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   The Element Grace

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What is Grace -- God's definition and meaning of grace

Grace for Growth

Lesson 2 of 2

We’re now going to go on and define grace in another setting. Grace for salvation let us understand how God uses the power of grace to draw a sinner to Him. After the sinner is converted and has come into covenant with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the believer must then receive instruction in order to know how to serve God with perfect faith and how to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
 
Just as God provided grace for the sinner to come to the knowledge of the truth and to be joined in covenant with Him, God continues to provide grace for the believer to grow in the knowledge of Christ and grow in the image of Christ.
 
Acts 13:43, “Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas:  who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”
 
2Pet.3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
 
There are three manifestations of grace:
1.  Grace for salvation recognized by this symbol G/S
2.  Grace for growth recognized by this symbol G/G
3.  Grace for calling recognized by this symbol G/C
 
As we review each manifestation of grace we are going to be looking at three main characteristics of the element:  K.O.P.
 
K  =     Key definition - The element will be clearly defined
O  =     Operation - The spiritual function and craftsmanship of God
  =     Purpose - The object towards which God is striving
 
Grace for Growth
 5 Key Definitions of Grace
 

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Grace Wheel. Learn what grace means. The 5 definitions of grace and the 9 operations of God in God and God's purpose for grace.
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1.  Communication - God makes Himself known to the believer
Jn.14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:  and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

  •  When we talk about “communication” as a key definition of grace for growth, we are describing grace as the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to manifest Himself to the believer when the believer keeps the commandments of the Second Covenant.

 Why does God desire to communicate to man?
A.  God communicates to man (issues grace) so that our faith would not stand in the reason or boast of man, but in the power of God (1Cor.2:5).
 
Reason:  Reason is the power of the intellect; we can resign ourselves to knowledge and then show attributes of conformity. Grace is given so faith does not rest in our reason, but in the power of God.
 
Boast:  Credit to oneself; to give value to. Grace removes our faith from our boast by setting our faith in Christ, whom we value.
 
B.  God communicates to man (issues grace) because He is laying within us the eternal substance of Christ. Grace is given because there is no substance for our faith in Moses or in Adam, nor in anything else apart from Christ.
 
C.  God communicates to man (issues grace) as a means of writing His commandments in our hearts and minds.
 
Heb.8:10, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts:  and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”
 
This communication is vital because it brings the life of Christ to the soul. Whether through a word, or a dream, or the manifestation of His power, the grace of God carries the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to continue in Him.
 
2.  Revelation -
The revelation of God is Jesus Christ
Just as the revelation of Christ is given for the sinner to come into covenant, the revelation of Christ is given to the saint to continue in covenant. Jesus Christ is hidden from the intellect, but revealed to those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
 
Eph.1:17, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.”

  • When we talk about “revelation” as a key definition of grace for growth, we are describing the design God set in this element to reveal Christ so the believer can know Him and grow in His image.

We can communicate with our surroundings through our senses and gain experience. God communicates to us through grace, and we gain experience with Him through this revelation (unveiling) of Jesus Christ. Christ was concealed (hidden). God is revealing Him. We cannot grow in the image of Christ without the revelation of Christ.
 
3.  Illumination -
The light of the knowledge of Christ enters the soul
Heb.10:32 speaks of the grace of God that brings illumination. That same illumination that brought the sinner into covenant is continually issued by God on a daily basis to cause the believer to grow in Christ.

  • When we talk about “illumination” as a key definition of grace for growth, we are talking about the design God set in this element, which continues to bring the light of Christ to the soul of the believer, like a candle in a dark room.

The light comes through knowledge; 2Cor.4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
 
The grace of God, which allows us to behold Christ, is in the tools of truth and prophecy. The knowledge of Christ, when studied and uttered through our priesthood, gives light to the soul as it washes the soul.
 
4.  Enlightenment - God grants understanding with knowledge
Not only does the knowledge of the gospel of Christ bring light to the soul, but it also brings understanding as the will yields to the influence of grace and allows the grace entrance within the heart.
 
