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Author Topic: Another look at Grace  (Read 2256 times)

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Dave in Tenn

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Another look at Grace
« on: November 25, 2008, 06:20:51 PM »

I don't claim that these are deep thoughts, I just claim that they are my thoughts and understanding after absorbing much of what Ray has exposed.  I post it with the caveat that I am much more desirous to be teachable than to to teach. 

The first real inkling came from the "How Hard is it to get saved" audio.  The second 'key' came here on the forum when a member quoted an email that I had read several times already but had not seen the real meat.

I used to have a notion that 'grace' was some spiritual substance, like Holy Mustard, that God smeared on people's 'souls', and that this Grace-thing was what saved them.  Many of you can relate, I'm sure, to the constant quest for this 'thing', this 'holy substance' to both prompt and sustain a Godly life.  This hunt led me (and leads many) to all manner of religious exercise to recapture the experience or the feeling that this Mustard gave me.  It also led me (and leads many) into frustration and despair when this grace-thing expires or fails to sustain a walk.  One with an understanding of 'grace' as a thing can even despair of God when he comes to identify the gift with the giver.   

When I saw for the first time that Grace is the Divine influence on my life, a lot of things became clear.  Confusion about how one lives with the knowledge that God's will and sovereignty is over our own wills evaporates when one comes to understand what Grace actually is.  Since Grace is the Divine influence, I can see the Grace (Divine influence) in both human and my own personal history.  Both are riddled with sin and rebellion, yet His Divine influence continued and he has brought me to to this point by this Grace.

Understanding Grace also gives keys to understanding just how God will bring all of humanity to His family and have all manking conformed to the image of His Son.  It's not some 'thing' that God applies, it is God Himself influencing each and every one of His creatures, including the blind, the rebellious, the whore-monger, and the religious.

And this new notion of what Grace is also helps me understand the workings of the Potter on the particular lump of clay which is me.  Grace never fails, nor does it expire.  It doesn't have to be smeared on or in me in some hyper-spiritual manner, because it exists from the creation of the Universe, and I and all of us are here because of it.

The last I'll mention is the Divine influence in Producing the fruits of the Spirit (and in opposing the works of the flesh).

Gal 5:22  And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  meekness, temperance: against such there is no law;

Is there one of those which is not practical?  Do we have to 'work those up' through religion or 'spirituality'?  God is Spirit and He lives in us in Spirit, yet the results of His life and influence in us are imminently practical.  Even the oft-discussed Gifts of the Spirit (properly understood) are practical.

Maybe that doesn't strike you like it does me, but it frees me up from bondage to feelings, to religion, and to fleeting 'spirituality'.

Anyway, GRACE (God's Influence) and peace to you.

Dave

 
 
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

mharrell08

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 06:31:42 PM »

Wonderful message Dave...thank you for sharing with us as these message are truly edifying indeed.  :)



Marques
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Kat

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 07:15:31 PM »


Hi Dave,

You put that very well.  Ray had a Bible study 'Saved By Grace Through Faith,' it has a lot about grace - divine influence on the heart and I thought I would add an excerpt from it to what you have said.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,5417.0.html ------

1 Cor 15: 10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace  (divine influence on the heart) which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all (labored):  yet not I (labored), but the grace of God (labored) which was with me (labored).” 

There it is, the grace of God….labors. 
In the Lake of Fire series I showed that grace is a verb.  We learn that when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, 1 Cor 11: 32.  Chastening defines how God judges us.  Now we are about to learn something very profound here, if we can get it.

Titus 2:11  “For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men,
v. 12  Teaching us….”

What is doing the teaching?  Grace is doing the teaching.  It’s laboring - it’s teachings - it’s the divine influence of God on our heart, it‘s teaching us.  So it’s (verse 12), “TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (eon - age);”

So when it says God judges us by chastening us in 1 Cor. 11: 32, the word chasten there is the Greek word ‘paideuō.‘  Then when God says He graces us, by ‘teaching us’ in Titus 2:12, the word teaching is the same word paideuo and it means - to labor, to work, to chasten, to punish, to teach, to educate.  There is like a dozen different words that this means, this ‘teaching.’  That’s what it does, it actually does something.  And the same way what it does for us, it will eventually do for the world.
---------------------------------------------------------

mercy, peace and love
Kat

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Marlene

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 08:45:09 PM »

Dave great post. Kat thanks for your post. As, my confusion of worrying about those lost was helped by Joe and Rodgers post. I did not see that  and they showed it to me. Yes, I had an idol of my heart worrying over others in the Second resurrection. That last statement on Kats post that says all will be taught the same way as we are being. Yes, having our spirit changed can be painfull! All will be fine and my worrying was a silly waste of time. I just need to learn to let go and let God. I am not into the teaching, but I do want to learn.

