There is so much to say about Grace both in the definition and its context. Here are a few key grace points by way of summary. For example, New Testament Grace cannot be understood from an Old Covenant point of view.
The Old Covenant pre-shadows what is in full light in the New. Grace must be re-defined in light of Jesus finished work and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Grace, particularly when conveyed by the Holy Spirit is far more comprehensive and totally empowering. It cost Jesus His life to bring us into a restored and empowered relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is the “marker” guaranteeing our inheritance in God (Eph 1:13). We are indeed seated in authority in “heavenly places” (Eph 2:6). The New Testament is so rich with teaching on Grace.
“In the New Testament, we often miss seeing the forest of Grace due to the doctrinal trees.” – David Crabtree
He saved us by His wonderful Grace
He united us into the very life of Christ by his wonderful grace! He rose us up with Christ the exalted one, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of, for we are now joined as one with Christ! – Ephesians 2:5-6 TPT
Here is a listing (in no particlular order) of key points that need to be made on the subject of Grace. Some points already have articles attached to them. In time, more will written. Enjoy!
Key Grace Points…
- Grace needs to be presented with ‘no strings attached’. It’s 100% pure undiluted Grace. If we add anything (eg. Law) to Grace it is no longer Grace.
A gift cannot be a gift if we decide we need to ‘do something’ to earn it. Grace is given a total gift from God. Adding our efforts to Grace neutralizes Grace with unbelief.
- Grace is better defined as the ’empowering presence of God’. We have the Grace that is in Jesus. He did not have ‘unmerited favour’.
The Cross, Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit changed everything. We are no longer separated from God. He lives in us. This is the New Covenant era and Grace takes on new meaning and power.
- The constitution of the government of God has changed since Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are now under the Administration of Grace (Eph 3) governed by the Holy Spirit.
God still wants His people and His promises made to Abraham are still current. However, we are now ruled by the Holy Spirit and not Mosaic Law.
- It is God’s goodness and kindness that leads people to repentance and to Jesus. It is an issue of faith and trust in Jesus only (Rom 2:4).
I don’t know why folk get nervous when it is stated that God is kind and ‘in a good mood’. It was His love that sent Jesus to save us. (John 3:16) He hasn’t changed.
- The Law was a temporary insertion into the governance timeline (added at Sinai and remained in power until Faith/Jesus came). Now that Faith has come we are no longer under the supervision or authority of the Law.
Galatians is quite clear that the Law was added to sustain the people of Israel until Jesus came. Now that faith (Jesus) has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law.
- The promises made to Abraham still stand and are still available to people of faith in Jesus. Abraham was credited for his faith before Law came. A child of Abraham is righteous through faith without Law.
Romans 4 and Galatians 3-4 speaks to Paul’s major point that we are Abraham’s children if we exercise the faith of Abraham. Law does not make us Abraham’s children. Only faith (in Jesus) allows us to benefit from the promise made to Abraham.
- God still wants a people and wants a righteous people. That righteousness, imputed and imparted, comes only through Grace.
The expectation that God has of having a righteous people who belong to Him still stands. The only way that God can achieve that is through Grace alone. Offensive though it is to folk who feel they must contribute to their righteousness, only God through His Grace can make that happen. Our good efforts are a response to His good Grace.
- The Empowering Presence of God (Grace through the Holy Spirit) is fully able to bring about righteousness without the need of the Torah.
This is the radical and undiluted truth. God has made salvation and righteousness possible through faith alone in Jesus. Only Grace (God’s empowering presence) can declare and make us righteous.
- The New Covenant is a new and fresh authority of God, introduced during and after Jesus. It does not require the authority of Law to back it up.
Paul, in Ephesians 3, speaks of a brand new revelation not made known previously. That revelation is about the new ‘administration of grace’. Grace is now the empowered ‘government’ of the Holy Spirit. God works through the Holy Spirit and not through Moses.
- Religious people (those needing Law) become extremely nervous or even angry about a Grace-only Gospel. Paul’s Gospel is Grace-only, and it is a Gospel that empowers believers to be righteous.
The problem with Law is that it only brings condemnation. People who think they need Law to ‘balance’ Grace operate with the same condemnation. We are saved by faith only and respond as saved and empowered people to follow after righteousness (Jesus). The Law is not based on faith, and we are not under its supervision or guidance.