“Grace” is one of those biblical words that have been so overused that for many, it has lost its true original meaning. Every denomination has its own spin, but what does it really mean?
To find out we go to the apostle Paul’s writings. We find him enduring a severe trial which has caused him great suffering. False prophets at the church in Corinth are slandering him. They have said that he is a false teacher, that he is taking for himself the offerings that have been collected for the poor believers in Jerusalem. They are challenging his apostolic authority.
And so he feels that one more letter is necessary to help those there. This second letter to them will be a vindication of his apostleship, for he knows that if they do not believe him about the Savior, then they will be the losers.
But Paul will not be caught in the trap of appearing to be bragging in a carnal manner. He will tell them about the visions and revelations that he has had of Christ without boasting according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 12: 2-5).
The Messenger of Satan
Paul also relates to them that he realizes that God sent to him a messenger of Satan to torment or buffet him “lest he become exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations” that God had given him. God first blesses him with wonderful visions of Him and then out of love uses Satan to keep Paul humble (v. 7).
Paul says that he asked God three times to take the evil agent out of his life, but was only told by Him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (v. 9). The spiritual strength that I want to demonstrate through you cannot be perfected unless you are weak, according to your flesh, God was telling him. So Paul was content with having physical hardships and weaknesses. For he knew that then God’s power would rest on him. “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (v. 10).
So What Is “Grace”?
But Jesus (Yahshua) had said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” What is this “grace” that is our sufficiency? “Grace” is translated from the Greek word charis, #5485 in Strong’s. Definition: “Of manner or act, especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life, including gratitude: Ie—acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, grace(-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank.
In 2 Cor 1: 15 charis is translated “benefit”—“I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit.”
Charis is also translated “favor” six times. To Mary the angel said, “…Thou are highly favored,” or graciously accepted, or much graced. “Thou has found favor with God” (Luke 1:28, 30). Luke later says that the Christ “increased in …favor with God and man,” still using word “charis.”
The word for “gift” or “gifts” is directly from this same word and is used more than twenty times. It is #5486, charisma. It is used to speak of God’s gifts unto men and the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12: 1-31.
So we see that God’s grace to us is his favor to us, his goodness to us in giving us the truth. He favors (graces) us with the truth, teaching us that “denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”
It is through this grace that God chooses out His future sons and daughters, who are called “the elect.” He fills them with His Spirit, and they become His witnesses in the earth for these latter days. Theirs is a destiny preordained “before the foundation of the world.” They will walk His walk in the earth and, thus, help bring in God’s new government. They will do this by faith—believing this eternal purpose, having not first seen it with their natural eyes.
Kenneth Wayne Hancock
(This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of my book, The Unveiling of the Sons of God found here: http://www.yahwehisthesavior.com/sonsch5.htm If this has been helpful, share it with others or make a comment. Bookmark this site, and please visit again)