In His Love,
Marlene
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2008, 12:01:07 AM »

A, Scripture speaks to everybody where they are if they have eyes to see.  A testimony, like what I've given here, is an 'amen' to that but may not speak (nor does it need to) to everybody for many reasons--we're well past that, it doesn't apply to our situation, it doesn't touch on what God is dealing with us on at the moment.

Given that, I don't think you've chopped up what I've shared.

My main point is the taking back of the meaning of scriptural words from religion, whether we've followed it or made up our own.  For me (and any others) who have held a "Mustard" view of Grace as some 'thing' seperate from the Person of God, the Sovereignty of God, and the ultimate plan of God it's but one key to gaining a fuller understanding of all that, to not let our eyes glance over the Word Grace or our mouths say it without considering what it means.  For me, it tied what might otherwise be seperate 'doctrinal points' into a more unified whole.

Yes, Grace/Influence/Work has everything to do with so called 'free-will', or the sovereignty of God over own our wills.  You and I, yesterday, today and tomorrow, are the products of God's Grace/Influence/Work.  Since God has a sovereign plan, all mankind were, are, and will be the products of His Grace/Influence/Work.

Of course we 'are what we are'.  We couldn't be anything else.  But it "doth not yet appear what we shall be..." except that "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is."  That's why we're all here--not at BT forum, but breathing air in the first place--to become the sons and daughters of God.

In applying truth to our own lives, I don't know of any other conculsion to come to except "It truly is by him and him alone?  In other words, no matter how hard I may try without his supernatural guidance those fruits will not occur until it’s time, his timing?"  Given the natural state of man and his carnal mind to be at enmity with God, there's no possibility for the fruit of the Spirit to be produced except by his Grace/Influence/work.

I mean, come on...Love that matches 1Cor. 13 and extends to our enemies?  Joy that includes the joy of falling into various tribulations?  Peace in a world intent on filling us with fear and wanting us to choose sides in conflict?  Kindness even to those who persecute and despitefully use us?  Goodness that isn't tainted by self-righteousness?  Faith when faith itself is a gift of God?  Meekness?  And Long-suffering?  How will we even know we have 'long-suffering' until after we have suffered long?  Indeed, all that fruit has to be tested.

No, I think the fruit is more the result of our submission to God/Dying to self than a crop we are to labor to grow.

Through religion (no matter what form it takes) and our own (usually emotion-based) 'spirituality' the best we can muster are pale imitations that wither eventually.

Well, I said I didn't want to teach, and I don't...so I'll stop.  I hope something fans the spark or at least leads to more discussion.                 


 

 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 12:12:52 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Kat

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2008, 12:12:28 AM »


Hi Dave,

I think your comments have provided some good sparks to continue this discussion.

Amrhrasach, here are more excerpts from the transcript that I think will add to what Dave is saying.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,5417.0.html -----

So then we read Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace  (divine influence upon the heart) which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I….” (1 Cor 15:10)  

“Yet not I”  what?  He said I labored, you know what that means, work.  I’ve ‘worked’ harder than all of them, yet it wasn’t I that works, right.  Notice it wasn’t I that was doing the work, but the grace of God which was with me.  The grace of God, what?  These things are all understood, notice it, I am what I am by His divine influence upon my heart, which He bestowed upon me and it was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all labored: yet not I labored, but the grace of God labored.  That’s what it’s saying, can you see that?  So what is the grace of God doing in Paul’s heart?  It LABORS, it works.

