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What We Believe About Grace
God has many qualities and gifts, but of all His qualities, none expresses His character more, nor does He have a better gift than His grace. All grace originates with God. We can classify Grace into two main categories.
These categories are often classified as common grace and special, or what we might refer to as trans-forming, saving grace. Common grace is that which everyone experiences whether one believes in it or not. Common grace is not relevant to us placing faith in it or even believing in God to experience it.
It is God at work in the very world around us as we live in our day-to-day lives. It reveals God’s character in the very beauty, function and existence of every living thing. Yet, it is not only in every living thing.
It is in the sunshine, in rainstorms, in the laughter we hear, the health we enjoy, the food we eat, friends and family. This is how we see God being benevolent to all men and His goodness expressed. The very work, movement and actions of God towards all humanity reveal His attribute of eternal goodness.
It is what meets our needs, answers our prayers, opens the doors of opportunity, employment and closes those same doors. It is in His common grace where we see God actively working to control every molecule. This we define as God’s sovereignty.
If He did not control every molecule, then He could also never offer transforming, saving grace. The Bible is full of God’s common grace, but it is also full of God’s transforming, saving grace which is always given freely to men. There is no passage in scripture in which we do not see the grace of God.
This grace saves man from the wrath of God and His need for justice. We never deserve it nor are we worthy of it. It is through His grace that we see another of God’s characteristics and that of His mercy.
God does not just stop with His transforming, saving grace in bringing us back to a relationship with Him. No, He continues with His transforming grace in what some call His “securing grace.”
This grace keeps us in this relationship He started. We do not just come to Him through grace, but we are kept and move forward in His grace. This is why we can know without any doubt that through His securing grace we have eternal life.
Through His sanctifying grace He is making us new, returning us back to not only our original created designed purpose, but making us Christ-like. We find His securing and sanctifying grace in the category of His transforming, saving grace.
In addition, through His transforming, saving grace we find His empowering grace. God not only saves us, but He freely gives us the strength to make choices that reflect a heart of gratitude for saving us.
Empowering grace is the grace that He gives us to live not like we used to or make the same old choices, but to make choices now that represent that we are filled with His Spirit. The Holy Spirit points us to truths and reminds us of the truths God has already shown us.
As this occurs, we are able to produce characteristics and act in ways that represent God. His empowering grace allows us to make choices that produce qualities that represent our identity now that we are in Christ.
Yet, it is not in our strength we are able to do these things, but through the Holy Spirit working through the empowering grace of God. This is the beauty of God’s transforming, saving grace that is given unmerited to all who place their faith in Christ for eternal life.
In grace, both common and transforming, saving, we see a quality of God’s character that does not exist in man. Because God is pure, His grace must be, and that is why grace is 100% God’s work.
At no time can grace be dependent on how the one who receives it responds; otherwise, it would no longer be pure. If we could contribute towards grace or we could do something to merit it, we would always want to brag about it and, more than likely, exaggerate our side of it to make us feel important. Having our impure hands in it would then make it impure and God is pure, so grace must be.
1 Samuel 2:6; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Nehemiah 9:17; Job 12:23; 25:4; 42:2; Psalms 78:38; 115:3; Ecclesiastes 7:13-14; Isaiah 45:7; 46:9-10; Jeremiah 14:22; Daniel 2:21; Jonah 4:1-2; Matthew 5:44-45; John 14:26; Acts 14:16-17; 17:24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:2-3; 5:16-25; Ephesians 1:13,14 4:25-32; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:11, 2 Timothy 2:1; James 1:17; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2:9-10; 1 John 5:13