We see this definition of grace in Eph.1:17, 18, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

  • When we talk about “enlightenment” as a key definition of grace for growth, we are talking about the design that God set in this element to bring understanding to the believer. The grace of God is embodied with understanding. We cannot grow in the grace of God without the understanding that comes through grace.

5.  Awakening - To awaken the soul out of slumber with an urgency to know God
The grace of God awakens the soul out of sleep each day. Sleep is a state of unawareness, a dream state. God uses grace to continue to awaken the believer as truth challenges the aspirations and principles. The grace of God inspires the will with the things of Christ.
 
Eph.5:14, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

  • When we talk about “awakening” as a key definition of grace for growth, we are talking about the design that God set in the element of grace to continue to awaken the soul out of sleep.

Rom.13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” 
 

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Illustration helps Christians gain valuable skills in following the grace of God from the definition to its operation and purpose.
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Operation of God in Grace for Growth
 
1.  God issues grace to draw faith from the heart:
Eph.2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God.” The operation of God to use grace to draw faith from the heart of the sinner continues for a believer. Grace is given to birth faith in the heart.

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to draw faith from the heart. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process to please God.
  •  We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace as we see how faith is born in the heart through grace. The ability of grace to draw faith from the heart is the tangible consequence of grace.

2.  God issues grace to give a heart to perceive:   
What does the believer not perceive? The believer does not perceive the areas of purging that the Spirit will address. What we value gives power to the will.
 
We are all faced with need, but we do not want to be brought under the power of that need; 1Cor.6:12, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:  all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
 
If we value the needs of the flesh, then we will give power to:
 
The appetites, which bring darkness through the wisdom of the world
The need, which brings darkness through the wisdom of the world
The principle, which brings darkness through the wisdom of the world
The drive of aspirations, which brings darkness through the wisdom of the world
Vain imaginations, which bring darkness through the wisdom of the world
False knowledge, which brings darkness through the wisdom of the world
 
We do not perceive these things that are imbedded in the soul until truth comes to challenge them, and grace comes to give us a heart to perceive that the value of Christ is greater than the value of the things of the world. 

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to give a heart to perceive. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process. 
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God brings comprehension through grace. The wisdom of God is embodied in grace to give direction. The ability of grace to give a heart to perceive is the tangible consequence of grace.

3.  God issues grace to give strength to the will:
How is the will made weak? The will is made weak when Adam exercises his sovereign will to pursue vain imaginations, the promises of false knowledge, the powers of the appetite, the drive of aspirations, and the law of his own principles. Through these we see:

  • The pattern of disobedience
  • The brute beast
  • How Adam falsely justifies himself
  • The exercising of the sovereign will of man with ignorance
  • That man is easily ensnared by his pride
  • How false confidence is created

1Cor.10:23, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient:  all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."
 
Those things of the flesh give witness and substance to the image of man, which causes the soul to wander, unable to find completion. Choosing iniquity over righteousness bruises the will. The tools we use to give value to the needs of the flesh bring darkness on the soul and cause us to follow the wisdom of the world, which also bruises the will.

  1. Grace removes the power of the false knowledge
  2. Grace removes the power of vain imaginations
  3. Grace removes the power of drive of aspiration
  4. Grace removes the power of principle
  5. Grace removes the power of need
  6. Grace removes the power of the appetite
  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to give strength to the will. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God skillfully strengthens the will through grace. The ability of grace to give strength to the will is the tangible consequence of grace.

4.  God issues grace to create equity in the inner man:
Eph.2:15, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.”
 
When the will is under the influence of false knowledge and vain imaginations, it is always torn between what the mind can agree with and what the soul wants to experience. Inequity reigns in the soul through iniquity. Grace comes to bring equity.
 
Our faith is daily challenged by Satan who is always ready to provide us an option to faith. Therefore, our faith goes through a cycle of resistance. The grace of God is issued to bring equity in the inner man; to assist the believer in bringing the mind and emotions in agreement with God under the power and influence of grace, thus, enabling the believer to overcome Satan.  

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to give equity in the inner man. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  •  We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we experience equity through grace by the hand of God. The ability of grace to create equity in the inner man is the tangible consequence of grace.

