathers about Grace, and it does not include any personal experiences about the topic either.  These will be left as an exercise to the readers to research and experience the Grace of God.

First we start with 'What is Grace?'  Grace is a divine gift from God that is freely given.  "...much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many." (Romans 15:5)

So it's a free gift, but why would we want the Grace of God? In other words, what does His Grace do for us?  From Our topical study, we find the following:

  1. The Grace of God cleanses us:
    "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more," (Romans 5:20)
  2. The Grace of God enables us to conduct ourselves in godliness:
    "For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you." (2 Corinthians 1:12)
  3. The Grace of God builds us as spiritual beings
    "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)
  4. The Grace of God Justifies us:
    "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Romans 3:24), and
    "that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:7)
  5. The Grace of God Gives us Rejoicing and Hope:
    "through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2)
  6. The Grace of God provides us with various gifts:
    "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;" (Romans 12:6)
  7. The Grace of God Calls us:
    "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace," (Galatians 1:15)
  8. The Grace of God enables us to walk according to His calling:
    "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."  (1 Corinthians 15:10), and
    "who has 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 to us in Christ Jesus before time began," (2 Timothy 1:9)
  9. The Grace of God gives us strength:
    "And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  10. The Grace of God makes our service acceptable:
    "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Hebrews 12:28)
  11. The Grace of God enables us to thank God:
    "For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." (2 Corinthians 4:15)
  12. The Grace of God makes us sufficient:
    "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

From the above verses, we see that the Grace of God cleanses us and enables us to conduct ourselves in godliness.  Having done so, it builds us up as spiritual beings and thus we are justified by the Grace of God.  Therefore we rejoice and have hope in the eternal life.  However because "everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded" (Luke 12:48) then the Grace of God will call us to a specific purpose but God will not leave us alone.  He will enable us to walk according to his calling by His Grace, will give us strength in our service and make our service acceptable.  Thus we will thank God for His Grace and by His grace for He has made us sufficient in everything.

Note however that even though God's Grace alone is able to do all things, however God requires us to work with His grace and not sit idle.  God is doing His part, and so should we.  This is what the fathers always talk about with "Grace and struggle".  Even the above verses say that His Grace is "able" (Acts 20:32) to do all things, however we should "use these gifts" (Romans 12:6).  Moreover, we also read "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17).  This verse shows our role and God's role.  Our role is to walk according to His laws that were given to mankind through Moses, and God's role is to provide His grace.

Now the next logical question we must ask is 'How do we obtain the Grace of God?'  There are certain means by which the Grace of God would enter into our lives.  These are called by the fathers "Windows of Grace".  Let us look at a few of these "Windows of Grace":

  1. Through Prayers:  After all Noah found grace "in the Presence of the Lord God" (Genesis 6:8)  Also we read "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
  2. Through Humility:
    "Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble" (Proverbs 3:34)
  3. Through Walking in His Ordinances:
    "So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck." (Proverbs 3:22)
  4. Through Purity of Heart:
    "He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend." (Proverbs 22:11)
  5. Through being in the Church:
    "'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of "Grace, grace to it!" ' " (Zechariah 4:7)
  6. Through Witnessing to God:
    "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33)
  7. Through Faith:
    "through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2)

We must note however that once we obtain the Grace, it is possible that we fall from it.  Below are examples of how we could fall from the Grace of God:

  1. By justifying ourselves with our works:
    "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." (Galatians 5:4)
  2. By Bitterness:
    "looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Hebrews 12:15)
  3. By Unbelief:
    "For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

From the above Topical Bible study we learn about Grace, it's work, how to obtain it and how to fall from it.  We also learn that we have to do our part and God will do His by providing us with His Grace.

We finally pray that we "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

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