Grace In The New Testiment

by Pastor Arthur F. Kohl

I. Grace In The New Testament

We are said to be "not under the Law, but under Grace" in the New Testament age of the Church. What then is this Grace that we are under? (Romans 6:14-15) "Grace" comes from a Greek word "Charis" which means: a. "The Divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life," by the Strongs Concordance. b. "Divine favor that practically affects the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise; empowering and equipping them for service," from Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek words.

Grace is given to us by...

God the Father: Romans 5:15, 1 Corinthians 3:10; James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5. God the Son: 1 Corinthians 1:4, Ephesians 4:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:12. God the Holy Spirit: Hebrews 10:29. Paul acknowledged that the Grace be enjoyed was received, Romans 12:3, Galations 2:9. There are three kinds of Grace that affects the believer:
  • A. Saving Grace- Understood by the Acrostic
    • God's Riches At Christ's Expense
  • B. Living Grace- Understood by the Acrostic
    • God's Resources At Christian Experiences
  • C. Dying Grace- Understood by the Acrostic
    • God given Repose At a Christian's Expiration

The word Grace is found in every single New Testament book except: Matthew, Mark, 1 John and 3 John. It is used 129 times in the New Testament.

II. Grace In The Life Of Jesus Christ!

    We find in the Life of Christ on earth that He had this relationship with Grace.

  • A. From Childhood the Grace of God was on Him, Luke 2:40.
    • It would do each family good if the favor of God and His influence was upon all of our sons and daughters from childhood equipping them early for life and service.
  • B. He was Full of Grace, John 1:14.
    • Jesus is the only one in scripture mentioned who was "full" of Grace. He is also the only one mentioned who was "full" of the Holy Spirit, Luke 4:1. It is a possibility for us though, Acts 6:3.
  • C. He brought Grace with Him, John 1:17.
    • In the 0ld Testament it is mentioned 25 times that the people "found Grace", but in the New Testament it finds us. When the Lord came to seek for us, He brought Grace with Him. We received it from Him, John 1:16.
  • D. His Grace Caused Him to Become Poor for us, so we through his Poverty Might be Made Rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9.
  • E. He Tasted Death for Every Man by the Grace of God, Hebrews 2:9.

III. Greetings Of Grace

Every letter (epistle) written by the Apostle Paul both begins and ends with a greeting and ends with a benediction of Grace. This is true of every one of his letters except Hebrews which only ends with a benediction of Grace. This is significant. Grace was so important to Paul that he wished it would be with and on all those he wrote to. We should also wish and pray for the grace of God to be on all that we are ministering to. Look up the following in your KJV Bible:

Romans 1:7; 16:20; 16:24, 1 Corinthians 1:3; 16:23, 2 Corinthians 1:2; 13:14, Galatians 1:3; 6:18, Ephesians 1:2; 6:24, Philippines 1:2; 4:23, Colossians 1:2; 4:18, 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 5:28, 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 3:18, 1 Timothy 1:2; 6:21, 2 Timothy 1:2; 4:22, Titus 1:4; 3:15, Philemon 1:3; 1:25, Hebrews 13:25.

Peter and John also bestowed Grace upon others through their writings as they were led by the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:2, 2 John 3, Revelation 1:4; 22:21.

Their example should set a pattern for us to pray and ask God to bestow his grace upon individuals and churches.

IV. Possibilities of Grace

    A. Negative Possibilities:

      1. Grace Can Be Received in Vain- 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.

In regards to salvation, Grace can be received in vain. The word vain (Greek Kenos) means empty. It refers to unbelief. It is the same word used in James 2:20 to describe man whose faith is empty. Paul was concerned that this large church in Corinth was filled with unbelievers who said they had received the grace of God at salvation, but didn't really. Some had perhaps been professors but not possessors. In this letter, he encouraged them saying, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." 2 Corinthians 13:5. In 2 Corinthians 6:2 he encouraged them "... now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation."

      2. Grace Can Be Frustrated- Galations 2:21.

Read the entire Chapter of Galations 2. You will see there was a dissension among the church leaders over the doctrine of Justification. Some wanted to add the works of the law to the faith of believing on Christ for salvation, as a result they frustrated Grace. The word frustrate is the same word translated "disannuleth" in Galations 3:15. It means "to make void, disannul, to put no value in, to thwart the power of something".

Paul's conclusion in this argument is found in Galations 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall NO flesh be justified." Similar words are said in Ephesians 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." Don't frustrate the grace of God by adding anything to grace for salvation.

