As I was researching scriptures that contain the word "grace" in the Strong's Concordance, I was intrigued to find that the word is not used in the books of Matthew and Mark. In Luke it is only used one time and in John three times. It is used sparingly in the Old Testament, and in abundance in the books from Acts to Revelation. The fact that it was rarely mentioned throughout the four gospels surprised me.
Throughout my Christian life I often heard the word "grace" in connection to salvation through Jesus Christ. I was also told that it was a gift from God that we didn't deserve because we were sinners from the lineage of the first Adam. I heard that because of His love God extends grace to us. I also heard that He gave us free will, and if we don't accept His gift of grace we would spend eternity in hell."
I decided that I wanted to allow the Holy Spirit to teach me through the scriptures instead of relying on the knowledge of theologians. The Holy Spirit took me to Psalm 136:26, "O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth forever." Then we went to Psalm 121: 5-8, "The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore." We then went into the New Testament to Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible," and finally to Philippians 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
The Holy Spirit began to change my heart and mind to see that God's mercy does not have a time or limitations. It is forever; therefore, there can't be an eternal hell. Based on this information, I have realized that other areas of the Christian "doctrine" need reconsideration as well. Please consider the following thoughts (they will connect back to grace):
Nothing happens that God does not orchestrate. He has complete control of all. We are not puppets, but participants. God's sovereignty is not over us, but through us.
God is not interested in anyone's opinion about what He has done, but our obedience.
There is no such thing as free will, or being a free moral agent. Those are theological words that are not in scripture. We never had a say in when we were born, who our parents were, what race or color we wanted to be, what time in history we wanted to come into this world, whether we would be male or female, or when we would even die. We have no say in the plan or purpose of what God is doing.
Man is created in the image of God. He is not moral or free. We are the children of God and therefore must recognize our identity as such in order to do the Father's business on this earth. (John 17: 22-26)
Even though we do not have a free will, we do have a choice to live according to His purpose. Our choice is within His will which is His divine plan and purpose which will take place. We can disobey or violate the will of God, but not His purpose. If we obey His will we are part of the plan. If we disobey we forfeit to be a part, but the plan will move on to the next generation.
The word of God will not return void. It will travel through time and generations until the fulfillment of His divine plan is manifested.
God does not need us to reach the world. Many people are going out as missionaries, but are teaching God plus religion. God is looking for a company of people that are willing to be obedient to His purpose: To be the saviors on the earth (Obadiah 1:21).
So what is the truth behind GRACE?
Grace is the force of God; His eternal power. It means: unconditional kindness, unmerited favor, to bend or stoop down with no limitations of love for another.
Wherever sin exists, grace is more in abundance. Grace reigns…in LIFE.
Grace is an inheritance given to us when Jesus died on the cross over 2000 years ago.
When we know Jesus Christ by faith as our personal savior, we connect with the power and influence of this inheritance by fellowshipping with the Spirit of God. He causes us to see beyond our natural understanding of grace.
We have a new method and kind of life which comes into our presence that continually reminds us that "nothing is impossible with God."
When we allow our life to be governed in time, we get relaxed with this power of grace and enter back into the methods of the world which include works. Grace then remains connected with salvation, but not with the reigning power of life and inheritance.
The word "grace" comes from the Greek word "charis" which means to be cheerful, comely, or well off. It was used by the Romans as a "wish you well" in departing from someone, but there was no power behind the words spoken. The Greeks used this word as "unearned favor" like giving a birthday gift or in saying a nice farewell to others.
The church took the word "grace" from the Romans to mean "we have received this "unearned favor" from God as a gift, not according to works that any should boast, but according to His love. With time, the church added to the word undeserved to the definition of grace. While unearned means you had nothing to do with receiving this gift of grace, undeserved means you get the opposite. Instead of the Father giving the gift of grace to His children, we are seen as unworthy animals that God is feeling sorry for, so He extends His grace. If we are not obedient to Him He will whip us liken to beating a dog.
Again, the Greeks used this word "grace" like you would say "I wish you happiness." It was a nice thought with no power. It was an empty word used to be nice. When God brought this word into His calling through Jesus Christ He filled the word "grace" or "charis" with power to carry out His wish (will) and desire.
We don't earn His "grace" or His will and desire. It is an inheritance given so that we can reign with the power of Life. The grace of God is a whole new kind of life. When God does something He always does it in abundance. There is never anything lacking.
DIVINE GRACE: It reigns completely, unmerited, unsought, all together unattached to anything outside of itself. There is nothing we can do to receive it. It cannot be bought, earned or won. The recipient has no claim upon it. It comes by complete charity, unasked for, undesired. The only requirement is the faith to believe because it is sovereign. Even the faith to believe has no claim by the recipient because it is the faith of God, not self.
Grace is Eternal - 2 Timothy 1:9 Grace is Free - Romans 3:24 Grace Reigns - Romans 5:21 Grace is foundational - Zech. 4:7
The reigning of God's grace chose you. It is the election of His grace, the ruler, and the sovereignty of His grace which chose us before the fall of the first Adam. We are justified freely through grace (Romans 3:24). There is NO cause involved. We have done NOTHING because He is the cause of pure sovereignty. We have all been chosen to receive this amazing, abundant grace.
There is a generation that will break the curse of death and it will begin with identifying with the power of God's divine grace. Just because death isn't being broken the way our natural mind thinks does not mean it hasn't been happening the way God intended. Examples: Noah never experienced rain and never before saw a boat. God decided to have a baby through a virgin.
Divine Grace is within each of us now, but we can only connect with it through our identity in Jesus Christ. When we acknowledge and walk in the truth that "as He is so are we in this world" (1 John 4: 17), divine grace is manifested from us to others drawing them to their heavenly Father.
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17: 21).