It’s not some ‘thing’ like, ‘well I have the grace of God, that save me.’  They take that word and just tack it on the wall... ‘grace’ there it is, I got it.  God said I got to have it and there it is ‘grace.’  It can’t be in a book, it can’t be on the wall, it’s got to be IN YOUR HEART.  What does it do there?  IT LABORS - IT WORKS.
v
v
Grace is a gift, but it’s got to be USED.  Listen when something influences something, that means it does something.  If you are inspired about something, you either think or write or do something, that’s the proof of the inspiration.  So if something influences you it makes you think, say, do, work or something, are there is no influence.  We just read that faith is divine influence upon the heart and that grace teaches us, the same that judging chastens us.  It’s the same Greek word.  It’s interesting it says in Eph. 2:8, “for we are saved by grace”  Well that’s great, that’s wonderful (period).  No, no period... comma, “THROUGH FAITH.”   Well shucks, we’re saved by grace through faith, okay.  Well what does that mean?  ‘Through’ is a channel.  
v
v
That’s the way grace and faith is.  Grace is this influence, but faith is the channel and a channel always does something, it channels something - shows motion - shows a destination.  So there’s a destination to being divinely influence by God on your heart.  That’s the grace and that’s free, it’s a gift.  But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done.
v
v
In Luke 6: 46 Christ says, “Why call you Me Lord, Lord.”  Listen, that’s faith.  If you call Him Lord, it means you believe He’s Lord, right, that’s faith.  So He says, why do you pretend to have faith in Me, by calling Me Lord, but you don’t do what I say?  See it’s a false faith, “you do not do what I say.”  It is a contradiction to say, you have faith and you don’t do anything.  Notice the rest of this verse in Ephesians.

Eph 2:8  for by grace (a gratuitous gift - divine influence upon the heart) are you saved through faith (believing and doing God‘s will); and that (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
v. 9  not of (our) works, less any man should boast (you boast when you do your own works).
v. 10  For we are HIS workmanship (His achievement - His works), created in Christ Jesus unto good works...

Do you get that?  Where it says “not of works” ...but “for good works.”  Wait a minute is that a contradiction?  No, “not of (our) works” but “for (His) good works.”  There are works, they’re just not ours, but we are of His workmanship.  Workmanship has the word ‘work.’  The Concordant translates it ‘achievement.’  When you want to achieve something it takes work.  Who’s doing the work here?  God is doing the work.  What is that work?  Divine influence upon the heart and then you do things.  

Eph 2:10  “…created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God has afore ordained that we should walk in them.”

So there are works.
--------------------------------------------------------------

mercy, peace and love
Kat

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 12:05:37 PM by Kat »
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Akira329

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2008, 03:04:08 PM »


I mean, come on...Love that matches 1Cor. 13 and extends to our enemies?  Joy that includes the joy of falling into various tribulations?  Peace in a world intent on filling us with fear and wanting us to choose sides in conflict?  Kindness even to those who persecute and despitefully use us?  Goodness that isn't tainted by self-righteousness?  Faith when faith itself is a gift of God?  Meekness?  And Long-suffering?  How will we even know we have 'long-suffering' until after we have suffered long?  Indeed, all that fruit has to be tested.


Dave I like this portion of your statements.
This all has me considering a statement Marques once said to me while in frusrtation over a friend not being able to understand the truth,
But by the Grace of God.

Sometimes we think we're doing all the work, no peace in our hearts at all. Just angry at the state of all things.
Must realize that its God's grace that labors in me not I.
His work, not my own and if I think its my work, the fruit thereof will show itself.
Its quite ugly and nasty

Dave this has gotten me to think about a lot things today, thanks for sharing I apprciate it! :)

Antaiwan
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"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
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hillsbororiver

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2008, 11:47:26 AM »

Hi Dave,

This is an interesting and profound topic as so many lose their way on this journey when the "cares of this world" the thorns along the path rise up and prick them, I think this is why so many churches attempt to replicate this "feel good" emotion through music, entertainment along with forced smiles and false displays of brotherly love. I don't mean to say everyone in the church is this way, no doubt there are more than a few who are sincere and believe what they hear (from the pulpit) and do is the Word and will of God.

The parable about the sower I believe also speaks of this experience, if we are depending on humanistic warm and fuzzy good feelings all the time we will certainly become disappointed (who hasn't been there?) perhaps even losing their faith along the way. You know if we are never challenged we are also in danger of becoming complacent, luke warm because there is nothing to strive for, we have arrived! We are rich and in need of nothing even though in His eyes we are blind, poor and naked.

Back to the parable;

Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word and anon with joy receiveth it;
 
Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
 
Mat 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word and he becometh unfruitful.