      3. Grace Can Be Fallen From- Galations 5:4.

It is possible for believers to fall, Revelation 2:5. For example, a believer can fall from their own steadfastness, 2 Peter 3:17; or over another believers poor example, Romans 14:13; or over his own pride- 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Timothy 3:6; or into the snare of the devil, 1 Timothy 3:7; or by riches, 1 Timothy 6:9; or by unbelief, Hebrews 4:11. It is also possible for a believer to fall from grace, read Galations 5:1-13. Certain people had crept into the churches of Galatia teaching circumcision as a part of justification. They are described in this discourse as troublers. Paul wished they would be put out of the church.

"Fallen from Grace" means that they had fallen away from the doctrine of Grace, and fallen back into the law. It does not mean that they had lost their salvation.

A believer can fall from his own steadfastness in doctrine, 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:9, Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:14, 1 Timothy 1:3. Don't fall from the doctrine of Grace and don't let anyone teach you otherwise.

      4. Grace Can Be Failed- Hebrews 12:15.

The grace of God will never fail us, but we can fail of the grace of God. For example: If a person fails to put gas in their car, their car did not fail them, they failed their car.

A believer may fail to go to the throne of Grace to find grace to help in time of need, Hebrews 4:16. Often "we have not because we ask not", James 4:2. The result is that we fail to have the grace that we need in our time of need. Many believers become bitter, according to Hebrews 12:15, at God. The fact is, God did not fail them. His grace was available to them, but they failed to use its availability. They failed to put gas in their car.

      5. Grace Can Be Turned Into Lasciviousness- Jude 1:4.

The word lasciviousness means, "The absence of restraint, indecency, one of the evils that proceeds from the heart, Mark 7:22, that is classified among the works of the flesh, Galations 5:19. It is also a sin among the unregenerate who are "past feeling" 1 Peter 4:3, Ephesians 4:19. It is any fleshly sin practiced in a shameless way." (Vines).

Believers confuse Grace with liberty. It is liberty from the law, but not from the righteousness of the law, Romans 8:4, 1 Corinthians 9:21. Grace is not a license to sin, it is freedom from the law but personal responsibility to make sure we do not put a stumbling block in front of a weak brother by our example, Romans 14:13, 1 Corinthins 8:9.

Grace does not teach us that we have the liberty to do whatever we please, but rather the opposite. Titus 2:11-12 tells us what grace teaches, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world..."

Don't let any smooth talking believer or unbeliever tell you that grace is a license to do whatever you want, especially in the flesh. Grace does a purifying work in us.

    B. Positive Possibilities:

      1. Grace Can Be Found- Hebrews 4:16.

We can find Grace to help in our time of need at the throne of Grace. This is the only scripture in the New Testament that tells the believer where to find Grace. Grace must be found and sought for every time of need. Not every believer has this living grace at all times. It must be found. It is easy for us to find grace, we just have to come boldly to the Father, for His throne is a throne of grace.

In the Old testament, it was not so easy. People had to find Grace in the sight of God and in the sight of man in different ways. The first 25 times the word "grace" appears in the Bible, it is preceded by one of these two words: "found" or "find". Study it out:

Genesis 6:8, 19:19, 32:5, 33:8, 33:10, 33:15, 34:11, 39:4, 47:25, 47:29, 50:4, Exodus 33:12, 33:13, 33:16, 33:17, 34:9, Numbers 32:5, Judges 6:17, Ruth 2:10, 1 Samuel 1:18, 20:3, 27:5, 2 Samuel 14:22, 16:4.

What is God trying to teach us, Romans 15:4? That we must find Grace! But, praise the Lord, he has told us where to find it in the New Testament, Hebrews 4:16, at the throne of Grace.

      2. Grace Can Be Grown In- 2 Peter 3:18.

Just as a believer can grow in love, charity, faith, experience, wisdom, etc. So he can grow in Grace. The Bible says so. That is what this course is all about: To learn what Grace is, and to grow in our Knowledge of it, how it works, what it can do, etc. This is how all education works. At first you don't know anything, then you dig in and study and grow in the knowledge of it. So is Grace. The Lord wants us to grow in Grace. Learn more and more about it.

The word "grow" is the same word used to describe plants and fruit. So grace can start like a seed in our understanding that grows and grows to full maturity. This is what God expects in us.

      3. Grace Can Be Continued In- Acts 13:43.

It is not enough just to grow in our knowledge of Grace, but to apply it and continue in all of the days of our life. We are to continue in:

-the Lords word- John 8:31, -in the Lords love- John 15:9, -in the faith- Acts 14:22, -in witnessing- Acts 26:22, -in His goodness- Romans 11:22, -in prayer- Colossians 4:2, -in charity- I Timothy 2:15, -in doctrine- I Timothy 4:16, -in what you have been taught- 2 Timothy 3:14, -in Brotherly love- Hebrews 13:1,

And we are to continue in the Grace of God. Don't ever, ever quit. Learn about grace, and continue all of your life to apply what you have learned.

