Posts Tagged ‘God’s grace’

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”

By grace: A quintet of songs

October 30, 2013

Ephesians 2 8-9

 

Take a look at the Verse(s) of the Day for October 30, 2013 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, a number of songs come to mind, hymns from the past and contemporary music as well. Here are five songs, a quintet with the number five being symbolic of grace,  related to the subject of grace:

The first song I thought of was the traditional hymn “Grace Greater than All our Sin.”

A contemporary song of grace is “Your Grace Finds Me” by Matt Redman.

A song with a simple title is “Grace,” written and performed by Michael W. Smith

One of my favorite contemporary compositions is “By Grace Alone” with lyrics and music by Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson, offered by Maranatha! Music

Another composition related to grace has been recorded countless times and is recognized around the world. Without a doubt “Amazing Grace” is the most popular hymn in the English language. Wintley Phipps gives the history of the hymn and closes with an unforgettable rendition of “Amazing Grace”:

God’s grace is truly amazing; I shudder to think where we would be without this precious gift received by faith.