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Grace Empowers Us 1

Grace Empowers Us Part 1 In our last series we showed how grace has boundaries. Now we will look at the influence of grace and how it empowers us to live for God, and to do all that He has called us to accomplish. We often think of grace as the unmerited favor and mercy of God that saves us from our sins. This is true, but grace is much more. Let’s look at some Biblical examples to investigate this subject. Before we do that, let’s discover the meaning of grace. The word grace in the Greek, according to the Strong’s Concordance [G5485] also means: the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. It also means benefit, gift, joy, liberality, pleasure. This Greek word is ‘charis’ where we get the word ‘charisma’ which describes the divine abilities God gives each believer to perform the work He has called them to do. In the gospel of Luke, it states Jesus was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 NKJV It should seem apparent this grace was not some unmerited favor, but an empowering grace to aid Him in fulfilling all the Father intended. Another passage in the book of Hebrews reveals how this same grace gave Jesus the ability to carry our sins and give His life on a cruel and lowly cross our behalf. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Heb 2:9 NKJV God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, and thereby giving Christ the grace to suffer in our place. “…that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2Co 5:19 NKJV In the book of Acts we learn how the early church functioned through the grace of God. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Act 4:33 NKJV Here we see how the grace of God was upon the church, not just for salvation, but to empower the church to do His will. “…but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.” Act 15:40 NKJV Again we see grace as an empowering agent to assist Paul and Silas in the work of the gospel. "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. Act 20:32 NKJV Paul is commending born again believers to the grace of God. They were already believers, so this grace must have been for empowerment to live out their Christian life. Two powerful passages along the lines of grace being the empowerment of God is found in Romans. Having then gifts (charisma) differing according to the grace (charis) that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; Rom 12:6 NKJV But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Eph 4:7 NKJV In these passages, Paul makes it clear that each one of us have been given grace, not just the unmerited favor of God for salvation, but the divine ability and influence of God to accomplish His will. Notice how he credited grace for the success of his ministry: Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, Rom 15:15 NKJV 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. 1Cor 15:10 NKJV Paul was confident in his ministry because he was relying upon the grace (empowerment and divine ability) of God to minister effectively for the Lord Jesus Christ. We will pick this up in our next post. Until then, may God our Father richly bless you. James Brown CST December 31, 2021
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