Grace

Why are people so scared of grace? Grace is simply saying “I am fully dependent on God” and many don’t like that… They would like to have some “insurances” just in case, just some way to take back control of their lives.

But almost every epistle in the New Testament starts and ends with wishes of grace to BELIEVERS in Christ Jesus. Also, is it not a habit among us Christians to gather around the table during every meal and say “Grace”? God bless it! – for that’s how it is translated.

1. And yes, the FOOD we eat becomes a blessing to us!

Grace, Grace

For example the famous verses in Zech. 4: 6, 7 goes like this:

So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!””

That is GRACE appearing twice in the same verse. And NIV translates it as “God bless it! God bless it!”

2. And yes, shouts of grace will bring down the mountain!

Grace, Grace, Grace

Now look at one of Paul’s argument: But by the grace of God I am what I am, AND HIS GRACE TOWARD ME was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. – 1 Cor. 15:10

That is Grace, Grace and Grace appearing thrice in that one verse. And abundant labour (works, if you will) in the Lord!

3. And yes, GRACE propels us to do more for Jesus!

My question is, if given grace made Paul hyper-active (he worked more than all other apostles – 1 Cor. 15:10), should we or should we not call grace “hyper-grace”?

I had thought for quite sometime on this and that someday I’m going to write on “hyper-grace”. I believe that the word itself has been coined by a crack-pot to crack the whip on specifically those who preach grace. I later came to know that this was some brown man (or is it the quick brown fox?) with fire on his tail or some such school who had coined it; and was always ready to jump over the lazy dog of anonymity.

But before I could put pen to paper, the brown fox had actually jumped over and cozied up to the grace-preacher saying, he too is a brother of Christ from Singapore; and that there were more things he agreed with him than the few points he disagreed with. You can read about it here.

Aww! Welcome brother Brown! Grace be to you in the name of Jesus.

Thankfully, there are several others like me who know grace surpasses any comparative or superlatives one may use or even propose to use. Here is an example of answers given by Dr. Paul Ellis to Mr. Brown’s queries on the subject. Or see this link on “Why I am hyper-graceby Jeremy White.

The Apostles of Christ – Peter, John and Paul were effusive while describing grace. Look at some examples:

1. Manifold grace.

1 Peter 4:10 NKJV: As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the MANIFOLD GRACE of God.

2. Exceeding grace

2 Corinthians 9:14 NKJV: and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.

3. Exceeding riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:7 NKJV: that in the ages to come He might show the EXCEEDING RICHES of His GRACE in His kindness toward us in CHRIST JESUS.

4a. Abundance of grace: Rom. 5:17 NIV: For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man (Adam), how MUCH MORE will THOSE who RECEIVE God’s ABUNDANT provision of GRACE and of the GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS REIGN in LIFE through the one man, JESUS CHRIST!

4b. Exceedingly abundant grace: 1 Timothy 1:14 NKJV: And the GRACE of our Lord was EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANT, with faith and love which are in CHRIST JESUS.

5. More Grace and Much more grace

James 4:6 But He give MORE GRACE. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud. But gives grace to the humble.”

Romans 5:15 NKJV: But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, MUCH MORE the GRACE of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, JESUS CHRIST, abounded to many.

6. Fullness of grace John 1:16 NIV: Out of His (Jesus’) FULLNESS WE have ALL RECEIVED GRACE in place of GRACE already GIVEN.

If you will, you may please go through the CAPITALISED words above once more. It has been done on purpose!

And look at the most popular gospel song EVER which was written by John Newton and it starts with…Amazing grace

The Welsh revival song of 1905 had these words: Grace and love like mighty rivers… Poured incessant from above. And heaven’s peace and perfect justice – kissed a guilty world in love.

Another popular hymn which goes: “Grace, Grace- God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all my sin! … Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace – Freely bestowed on all who believe… Will you this moment His grace receive?”

Grace defies reason and logic, as Bono (U2) puts it. Love interrupts the consequences of karma (do good get good, do bad get bad philosophy). One Man – Jesus has turned karma upside down.

No longer under fear, we who believe in Jesus, entirely rely on grace – God’s unmerited favour.

In the song of love by Korah in Psalm 45:2, He says of Jesus “You are fairer than the sons of men. Grace is poured out on your lips: therefore God has blessed You forever

How can we demean grace! How can we make it any lesser than what it is? How can we neglect the grace part-which is the greatest part in our salvation? How can a church be, where “grace” has become a word frowned-upon?

I remember the time when I was in Moscow, and we were taken to this shopping place Äashaan. It was called as “gyper-market” in Russian – literally Hyper-market. It was way bigger than the Walmart super-store I saw in Pittsburg, US. Now, if man could devise something “hyper”, why can’t God? Think about it! 🙂

Finally, grace is NOT something that can be explained: it HAS TO be experienced. And may the hyper-grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Hebrews 10:29 NKJV: Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

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