Three Kinds of Grace – Ministry Grace

by Guy Duininck

The New Testament Grace the church is least familiar with is Ministry Grace. This Grace is “manifold.” Ministry Graces are the unique endowments of ministry ability God stewards to individual believers which enable them to serve effectively in the unique ministries they are called to and placed in the body of Christ to do. When believers discover, cultivate, and use the unique Ministry Graces stewarded to them, they can render effectual ministry as unique members of the body of Christ.

Paul often testified about his unique endowment of Ministry Grace. He spoke of “the dispensation of the grace of God given to me” [Eph. 3:1]. He testified, “I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” [I Cor. 15:10]. Paul was very conscious of the grace — the unique divine ministry ability — entrusted to him which enabled him to be a unique minister and to do unique ministry work.

To the Corinthians, Paul said, “According to the grace of God given unto me, I am a wise master-builder” [I Cor. 3:10]. If we take the words “as a wise masterbuilder” out of I Corinthains 3:10, Paul’s words read this way,

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me…I have laid the foundation.”
I Corinthians 3:10

By using the words “according to” Paul assigned the credit for his work to the grace he had been given. The reason he could lay foundations was because God had given him foundation laying grace. The Amplified Bible renders Paul’s words this way,

“According to the grace — the special endowment for my task — of God bestowed on me, like a skilful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation…”I Corinthians 3:10 Amp

The men who prepared the Amplified Bible very accurately “amplified” this scripture and, in so doing, accurately depicted what Paul’s ministry grace was. It was the “special endowment” for his “task.”

Ministry Grace can be found all throughout the New Testament. The apostle Peter exhorted believers to minister to each other with the gifts they had received as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God”[I Pet. 4:10]. Paul informed the believers in Ephesus that every man had received a grace for service [Eph. 4:7-8].

Paul taught the believers in Rome that they had “gifts that differ according to the grace given” to them [Rom. 12:6]. The word “gifts” he used is from the Greek charisma. They word “grace” is from the Greek charis. The word charisma literally means, “a manifested charis.” In his Greek dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine defines charisma as, “a gift of grace,” or, “a gift involving grace on the part of God as the Donor.” Another Greek dictionary defines charisma as, “gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on their souls by the Holy Spirit.” These definitions are accurate and enlightening concerning Ministry Grace.

In the New Testament, God entrusts different varieties and various measures of Ministry Grace to different believers enabling them to accomplish His manifold works. His mighty grace-givings enable some believers to be pastors, some apostles, some healers, some evangelists, some teachers, some prophets, some exhorters, some helpers, some showers of mercy, some workers of miracles, some to do practical service, some to prophesy, some to administrate, some to rule, and some to give. The New Testament grace-givings of God can be so substantial that once unregenerate men and women, and sometimes the meanest, weakest, and least skilled of all, become effective servants of Christ.

The unique endowments of Ministry Grace God stewards to believers are based upon His calling and His purposeful placing of each believer in the body of Christ. Just as believers do not choose their callings or their places in the body, they also do not choose the varieties or measures of the Ministry Graces stewarded to them. Believers are responsible, however, to discover their callings, find their places in the body, locate their unique grace endowments, and become effective in their ministries.

Three Kinds of Grace – Strengthening Grace

by Rev. Guy Duininck

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A New Testament grace the church is somewhat familiar with, but certainly not fully cognizant of, is Strengthening Grace. This grace is the power of God and of the Lord Jesus available to All Believers by which they can be fortified in their inner man, helped in times of need, and basically, inwardly enabled by God’s might to “do all things.” Strengthening Grace is part and parcel of the New Testament and is one aspect of the “exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” that Paul prayed believers would be enlightened concerning and know [Ephesians 1:16-20].

The apostle Paul received a life changing revelation of this Strengthening Grace from Jesus Himself. In the midst of great hardship, Jesus revealed to him this mighty available power that was sufficient for every temptation, circumstance, demonic buffeting, and heavenly assignment. “My grace is sufficient,” Jesus told Paul, “for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus referred to His grace as sufficient strength in times of weakness. Paul referred to this grace as “the power of Christ resting upon [him]” [II Cor. 12:9].

Paul’s revelation of Strengthening Grace produced such a revolution in his life that he began to rejoice in his tests and trials. He said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” [II Cor. 12:10]. Writing to the Philippians, he declared, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” [Phil. 4:13]. In another place, he testified that in the midst of great trouble, crushing pressure, and beyond-strength difficulties, he lived by grace [II Cor. 1:8-12]. Paul informed Timothy that at his first trial, the Lord stood with him and strengthened him [II Tim. 4:17].

Strengthening Grace is not God’s power that changes circumstances. It is not God’s power that heals bodies. It is not God’s power that fixes relationships. It is not God’s power that calms the storm. It is not God’s power that protects from external danger. Yes, all these things are manifestations of God’s power, but they are not described by the word Grace.

Strengthening Grace is the power of God which He delivers to believers’ Inner Man which makes them, as Paul said, “Ready for anything and Equal to anything that comes through Him who infuses me with inner strength [Phil 4:13 Amp]. It is the INfusion of God’s might which makes believers mighty and, therefore, able to do mighty things. A Divine Saline Solution from a Divine Source, Strengthening Grace become the internal strength of believers; an Enabling Ability; a continuous surge of Heavenly Adrenaline which makes believers ABLE to overcome, to resist, to continue, to self-govern, to run, to walk, to work, and to NEVER fall! “Now unto Him who is able to keep us from falling” [Jude 24].

Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would know “the excceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” [Eph. 1:19]. He prayed specifically that they would “be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” [Eph 3:16]. He prayed for the Colossians to be “filled with the knowledge of His will” so they would be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” [Col 1:11].

Paul exhorted Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” [II Tim 2:1]. He exhorted the Ephesian believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” [Eph 6:10]. Cleary, it is NOT God’s will for believers to be weak, but to be strong. One of the most significant ways God assists believers in being strong in the inner man is by making available to them His Strengthening Grace.

By Strengthening Grace, believers are in-fused with God’s might so that they can prevail in tests, trials, and temptations [Js. 4:4-7]. They are enabled to be longsuffering with difficult people [Col. 1:11] and empowered to deal with demonic afflictions [I Pet. 5:6-10]. They are fortified internally and made strong in the Lord and in the power of His might [Eph. 6:10; II Tim. 2:1]. They are strengthened with might by God’s Spirit in their inner man [Eph 3:16; II Cor 4:16]. Grace is supernatural internal help in a time of need [Heb. 4:16]. Hearts can be established by this grace [Heb. 13:9] and by this grace, believers stand [Rom. 5:2].

Both Peter and James, writing to believers, revealed that “God gives grace to the humble” [I Pet 5:5; James 4:6]. Strengthening Grace is not Automatic; it is Available. It is like a stored commodity; stored in God and in Christ, but available as Jesus said to Paul, “My grace is…for you.” In order for believers to receive Available, Strengthening Grace, they need to “submit yourselves, therefore, unto God.”

To receive Strengthening Grace, believers must wait upon the Lord, come boldly to the throne of grace, humble themselves under God’s mighty hand, submit themselves to God, and partake at the altar of grace [Is. 40:29-31; Heb. 4:16; I Pet. 5:6; Js. 4:6-7; Heb. 13:9-10].

Three Kinds of Grace – Saving Grace

by Rev. Guy Duininck

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Most believers are familiar with Saving Grace. One of the most familiar scriptures about this Grace comes from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. He wrote,

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” [Ephesians 2:8].

In the most doctrinal epistle of the New Testament, Paul wrote this about Saving Grace,

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the Grace of God, and the gift by Grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” [Romans 5:15].

Another very clear, but less familiar scripture, is found in Paul’s letter to Titus. He wrote,

“For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” [Titus 2:11].

Saving Grace is the life transforming power of God which, because of His mercy and “the great love wherewith He loved us,” He made available to all sinners through faith in Jesus Christ

Although Saving Grace is available because of the mercy of God, Saving Grace is not synonymous with mercy and is far more than unmerited favor. If God only felt gracious toward sinners, nothing life-changing would happen to them. If God only bestowed unmerited favor, sinners would only experience temporary, natural blessings, like His covenant people in the Old Covenant. But because of the great love wherewith God loved the human race, He made a plan and sent a Man so that sinners could be “Saved by Grace through faith.”

When sinners hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and respond in faith, calling upon the name of the Lord, the quickening power of God is released in them and they are Saved by Grace through faith. The result of this life impacting Grace released to sinners is that their their spiritual condition is instantly and radically affected. The moment they believe, they are delivered from Satan, from sin, and from death. They are circumcised in heart and made new creatures in Christ. They become children of God and inheritors of an eternal inheritance.

In that moment of faith when the Grace of God is released to them, sinners are cleansed from sin and unrighteousness. They are justified from all their unrighteousness and exonerated from the “handwriting of ordinances” that was against them. Their heart of stone is extricated and replaced with a heart of flesh. They are washed, cleansed, delivered, sanctified, justified, raised, born-again, adopted, and translated from darkness into God’s marvelous light because of the Grace of God.

All the wonderful realities of salvation, including the forgiveness of sins, the crucifixion of the old man, the imparting of righteousness, the new birth, the giving of the Spirit, the promise of eternal life, and many other wonderful things are summed up in the familiar words, “For by grace are ye saved through faith” [Eph. 2:8]. Saving Grace, made available to all sinners because of the great love of God and the completed work of Christ, is Completely Efficacious to Transform Sinners into Saints, Lost into Found, Enemies into Family, and Dead Men into Living Sons.

All throughout the New Testament the Saving Grace of God is contrasted with the useless works of men in trying to be justified with God by keeping the Law. Paul wrote,

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man” [Romans 8:3].

In his attempt to keep the Galatian believers from going backwards spiritually and relying again on their own deeds in keeping the law to make them or keep them right with God, Paul wrote,

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” [Galatians 3:11].

Paul wrote these strong words in the same epistle,

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” [Galatians 5:4].

Saving Grace is, very simply put, the Grace by which sinners are saved. Once a sinner is saved by the impacting and life-transforming power of God, they are Saved by Grace. Once a sinner has become a saint by Saving Grace, the work of Saving Grace in their life is a Finished Work. By Saving Grace they are Saved and in that Grace, they can Stand [Romans 5:1-2].