GRACE IS NOT UNMERITED FAVOR
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
NOVEMBER 12, 2004
Perhaps the title of this issue of Fresh Manna may shock some. The truth has a way of doing that. Many, or most, of us have been conditioned by religion to believe that GRACE is unmerited favor. The thought that it could be more than that, may be difficult to grasp.
The weak Evangelical meaning of grace has kept the saint’s sin-conscious and sinning. Since we are such undeserving worms, the thinking is, we are too weak to be anything but “Sinners saved by grace.” RUBBISH!! The same goes for the blasphemous statement that accompanies the preaching of this “unmerited so called grace” message. “I am a sinner and I will always be a sinner.” RUBBISH! What kind of a so–called salvation is that? Do we not believe what John wrote in First John 4:4? “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is HE WHO IS IN YOU than he who is in the world.” Who is in you? I hope you know that it is, “CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORIFICATION.” Williams N.T.
Titus wrote, “For the GRACE of God has APPEARED [epiphany] bringing salvation to all men.” [2:11] Can we accept the grace is more than a concept here? GRACE IS A PERSON! Who appeared? Jesus the Christ! What did He do? He brought salvation to ALL mankind! True grace has the shout of restoration. “BE RECONCILED TO GOD.” Our Father says, “Come home.”
Certainly the word grace has the meaning of “favor” some times, but not always. The true GRACE of GOD has NOTHING to do with MERIT. Every man, woman and child who has ever lived, or will ever live, MERITS the GRACE of GOD!! Yes! The worst of sinners you can name MERITS the GRACE of God. Lest we forget, the apostle Paul considered himself to be the worst.
Note in 2 Timothy 1:9, that GRACE was IN a Person, the person of Jesus Christ. “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us IN CHRIST JESUS from all eternity.“
And again, grace was given because it was IN the Person. 1 Corinthians 1:4 “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you IN Christ Jesus,” God’s answer to ALL of our needs, is not more religion, not more good things like Bible reading or prayer, but, CHRIST!
Some years ago I heard a brother minister some excellent things about grace. He taught that GRACE was really DIVINE ENABLEMENT. Consider the following verses two ways. First insert the evangelical term of “unmerited favor” in place of the word grace. Then insert the words, “Divine enablement” in place of the word grace.
1 Cor 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”
Which makes sense? “Unmerited favor,” or “Divine enablement?” Clearly Paul could do what he did because of the indwelling Christ! Christ is our enablement, our very life.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul wrote, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” The POWER of the indwelling Christ was and is the GRACE of God!
Remember Matthew 1:23 where the son to be born was to be called “EMMANUEL,” which means, GOD WITH US.” Yes, God in Jesus the Christ, who dwelling is us is our positive expectation [hope] of glorification, the coming into the fullness of sonship.
If you cannot see yourself as our Father sees you, IN CHRIST before the foundation of the world, even as the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, then you will wander helplessly in religious frustration and confusion, and always wonder if you are good enough. You may well live in fear that God is out to get you, and to punish you because you are so unworthy. We urge you as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, “we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” God’s GRACE, His full provision for all of our needs is found IN CHRIST.
Receive the GRACE OF GOD, Christ our life!
Please pass, any of my writings to others, if they have been a help and blessing to you. Please send as “blind copies” (bcc) when sending to a list of people.
FRESH MANNA – GRACE IN NOT UNMERITED FAVOR [Kenneth Greatorex] 1