"Foundational Principles for Abundant Living,"

"Meditations Concerning God's Grace,"

by Duane L. Smith

Section A

"Meditations Concerning God's Grace"

Unger's Bible Dictionary defines the grace of God as "...what God may be free to do, and indeed what He does, accordingly, for the lost after Christ has died on behalf of them (Lewis Sperry Chafer, "Systematic Theology VIII, page 178).

It is thus apparent that God's grace is to be distinguished from His mercy and love (Eph. 2:4 & 5). "But God who is rich in mercy for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved...".

Since God is holy and righteous and sin is a complete offence to Him, His love or His mercy cannot operate in grace until there was provided a sufficient satisfaction for sin. Grace thus rules out all human merit. It requires only faith in the Savior. Grace bestows Christ's merit and Christ's standing forever (Rom. 5:1; Rom. 8:1; Col. 2:9 & 8).

In other words, grace is God doing for you what is otherwise absolutely impossible for you to do.

Mankind is totally incapable of earning, meriting, or deserving God's grace. Grace is far beyond man's capacity to grasp, and in and of one's natural fallen state man is completely incapable and powerless to save himself; we are helpless and hopeless without God's intervention.

All that we have from God comes to us through the Cross of Christ, by grace through faith.

Faith is the vehicle that God chooses, through which His grace flows.

As the late Pastor Ray Hill reiterated to me on numerous occasions, "Faith is not a work."

The grace of God is available to alll those who believe. Thus, I believe in the Sovereignty of God as well as man's free will. This brings us to another vital concept, that of Prevenient Grace. I define this term as: the state wherein we are completely and totally helpless to save ourselves. We do not even have the ability to take hold of God, in faith, unless He first reaches down and enables us by His grace, to receive the ab ility to make an enlightened decision for God, from God Himself, in order to accept His salvation.

We cannot choose Him, until He first chooses us. In other words, the Holy Spirit must draw us to God, and we must trust Him for spiritual enlightenment and illumination unto life everlasting, through Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. See John 15:16; Eph. 1:4, 1 John 4:19; and John 6:44.

Remember, faith is the means, that God Himself ordained for the actualization of His saving grace. For more complete information, please read A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God," or his "The Knowledge of the Holy," or both.

Section B

Salvation is comprised of our Justification, Regeneration, Redemption, our Adoption, Atonement, Sanctification, and our Glorification.

It is my contention that everything we have in Christ, we have through faith, by the grace of God. Please allow me to attempt to demonstrate my premise.

Let's begin with an examination of a text familiar to most Christians, that of Eph. 2:8 & 9 (from the Amplified Version). "For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through your faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves, of your own doing, it came not through your own striving, but it is the gift of God; not because of works (not the fulfillment of the Law's demands), lest any man should boast; it is not the result of what any one can possibly do, so not one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself."

Acts 15:11 states: "But we believe that we ae saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus." Also, Titus 2:11, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." (NKJV)

This brings us to an aspect of salvation called Justification. Justification is a judicial act of God, which is enacted on our behalf, because of Christ taking upon Himself mankind's death sentence. God the Father declares the believer to be in right standing before His throne, the throne of the Most Holy and Righteous God; because of Christ's propitious sacrifice, God sees us as not guilty. (Romans 5:12; Romans 5:1 & 2)

Consequently, we have positional righteousness imputed to us by Christ Jesus, and this is the foundation which makes possible our experiential and progressive righteousness. Next, we will explored indepth the very important concept of justification of grace through faith.


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Text: (c) 2007, Duane L. Smith Estate, All Rights Reserved

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