Often in conversation regarding grace, one can tell how for the most part the world has come to define this word as the unmerited favor of God. Someone might go on to say how grateful they were for circumstances having turned in their favor, without which they might be in a far worse-off position, saying: there but for the grace of God go I.
Similarly, many think of salvation in this light. When the definition of Grace is considered from God’s perspective though, the true depth, power and beauty of this Element of the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes to the fore.
The wonder of Grace is that it encompasses far more than the unmerited favor of God - Grace is the very power of His call to redemption - that which awakens the soul from spiritual slumber; which communicates the heart of God to man; which reveals to us His Christ and our utter need for Him; that which brings illumination and enlightenment for it encompasses God's wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Grace is the starting point of divine transformation in the inner man.
Grace transcends the temporal need
God is compassionate to all His creation. Much of that which unfolds as answer to prayer or in accordance to what stands to our benefit in daily life, is therefore erroneously considered as His grace - in the sense of unmerited favor. We can consider this by looking at when Jesus healed the group of lepers in Luke 17:
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
By the interpretation of Grace as God's unmerited favor (as it has been taught in error in our time), one would be able to say that these ten men were all healed by the grace of God - them having not in any way earned it, yet having had their petition heard of Jesus and granted.
Grace has a Binary Relationship with Faith
This effect of grace was the same power Jesus attested to when saying: “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 16:17) Grace is the Voice of God that speaks to the heart, so that in man's yielding thereto he might know the reward of His increase – being of that which is divine and eternal.
We know that God is just and that grace is given to all men for salvation (Titus 2:11) for it is not His will that any shall perish (Matt 18:14). However, it is only by man’s participation in this wonder of salvation – his yielding to that grace through faith – that the power thereof is entered into.
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Erika Blignaut is a confirmed Apostle in the government of God and valued member of Apostles Today Network of the Second 8th Week, ministering the grace of God to those seeking to build upon the true foundation of Jesus Christ. She is a regular contributor to the Prophetic Path and teaches Body ministry, helping believers regain their Christian priesthood by learning how spiritual sacrifices of prophecy work, how the anointing of truth works, and how the spiritual tools of the Second Covenant work. As God brings the church into a new era, Apostle Erika is here to help guide your faith into the new work of the Spirit, pray for you, and answer your questions.