What does the grace of God move you to do?
By Don Ruhl
Where would we be without the grace of God? Ephesians 2.12 shows that we would be without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Titus 2.11–14 shows the doors that grace opens for us. Without the grace of God, we are without salvation, we are without teaching, and we are without a future.
The Grace of God Is:
- God showing unmerited favor (Rom 4.1–5, 16)
- God granting extra favor (Ezra 9.8)
- God coordinating movement (Rom 11.33–36)
- God displaying charm (Pro 1.9)
- God showing favor because one is an exception (Gen 6.8)
- God showing more favor shown because of exceptional behavior (Noah)
- God demonstrating kindness
John 1 shows that all manifestations of grace are found in Jesus Christ. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1.14–17).
Leaving the glories of heaven for the humilities of earth showed grace, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2Co 8.9).
Ironically, while the grace of God through Jesus meant something good for us, it meant suffering for Him, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Heb 2.9).
When humanity epitomized hatred and unloveableness, God showed kindness.
The Manifold Grace of God
Peter said, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1Pe 4.10). And again, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1Pe 5.10).
How is His grace manifold or how is He is the God of all grace? After saving us initially from our sin, His grace does these things:
- Gives gifts – Rom 12.6ff
- Goes with us – (Greeting of most epistles)
- Moves us to give – 2Co 8.1, 2
- Helps us materially – 2Co 9.8
- Life itself
- Makes us sufficient – 2Co 12.9
- Helps our spirit – Gal 6.18
- Makes us strong – 2Ti 2.1
- Is timely – Heb 4.16; Jam 4.6
- Makes us stable – Heb 13.9
- Has an ultimate expression – 1Pe 1.13
- Allows us to grow – 2Pe 3.18
God’s Grace Moves Us to Obey Him
Grace tells us that what we do matters. If we fail to follow Jesus, we fall from grace, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal 5.4).
Therefore, Acts 13 shows that Paul and Barnabas urged the brethren to do something. What was it? “Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God” (Acts 13.43).
Ephesians 2 teaches that we are saved by grace but not by grace alone, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2.8).
Grace moves us to have faith, which is obedience. Second Corinthians 6 implies that we can receive the grace of God in vain, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2Co 6.1).
We receive it in vain by doing nothing with it. Yet, grace is greater than law, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6.14).
Grace does not exclude being “under law to Christ” (1Co 9.21). Grace takes care of our sin, and grace protects us from condemnation. God saves us by His grace when we obey Him.
For example, was marching around Jericho sufficient to bring down the walls? Yet, God did not bring down the walls until Israel marched.
Law is the instrument through which grace operates. Therefore, Paul says we are under grace and not law. Law is not the basis, grace is. We trust grace, or rather God who shows grace, not law; we trust God’s grace that it has given the right law.
Some pervert grace, teaching that obedience is not necessary, but, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name” (Rom 1.5).
Some use His grace to excuse sin, which is the point of the Letter of Jude.
God Says Here Is the Gift of Salvation.
“Come to me,” He says, “and you can have it.”
What does He expect us to do with His grace?
Bask in it.
Use it right now, if you are in danger of losing your soul.