5.  God issues grace to create single mindedness:
When the will is under the influence of false knowledge and vain imaginations, and the will is always torn between what the mind can agree with and what the soul wants to experience, the mind is not single in purpose, but sees a variety of goals in life as a means of fulfilling purpose and finding completion.
 
Truth comes to challenge these virtues of iniquity that lay hidden, and the Spirit of God will address those things that are in need of healing. Grace comes with truth. Under the influence of God’s revelation, communication, and manifestation of Christ, the mind becomes single in purpose as we continue in covenant with God, serving God in righteousness to bear forth the fruits of His kingdom as we learn to function in our priesthood and steward the grace of God.

  •  When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to bring single mindedness. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God skillfully brings single mindedness through grace. The ability of grace to create single mindedness is the tangible consequence of grace.

Rom.8:5, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” The ‘things’ of the Spirit are the tools of the covenant. God equips us with grace by equipping us with the tools to keep us single minded in Him.
 
6.  God issues grace to create sober mindedness:

Titus 2:6, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” Believers in Christ overcome themselves, the world, and the devil; they overcome the appetite and the aspirations and principles that cause them to seek pleasure over faith. These things distract believers from serving God, and each distraction can bring believers into a type of drunkenness with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  
 
Grace brings soberness of mind because its illumination and enlightenment fills us with the things of Christ, makes our hope vivid, humbles our will to grace, refreshes our souls, and enables us to see the true value of Christ and comprehend His work in us.

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to create sober mindedness. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God skillfully brings sober mindedness through grace. The ability of grace to create sober mindedness is the tangible consequence of grace.

7.  God issues grace to nourish the heart [grace is not given to nourish the heart of the sinner]:
Grace is the light of the knowledge of Christ that nourishes the soul, much like exposure to sunlight nourishes us with vitamin D. Grace continues to nourish the heart in the same way that chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, is uniquely capable of converting the active energy of light into a latent form that can be stored (in food) and used when needed.
 
Col.2:19, “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to nourish the soul. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  •  We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we are nourished by His light. The grace of God is embodied with the light of the knowledge of Christ. The ability of grace to nourish the heart with the knowledge of Christ is the tangible consequence of grace.

8.  God issues grace to enlarge the heart [grace is not given to enlarge the heart of the sinner]:
2Cor.9:10, “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”
 
2Cor.10:15, “Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.”

  •  When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to enlarge the heart. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God skillfully enlarges the heart to receive more of Christ. The ability of grace to enlarge the heart is the tangible consequence of grace.

We grow as we sow. The increase of the fruits of righteousness comes as we use the tools of the covenant. God designed grace within the tools and uses grace to enlarge the heart, which enables us to take in more.
 
9.  God issues grace to keep us rooted in Him [grace is not given to keep the sinner rooted in Him]:
 Eph.3:17-19, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
 
Col.2:7, “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
 
The grace of God keeps us rooted in Christ. Because the standard of Christ does not change, our souls do not wander to the next aspiration and principle that promises completion. We are not moved from the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Each manifestation of grace brings strong confidence to stay where we are, planted in Christ.

  • When we talk about the “operation” of God in grace for growth, we are talking about the power of God to keep us rooted in Christ. Grace serves to bring the believer through this process.
  • We see the craftsmanship of God in the element of grace, as we see how God skillfully keeps us embedded in Christ through grace. The ability of grace to keep us rooted in Christ is the tangible consequence of grace.

Purpose of God in Grace for Growth
 
When we talk about the purpose for God issuing grace to believers, we are talking about more than the operation of God; we are talking about the ultimate goal or product of the grace of God. God communicates, reveals, causes illumination and enlightenment, and awakens the soul to Him; drawing faith, giving strength to the will, causing equity in the inner man, and bringing singleness and soberness of mind. But for what purpose; what is God’s ultimate goal?

The purpose of God’s grace issued to the believer:
 
1.  To serve God

  • In the priesthood
  • Through the stewardship of grace

 
2.  To know God

  • Through process of regeneration
  •  Through fruit

 
3.  Ordination - Your experience with the grace of God prepares you to function in your calling. 
 
Read more about the power of grace by reading the lesson "Why Grace is Called a Virtue".

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