In a roundabout way this was what I attempted to illustrate in the "Peaceful Oasis" thread, the title was actually facetious as there is no such thing as a consistantly peaceful oasis here on earth and there never has been. We see all through scripture the good being disrupted by evil influence, this is our journey and this is why we must always seek His Spirit and guidance it isn't as though trouble might appear it is a fact that it will! How we deal with it is the important thing.

Thank you Dave and everyone who contributed here!

Peace,

Joe
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firefly77

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2008, 12:34:29 PM »

Quote
I used to have a notion that 'grace' was some spiritual substance, like Holy Mustard, that God smeared on people's 'souls', and that this Grace-thing was what saved them.  Many of you can relate, I'm sure, to the constant quest for this 'thing', this 'holy substance' to both prompt and sustain a Godly life.  This hunt led me (and leads many) to all manner of religious exercise to recapture the experience or the feeling that this Mustard gave me.  It also led me (and leads many) into frustration and despair when this grace-thing expires or fails to sustain a walk.  One with an understanding of 'grace' as a thing can even despair of God when he comes to identify the gift with the giver.   

Dave and all who have contributed to this thread...
This thread is so true and profound. I can very much relate to getting frustrated with my inability to work up the fruits of the spirit often to the point of despairing and wanting to give up while at other times I seemed to "have" it together. The roller coaster experience left me feeling isolated from other believers who "apparently" did not have the struggle I experienced. For many years I did all the right things ("fleshly works"), but was unable to feel spiritual or even close to God. Now, as I look back, it was God's grace working in me to start searching for the truth, which eventually brought me to BT. If you finally grasp this "Grace" truth and its implication, it is like being released from prison.

Grace and Peace to all,
Angie
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Ninny

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 01:52:20 PM »

I was just reading in 1Timothy Ch. 1 that "grace..was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus...Jesus came into the world to save sinners...for this cause I obtained mercy..." So it was an example to all that would follow. God's grace, full of faith and love is what saves us. What about the thing that everyone always says: I am saved by grace through faith?

 It was the GRACE that was full of faith and love! Ha! It wasn't our faith in Jesus! It was God's grace (His influence) that had the faith in it!! :D :D

Now that IS freedom! :D :D
Wow! Never thought of that in this way before, thanks!
Kathy :-*
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Another look at Grace
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2008, 06:25:29 AM »

http://bible-truths.com/lake3.html

WHEN GRACE IS A VERB

Grace means favor, a gift, to be cheerful, well, happy, graciously, freely, deliverance from danger, and a dozen other benevolent qualities of peace, joy, goodness, and salvation. It is one of those truly wonderful words of blessing. But just how does it operate in "the real world" as we say? A definition does not tell us everything about a word. We can, likewise, define "love" as, a deep, tender feeling of affection. But does that definition tell us how love actually functions?

We learned that "... when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord" (I Cor. 11:32).

Chastening defines how it is that God judges us. Now then, we are about to learn one of the most remarkable spiritual truths in the whole Bible:

"For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men , teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world [eon or age]" (Titus 2:11-12).

Here then is the remarkable parallel between God’s judgment and His grace:

God "judges" us by "chastening" us! (I Cor. 11:32) "chasten," Greek: ‘paideuo’ #3811
God "graces" us by "teaching" us! (Titus 2:12) "teaching," Greek: ‘paideuo’ #3811

WOW! Do you even begin to understand what you have just read? Whether God "JUDGES" us (and later the wicked world), or "GRACES" us, He does it THE SAME WAY!!

"Judging" is CHASTENING (Strong’s #3811), and "gracing" is CHASTENING (Strong’s #3811). It is the SAME WORD!

"Grace" is not a stagnant feel-good noun -- it is also a verb -- that is, it does something; it accomplishes something; it produces something of great value in the believer. ......Gracing us by means of chastening, TEACHES US TO LIVE GODLY and brings salvation. Judging us by means of chastening, also TEACHES US TO LIVE GODLY and brings salvation!

http://bible-truths.com/lake5.html

But let’s also understand that the faith to believe and the faith to be saved is as much a GIFT from God as is the very GRACE by which we are saved. It isn’t that we provide one (faith) and then God will provide the other (saving grace). No. God provides BOTH (Eph. 2:8).
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 06:32:30 AM by Arcturus »
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