Acts 20:32 says, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” As we started out with last week, we see in this verse Paul entrusting his beloved Ephesian Christians to God, and to the word of His grace. The word of God’s grace is what builds us up; the word of God’s grace is what gives us an inheritance.
Another element of God’s grace, is that it is abundant. In Romans 5:15, 17, & 20, we see the apostle Paul describe God’s grace as abounding and abundant. The Greek Def. of abundant or abound used here means: superabundance, exceeding or excessive; more than is required; over and above measure. Through Jesus Christ, God poured out His grace in excess. We have not received just a little grace to get us by, but rather above and beyond measure. We have received fullness of grace (Jn 1:16). Heaps on heaps have we received!
This is a wonderful truth. Where our sin abounded, His grace did much more abound. His grace is more than sufficient to save and to keep; it is exceeding great to remove all of our sin. We have no “barely get along“, insufficient, half way covenant. God saves to the uttermost through Jesus’ shed blood. God’s abundant grace causes all who receive it to give God abundant thanks, and this abounds to the glory of God (2Cor 4:15). God’s grace is exceeding abundant, and it brings with it faith in Jesus and love for God and others (1Tim 1:14).
The English word grace is found 170 times in the bible, in 156 verses. 39 times in OT, & 131 times in NT. The Greek word Charis is found 156 times in the NT alone. Though translated grace 130 times, it was also translated benefit, thanks, liberality, joy, gracious, gift, benefit, as well as others. It first appears in Gen. 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” It last appears in Rev 22:21, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Why is this important? Because God's grace is the Gospel! Grace is the reoccurring theme from Genesis to Revelation. If we do not understand God's grace, we cannot truly understand God or The Bible. God’s Word will not make sense if we do not grasp His infinite grace and love. Once we understand grace, we will see it’s golden thread run throughout the whole of Scripture. If you see the Old Testament as only judgment, you do not grasp grace.
Most Christians agree that God rules from the throne of Heaven. We must also understand that throne is the throne of grace. Grace emanates, springs forth, proceeds, and it's source is from the throne of God. That is why we may boldly approach His throne, and find mercy and grace to help in our time of need. Don’t run from God when you have failed, but run to Him and find grace (Heb 4:16).
This abounding and amazing grace was brought to us from Heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Grace and truth is what Jesus brings. The Law is what Moses brought. Notice they are two different things, brought by two different people. Grace went from being “A thing” in the OT, to being “The thing” in the NT. Many have not grasped this yet.
To whom is this grace available? It is available to all (Jn 1:16, Titus 2:11). Jesus came to bring grace to the world, not just a select few. He died for the sins of the world, not for some. You are included in that number. He brought His grace to you. The only question is, can you - will you - receive it? God will not force it upon you. It is a gift, and gifts can only be gratefully accepted and received. They cannot be earned, nor can they be forced.
While God’s grace is available to all, only certain people can receive it. Who can receive it? The humble. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” See also 1Pt 5:5; Psalm 34:18, 138:6; Isa 57:15. The prideful, arrogant, and high minded cannot receive it. They think they don’t need it, or they think they can earn it. Both are wrong. God has set forth the conditions, and we must accept them or reject them, but we cannot change them. When we humble ourselves, and understand that without God’s grace we are helpless and hopeless; then we are candidates to receive His grace.
And how is it received? By works? By begging? No. By faith. By belief, trust, and confidence in Jesus’ finished work. Rom 5:1-2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Act 15:11 “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
I pray this has helped you better grasp God’s abundant grace, and that you will grow in grace, as you grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2Pt 3:18). Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!