V. Different Types Of Grace

    A. Saving Grace

We have already defined Saving Grace by the acrostic: God's Riches at Christ's Expense. Now lets see the scriptural basis for this type of Grace. Here are 18 verses that teach us of saving grace:

-Acts 15:11- Grace saves. -Acts 20:24- We are to testify the gospel of the grace of God. -Romans 3:24- Grace justifies. -Romans 4:4 -Trying to work for ones salvation is the opposite of saving grace. -Romans 4:16 -Faith is the vehicle that brings grace to us. -Romans 5:15 -The grace of God, and the free gift that grace brings to us are by one man, Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:17 -Saving grace is given in abundance. There's more than enough. -Romans 5:21 -Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. -Romans 11:5 -Grace votes for us. -Romans 11:6 -Grace is the opposite of works. -Ephesians 1:7 -We have forgiveness of sins by the blood of Jesus Christ, and by the riches of His grace. -Ephesians 2:5 -Saving grace. -Ephesians 2:8 -Faith is the vehicle that brings grace to us. -Colossians 1:5-6 -Hearing the gospel taught us of the grace of God. -2 Timothy 1:9 -Grace is the opposite of works. -Titus 2:11 -Faith brings grace. Grace brings salvation. -Titus 3:7 -Grace justifies. -1 Peter 1:10 -This grace was enquired of diligently by the prophets of old.

    B. Living Grace

The experience of the believer with the grace of God does not end at salvation, it begins there. We cannot be saved without the grace of God, and we cannot live successfully or become what God wants us to be with out the grace of God. Living Grace is God's enablings for the believer to sustain him/her through whatever they must endure.

    Let's look at 28 characteristics of Living Grace, 2 Corinthians 1:12:

    • 1. Great Grace- Acts 4:33. This great grace was actually upon the apostles as they were giving witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They had great power and great grace.
    • 2. Visible Grace- Acts 11:23. When the church at Jerusalem had heard of the Revival that was taking place in Antioch (Acts 11:19-21), they sent Barnabas to see what was happening. When he got to Antioch, it says that he saw the grace of God. The Grace of God was seen. It was obvious. It was visible.
    • 3. Working Grace- Acts 14:26, 15:40-41, 1 Corinthians 15:10. When the grace of God is upon His servants, they will work. They will labor. The Grace of God was with Paul and caused him to labor more abundantly than all. The Grace of God will purge us of laziness.
    • 4. Obedient Grace- Romans 1:5, Grace received will cause us to be obedient to the faith. The faith is referring to the whole Christian religion and all of its aspects brought out to use in scripture.
    • 5. Standing Grace- Romans 5:2, 1 Peter 5:12. The Grace of God enables us to stand, and is what we stand in.
    • 6. Abounding Grace- Romans 5:17-20; 2 Corinthians 4:15; 8:7; 9:8; 1 Timothy 1:14. If we find the grace of God, we will find that it is more than abundant.
    • 7. Spiritual-gift-giving-Grace- Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:7. The gifts that we have been given to be used inside of the local church and in the body of Christ, have been bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. We should not become proud of these, but rather give all glory to God.
    • 8. Subjective Grace- 1 Corinthians 10:27-33. This illustration tells us that if we live by Grace, we will be subject to the conscience of others. By Grace, we can eat anything that we give thanks for, but we will not if it offends someone. The writer in this text, Paul, did not want to offend anyone by his example-v32, everything he did was for the glory of God - v31 and so that some people will get saved- v33. The entire chapter of Romans 14 should be read also to show our subjection to others and their conscience.
    • 9. Making Grace- I Corinthians 15:10a "By the grace of God I am what I am..." It is God's resources at work in us that make us and mold us into what God wants us to be. God has a vision for you and your life. It is impossible in the efforts of our own flesh to become what that is. God goes to work on us with His resources (His Grace) to make us what we ought to be. Paul gave God's grace the glory for what he had become. This eliminates the temptation toward pride. Earlier in the book he dealt with that subject-ICor. 4:7
    • 10. Living Grace- 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Peter 3:7. That is what this whole section is about, how grace wants to help in all aspects of the life of the believer. 2 Corinthians 1:12 "...but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation (manner of life) in the world... ." We are to live by faith, but we are also to live by grace.
    • 11. Giving Grace- 2 Corinthians 8:1,6-7,9,19;9:8. Giving is actually referred to as grace in chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians Grace is actually used synonymously with giving. Our giving should be a grace. A means of bestowing divine favor on others or on the churches, enabling the work of Christ to go on. Grace is enablings. Money is sometimes as enabling for the work of God.
    • 12. Exceeding Grace- 2 Corinthians 9:14; Ephesians 2:7. By the word "exceeding" we mean that grace will always exceed what we need. We should find grace to help in time of need at the throne of Grace. When we really find it it will exceed our need and sustain us. Even our future in Heaven will be a time of continuing the revelation of His grace to us.
    • 13. Sufficient Grace- 2 Corinthians 12:9 This is similar to #12. God's grace is sufficient for us, even in physical suffering. Read the whole text of 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. Sufficient for every experience the believer goes through will be the grace of God.
    • 14. Calling Grace- Galatians 1:15-16. By the Grace of God, Paul was called to be a preacher to the heathen. In #7 we saw that the gifts of the Spirit come by the grace of God, how we see the calling of God is by His grace. A gift is a natural ability that is Divinely sanctioned for His work (Exodus 31:1-5) or a Divinely given ability developed in a person for the work of God (such as preaching). A calling is more in the sense that a persons gift becomes their whole life. A man, for instance, may be a preacher in the church (Jr. Church) but a carpenter all week long. He is exercising his gift. Someday the exercising of that gift may be a calling, and he will set aside his hammer for a full-time preaching capacity. This is a calling. This is by the grace of God. A man need not fear this for God's grace that calls will also sustain.
    • 15. Accepting Grace- Ephesians 1:6. The Glory of the Grace of God is praised in this verse, because the glory of His Grace has made us accepted in the beloved. Every human being loves to be accepted. The Grace of God accepts us all in the beloved. The word "Beloved" means "Ones that you love."
    • 16. Ministering Grace- Ephesians 3:7. The word "ministry" in this verse refers to a man becoming a Pastor, missionary, Evangelist, etc. It was the gift of the Grace of God that made Paul a minister. Compare this with #7 and #14. The Grace of God will enable us all to be ministers, ministering to the needs of others.
    • 17. Preaching Grace- Ephesians 3:8. Grace enables the preachers. Paul, a Jew, was enabled by the Grace of God to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. A man need not fear where God might call him to preach, His grace will enable that man for the task.
    • 18. Spoken Grace- Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:6. Our speech should minister grace unto the hearers. It should be seasoned with salt, but the main course should be grace. People should be strengthened by what we say. Our speech should be a resource of God to strengthen and enable those who are hearing us. No corrupt communication should proceed out of our mouth.
    • 19. Singing Grace- Colossians 3:16. Singing with Grace in your hearts to the Lord. Music is a powerful tool of God. God can use it mightily. Consider this promise: "And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." The Grace of God enables the believer to sing. With a song in their mouth they become a testimony to others of a new creature. Music even has soulwinning power.
    • 20. Glorifying Grace- 2 Thessalonians 1:12. According to the Grace of our God, we can bring glory to the Lord Jesus and can bring glory to His church. The Lord is worthy of all the glory, but He doesn't get much. The human race has failed to give Him His glory. Grace will cause us to glorify Him.
    • 21. Consoling Grace- 2 Thessalonians 2:16. God has given us everlasting Consolation through grace. Consolation means "comfort, encouragement". One of the resources that Grace brings is everlasting comfort and encouragement. God is wonderful to us. He always comforts. He always encourages.
    • 22. Hoping Grace- 2 Thessalonians 2:16. We have good hope through grace. Hope is anticipation, expectation.
    • 23. Strengthening Grace- 2 Timothy 2:1. The Grace that is in Christ Jesus can be a source of strength for the believer. The believer should be strong in the Grace of God. Again, Grace is enablings of God. Obviously the result will be strength. We can be strong Christians by the grace of God.
    • 24. Teaching Grace- Titus 2:11-13. Grace teaches us . As a teacher its lessons include:
    • A. Deny ungodliness. B. Deny worldly lusts. C. Live soberly. D. Live righteously. E. Live godly. F. Look for the return of Christ.
    • Grace does not teach us the liberty to sin, but the very opposite. We are not under the law, but under grace. But Grace teaches us to live at a high and holy standard.
    • 25. Enabling Grace- Hebrews 12:28, 1 Corinthians 15:10. The Grace of God will enable us to serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. I will enable us to work hard for the Lord. See #3 of this section.
    • 26. Establishing Grace-Hebrews 13:9. The heart can be established with grace. The Lord wants our hearts to be established. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says, "To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even at our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints". He does this by His grace. It's a good thing that the heart be established with grace.
    • 27. Future Grace- 1 Peter 1:13. More grace will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    • 28. Manifold Grace- 1 Peter 4:10. The word "manifold" means "various in Character". We have seen 28 characteristics of grace in this portion of the study. This verse tells us that we are to be good stewards of this manifold grace of God. It behooves us to study these 28 characteristics of this living grace and be a good steward of what God has given us and entrusted to us.

    C. Dying Grace.

Dying Grace is mentioned once in the Scriptures, Hebrews 2:9. This verse, speaking of Christ says "...that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Although there is no reference to each Christian having dying grace, the attribute of Grace itself is to give us the resources of God at each experience we go through.

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