Fifty Shades of Grace – Grace Defined

Fifty Shades of Grace 200x259Grace Defined

Cháris ~ Strongs (g5485)
• That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, good will, loving- kindness.

• An absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men.

• Favor of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His Holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of Christian virtues.

• Unearned and unmerited favor.

• The power and equipment for ministry.

• Benefit, bounty, reward.

• A mode of greeting or Salutation among Greeks.

(Definition taken from portions of W.E. Vines and Strong’s Dictionary and The Complete Word Study)

First Grace

We see early in Scripture that God is a gracious God. The first mention of grace is found in reference to Noah. In the days that Noah lived, wickedness and blatant sin was rampant. Because of this God was sorry He made man and set out to destroy all of His creation (Genesis 6:5-7). But then, we are introduced to God’s grace. His grace was upon Noah, a just and perfect man that walked with God (Genesis 6:8-9). A preacher of righteousness, Noah feared God and kept himself separate from the world’s persuasion. As a result he found favor in God’s sight. The Hebrew word for grace in this passage can simply be translated as “to favor someone” or “to look at them favorably”. God looked at Noah favorably as a result of Noah’s faith and walk with God.

Psalm 111:4 gives us another reminder of God’s grace and compassion,
“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion”. This word gracious  gives us a good description of God’s character toward those who are repentant (cf. Exodus 34:6-8, Joel 2:13).

 

Eternally Dedicated God Equipped to Go.

Fifty Shades of Grace

So that I may understand grace, I decided to look up every passage of scripture with the word grace in it. I noticed that if I took out some repeating verses about grace and peace, and the word grace used in a general salutation, I found it left me with about 50 verses in the New Testament. It is then that I thought it would be fun to call this study “Fifty Shades of Grace”. No, I have not read the popular book Fifty Shades of Grey, nor do I plan on seeing the movie. I personally have better things to do with my time, one of which is to grow in wisdom and in understanding of God’s wonderful Grace.

The word “shades” carries the meaning of subtle differences in meaning, slight amount or degrees of difference. As we read through these fifty verses I believe we will see that God’s grace has degrees of different meaning. It is important to define grace in the context in which we find it in the scriptures. Left entirely to the most commonly known definition of unmerited favor, we only experience a partial reality of God’s grace. I personally believe we can see three very distinct applications of God’s grace toward us and upon us, saving grace, strengthening grace and serving grace. As we look through each of the following passages of Scripture on grace we will see God’s grace displayed in one of the above expressions.

 

(Hover over the verse to read the entire scripture)

1. John 1:14 ~ Jesus, full of GRACE.

2. John 1:16 ~ GRACE upon grace.

3. John 1:17 ~ GRACE and Truth came.

4. Acts 4:33 ~ Great GRACE upon them.

5. Acts 13:43 ~ Continue in GRACE.

6. Acts 14:3 ~ Word of His GRACE.

7. Acts 15:11 ~ Saving GRACE.

8. Acts 20:24 ~ Gospel of GRACE.

9. Romans 1:5 ~ GRACE for obedience to the Faith.

10. Romans 1:7 ~ GRACE and peace from God.

11. Romans 3:24 ~ Justified by GRACE.

12. Romans 4:16 ~ Sure Promise according to GRACE.

13. Romans 5:2 ~ GRACE by which we stand.

14. Romans 5:17 ~ Abundance of GRACE.

15. Romans 5:20 ~ Abounding GRACE.

16. Romans 5:21 ~ Reigning GRACE.

17. Romans 6:14 ~ Under GRACE.

18. Romans 11:5 ~ Election of GRACE.

19. Romans 12:3 ~ Through GRACE.

20. Romans 12:6 ~ Gifts according to GRACE.

21. Romans 16:20 ~ GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ.

22. Romans 16:24 ~ GRACE be with you.

23. 1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ GRACE to you.

24. 1 Corinthians 15:10 ~ GRACE toward me.

25. 2 Corinthians 6:1 ~ GRACE received in vain.

26. 2 Corinthians 8:1 ~ GRACE bestowed.

27. 2 Corinthians 8:6 ~ Completed GRACE.

28. 2 Corinthians 9:14 ~ Exceeding GRACE.

29. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ Sufficient GRACE.

30. Galatians 1:15 ~ Called through GRACE.

31. Galatians 2:9 ~ Perceived GRACE.

32. Galatians 5:4 ~ Fallen from GRACE.

33. Ephesians 1:7 ~ Forgiveness of sins according to GRACE.

34. Ephesians 2:5 ~ Made alive by GRACE.

35. Ephesians 2:8 ~ Saved by GRACE.

36. Ephesians 3:2~ Dispensation of GRACE.

37. Ephesians 3:7 ~ Gift of GRACE.

38. Philippians 1:7 ~ Partakers of GRACE.

39. Colossians 1:6 ~ Knowing GRACE.

40. Colossians 3:16 ~ GRACE in your heart.

41. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 ~ Good hope through GRACE.

42. Titus 2:11 ~ GRACE that brings Salvation.

43. Philemon 1:25 ~ GRACE with our spirit.

44. Hebrews 4:16 ~ Throne of GRACE.

45. Hebrews 12:28 ~ Serving GRACE.

46. Hebrews 13:9 ~ Establishing GRACE.

47. 1 Peter 3:7 ~ Heirs together of the GRACE of life.

48. 1 Peter 4:10 ~ Manifold GRACE.

49. 2 Peter 1:2 ~ GRACE multiplied.

50. 2 Peter 3:18 ~ Grow in GRACE.

 

Eternally Dedicated God Equipped to Go.

It’s Black, It’s White, yea, yea, yea

The gulf between Jews and Gentiles, masters and slaves, male and female and might I add blacks and whites has been bridged by Christ and the Gospel. As Christians let us come back to center. The center that is… of our identity being equaled in Christ. Then let us share the equal privilege we all experience in Christ to others who have not received this gift of life, justice and peace.

Verses to consider
Galatians 3:28
Ephesians 2:14-18
Colossians 3:11

I am tired of this Devil
I am tired of this stuff
I am tired of this business
Goin’ when they going to gets rough
I ain’t scared of your brother
I ain’t scared of no sheets
I ain’t scare of nobody
Girl when the goin’ gets mean

Protection
For gangs, clubs and nations
Causing grief in human relations
It’s a turf war on a global scale
I’d rather hear both sides of the tale
See, it’s not about races, just places, faces
Where your blood comes from
Is where your space is
I’ve seen the light get duller
I’m not going to spend
My life being a color

It’s black, it’s white
It’s tough for you to get by
It’s black, it’s white

michael_jackson_black_white_

Eternally Dedicated God Equipped to Go.