Manifold Grace

God’s grace touches every area of our lives, and we need to appropriate it to ourselves in every measure, applying it to our lives, in order to please God. Paul, cognizant of God’s grace in his life, wrote forcefully on this beautiful truth. He spoke of (1) the riches of His grace (2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 1:7), (2) the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24), and (3) the dispensation of the grace of God (Romans 6:14-15; Ephesians 3:2).

“And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Jesus Christ has given us grace so that we may obtain more grace. What more could we ask of God? He gives us grace to receive more of the same in order that we might be saved initially and eternally. And we are stewards of this grace! What an awesome responsibility, but what an honor!

  1. Saving Grace – God has granted us favor and mercy so that we can be born of the water and Spirit, granting us entrance into the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-8). this is accomplished in our lives when we believe and obey. (Acts 2:38).
    • Only through the grace of God can we be saved from our sins. Foremost in our lives is the need of salvation from sin. God has provided grace for this and other needs, for which we should be eternally grateful.
    • “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
    • “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” (Titus 2:11-12).
    • After we are saved by the grace of God, we need to keep several factors in mind:
      1. It is possible to fail of the grace of God (Hebrews 12:3, 12-16).
      2. We are to grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18).
      3. We are to be strong in grace (2 Timothy 2:1).
      4. We are to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43).
      5. We can receive grace through humility (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
      6. Whatever we become or achieve in God, it will be by His grace (1 Corinthians 15:10).
      7. Our speech is to be with grace, seasoned (spiced or prepared) with salt (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:5-6).
  2. Teaching Grace – Grace in all these instances is the same; it is only applied and used in different or manifold senses. The same grace that brought us salvation will teach us the following things (Titus 2:11-15; Hebrews 12:28; 13:9):
    1. We are to deny ungodliness.
    2. We are to deny worldly lusts.
    3. We are to live sober.
    4. We are to live righteously.
    5. We are to live godly.

By God’s grace we are to accomplish, these things in this present world, not at some future date. While achieving these things, we are to look for the coming of the Lord (Titus 2:13).

  1. Abounding Grace – God gave the law that the offense of sin might abound – that we understand and recognize the sinfulness of sin. Even with the revelation of the grossness and abundance of sin, God’s grace abounded above all sin. Sin in its greatest form and excessiveness can never abound above the grace of God in the life of a saint, as long as he or she lives in accordance with God’s Word. (See Romans 5:19-21; 2 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Timothy 1:12-15.)
  2. Hope through Grace – Hope is a great study within itself, so let us delve into the depths of it, realizing that our hope comes through and by the grace of God. Without God’s grace we would have no hope for this life or the life to come. The believer originally acquires hope through the grace of God (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Through hope, we then receive things and are motivated to do things that we could not accomplish through any other means (Romans 5:1-5; 8:24-25; 1 John 3:1-3).
  3. Justification by Grace – When God justifies us, He counts us as just or innocent in His sight. Only through His unmerited favor could we obtain such a glorious state.
    1. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:23-25).
    2. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7_
    3. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
    4. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).
  4. Sufficient Grace – The abundance of revelations put the apostle Paul in a precarious position spiritually. To keep him humble and away from personal exaltation, which would have been destructive, God allowed him to have a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). After he asked God three times to remove this thorn, it was not removed, but God provided grace sufficient for him to live with it.
    • Immediate deliverance does not always come to saints in distress, problems, and afflictions, but God always makes available a sufficient portion of His grace to carry us through them.
  5. Grace to Help – There is a “throne of grace” that we may approach boldly at any time. There we obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Often in our Christian experience, we will find ourselves going to this throne. Life is filled with many problems, failures, and needs that drive us to a source of help. Times of need are many, but through God there is grace for these times (1 Corinthians 15:10; James 4:4-6).

Studying one part, color, hue, work, or strain of the grace of God does not present this glorious truth in its entirety. God’s grace is manifold; many parts compose the sum of this great attribute of God that is available to humans. All seven aspects of the grace of God that we have discussed, along with many others, are available to us on a daily basis.

May we ever sing with grateful hearts, through tear-stained eyes, the beautiful, scriptural hymn:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see