Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 2:8-9’

More grace

October 30, 2017

The Verse of the Day for November 30, 2017 focuses on the mind-b0ggling concept of God’s grace, His priceless gift revealed in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJ):

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Here is the passage as rendered in the Amplified Bible:

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

The Amplified Bible offers perhaps the most common definition of grace as “unmerited favor.” To receive grace is to receive a gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”

This passage speaks of what Hodge calls “the gratuitous nature of salvation” which involves the opposing ideas of grace and works, of gift and debt; of undeserved favor and what is merited. One excludes the other. “If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work,” so says Romans 11:6.

Another related verse also comes to mind:

Corinthians 1: 4-5 (KJV):

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

In reflecting upon God’s grace, we note that even though God’s grace is described as “sufficient,” God gives even more grace to those who are humble, according to James 4:6 (Amplified Bible):

But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].”

The expression “more and more grace” is also used once in the epistles to Peter:

1 Peter 1:2 (New Living Translation)

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

2 Peter 1:2 (New Living Translation)

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Not only is grace a difficult concept to grasp, but “more grace” is an even more mentally overwhelming idea to consider. The expression is the inspiration for this response:

More Grace

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.
To abide in your presence we must seek your face,
For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

Our defenses suddenly weaken and crumble
When we seek to dwell with you in the secret place.
Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

As vessels now grounded, we no longer tumble
But are strengthened from within to quicken the pace.
For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

In the fullness of your presence we still tremble,
As we strive to please you and know your warm embrace.
Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

May we not be wise in my own eyes but simple
To savor fullness of favor—grace upon grace.
For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

We must glorify God in our earthly temple.
Like Paul, we fight the good fight and finish the race.
Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble,
For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

Don Moen offers a moving rendition of the classic hymn “He Giveth More Grace”:

We continue to marvel at God’s amazing grace; I shudder to think where we would be without this precious gift received by faith.

Favor of God

October 11, 2016

favor-of-god

Recently I have been receiving a number of quotes along with scriptural references on a variety of topics. In an effort to introduce more variety into Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe beyond the typical Verse of the Day, I occasionally touch upon the Word of the Day. Today, I would like to add another category, the Quote of the Day. We begin with our first Quote of the Day for October 11, 2016:

 

“God doesn’t believe in favoritism, yet He shows favor.”

 

Accompanying the quote is a reference to Psalm 5:12 (NLT):

For You, O Lord, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You]; You surround him with favor as with a shield.

 

Although the Scriptures reveal that God is no respecter of persons, we find that God states, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”(Exodus 33:19)

 

Indeed, we note that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, his undeserved favor toward His people. In thinking about God’s grace and favor Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) come to mind:

 

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

 

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

 

To receive grace is to receive a gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”

Favor is God’s graciousness extended to us; grace is His undeserved favor that abounds toward those who accept His graciousness: “Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.”

The lyrics to the following song describe God’s super-abounding favor:

 

Favor upon Favor

 

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

 

Where we work there is favor

Where we live there is favor

Where we meet there is favor

Up and down each street there is favor

Where we pray there is favor

Where we play there is favor

Every day there is favor

In every way there is favor

Where we learn there is favor

Everywhere we turn, there is favor

Here and there and everywhere

There is the overflowing favor

Never-ceasing, ever-increasing favor.

 

There is favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor.

Let us savor each golden moment of the favor of God.

 

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

 

Martha Munizzi proclaims the “Favor of God.”

 

 

Grace of God

November 21, 2015

1-Corinthians-1-4-8-kjv

The Verse of the Day for November 21, 2015 draws our attention to the priceless gift revealed in I Corinthians 1: 4-5 (KJV):

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Another related verse also comes to mind: Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

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.

Here is the passage as rendered in the Amplified Bible:

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

The Amplified Bible offers perhaps the most common definition of grace as “unmerited favor.” To receive grace is to receive a gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”

In reflecting upon God’s grace, we note that even though God’s grace is described as “sufficient,” God gives even more grace to those who are humble, according to James 4:6 which serves as an introduction to the following poem:

More Grace           

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

To abide in your presence we must seek your face,

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

Our defenses suddenly weaken and crumble

When we seek to dwell with you in the secret place.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

 

As vessels now grounded, we no longer tumble

But are strengthened from within to quicken the pace.

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

In the fullness of your presence we still tremble,

As we strive to please you and know your warm embrace.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble.

 

May we not be wise in my own eyes but simple

To savor fullness of favor—grace upon grace.

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

 

We must glorify God in our earthly temple.

Like Paul, we fight the good fight and finish the race.

Shine your light on our path that we may not stumble,

For you declare you give more grace to the humble.

Don Moen offers a moving rendition of the classic hymn “He Giveth More Grace”:

We continue to marvel at God’s amazing grace; I shudder to think where we would be without this precious gift received by faith.

 

By grace alone

October 30, 2015

Ephesians 2 8-9Not only is October 30, the eve before “All Hollow’s Eve,” better known as “Halloween,” but today is also the day before Reformation Day. In actuality, on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

The following comments are taken from an Examiner.com article discussing the Reformation Day and its significance in more detail:

The Verse of the Day for October 30, 2015 comes from Ephesians 2:8-9 rendered in the Amplified Bible:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].

This passage relates to one of the five phrases that summarized the movement. Using the word Sola the Latin word for “alone,” these basic theological beliefs stood boldly in opposition to the prevailing teaching of the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

  • Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”) teaches that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all and that the Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself.
  • Sola fide (“by faith alone”) teaches that justification, the act of “being declared right by God”, and assumed to mean exactly “salvation”), is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though in classical Protestant theology, saving faith is always evidenced by good works.
  • Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) teaches that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”) teaches that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other.
  • Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”) Teaches that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

With Scripture alone as the sure foundation, Luther and the Reformers associated with the movement, affirmed that justification is by grace alone, received through faith alone because of Christ alone — for the glory of God alone. Today Christians around the world give thanks to God for Martin Luther’s bold proclamation which occurred 498 years ago, as God’s design for Church continues to unfold.

The Verse of the Day relates to one of these distinctive phrases connected to the grace of God. Apropos of that grace connection, the Maranatha Praise Band offer “By Grace Alone”