Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Scriptural Background on Grace

I got a response to my previous post on "Trying" with a basic question asking for more scriptural background on grace.

Most of the texts on grace are on salvation. Here are some of those besides the best known ones. First, there are words that modify grace, not the definition or quality of grace, but the quantity of grace.

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:2-8)

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15)

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

Here are a few verses where grace shows up outside of justification:

Philippians 1:2
II Corinthians 12:9
Colossians 4:6
Titus 2:12
Romans 6:14
Acts 20:32
II Corinthians 9:8
Hebrews 4:16
James 4:6
2 Peter 3:18
John 1:14-17

These texts tell us that grace is imparted in salutations, it gives power in weakness, it seasons our conversation, it teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passion, we live under grace, grace builds us up, grace helps us abound in every good work, we are to approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in time of need, grace is given to the humble, and we grow in grace.

I am not saying grace is obedience. I am saying that grace is available to help us obey. The other alternative is to obey without grace, which would be willpower obedience. Colossians 2:6 tells us to walk as we received. We can see it in Colossians 1:29 “His energy” is grace.

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