The Word of God tells us through Paul’s prayer for the Corinthians in 2 Cor. 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” (NKJV). It is very vital for us to understand and walk in the realm of grace because in these last days, it takes the grace of God to be sustained and preserved till the coming of Christ. It’s all by grace! Out of the many definitions of the word ‘grace’, I think 3 stand out in actually describing grace by its function. Here they are:
1. Grace is unmerited favour.
2. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
3. Grace is the outward working of an inward influence or ability.
By these three definitions, you’d see that the Bible from the Book of Genesis to Revelation is the story of Grace at work on earth. Whatever you want to talk about fits into any of these three definitions of God’s Grace. Grace is the only way out of a life of struggles. Grace is better than struggles. When you live in the realm of grace you have entered into your rest – you’ve ceased from your labours! (Hebrews 4:10). The Christian life is a life of grace – total dependence on God’s ability. Prov. 3:5-7 say “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.” (NKJV). If you’ve been struggling to serve God or make things work, it’s time to rest. It’s time to let go and let God. In Zech.4:6-7, we read “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!"'" ” (NKJV). 2 Cor.12:9 says “And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (NKJV).
The fact that grace has been abused by so many and misunderstood to mean licentiousness, doesn’t wave off its importance and essential relevance to us today “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.” (Eph.2:8, NKJV). Rom.11:6 says “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace…” No one needs a licence to sin – people have always been sinning without a licence. In fact, there is no licence for sin – you won’t ever get one – what is wrong is eternally wrong and what is right is eternally right. One who has truly experienced grace will never want to live another day in sin. Grace is beauty. Grace is value. Grace is clean. Grace is the only remedy to the sin problem (Romans 5:20b). It’s quite amazing sometimes how we try in our own efforts to sustain something (eternal life) that was given to us as a free gift. We must live in and by grace.
The grace of God has many dimensions. Sometimes we tend to want to put all the dimensions in one bag and then wonder why things seem not to be working for us. 2 Cor.9:8 talks about ALL GRACE. It says: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (NKJV). This helps us know that there are many graces in God. There are different kinds of graces e.g. the grace for salvation “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11, NKJV) and Eph.2:8; the grace for Prosperity “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.” (2 Cor 8:9, NKJV) etc.
We must receive grace to experience grace. That’s right. All the dimensions of grace have already been given to us by the Lord but they must be consciously received if we must function in them in our day to day living. There is never a place in Scriptures where we are told to ask God to give us grace. No! We are only to receive grace because ALL grace has been given already through the finished work of Christ! “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 1:16,17; NKJV). Romans 5:17 says “For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who RECEIVE abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)” (NJKV). Little wonder some Christians’ lives are graceful while others seem to be graceless! Grace must be received for it to be experienced. For instance if you are born again, you have simply received the grace of God that brings salvation (Titus 2:11). Even though Jesus died for all, all are not yet saved! The difference between the saved and the unsaved is the receiving of or not receiving of the grace of God that brings salvation. Same goes for the grace for prosperity, healing, service etc. So it is no more the issue of “Lord, give me grace” but that of “I receive grace for… in Jesus’ Name!”