Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Orange Moon Tuesday, April 23, 2024 "Grace - Deserved?"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Grace - Deserved?"

"When pondering Biblical grace, we always begin with its relationship to the Christ of grace.  As applied to Him, grace is always deserved, always merited - "I do always those things that please Him."


     I recently heard a pastor whom I respect and believe to be faithful to God and His Word mention that the Biblical word "grace" means undeserved favor.  I myself have said or written this on a number of occasions.  Certainly, we are correct in the overall Biblical revelation regarding grace as it relates to God justifying sinners who actually deserve His wrath rather than His redemption.  However, the word "grace" in its actual Hebrew and Greek meaning omits the notion of "undeserved.  "Hen" and "Charis" simply mean favor.

    The definitive confirmation of this meaning of grace in found in God's affirmation of the Lord Jesus Christ:

   "And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him… Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor (grace) with God" (Luke 2:40; 52).

   If grace means "undeserved favor," Luke could not have affirmed it as relating to the Lord Jesus.  Indeed, from before the womb and unto the tomb, and from resurrection unto forevermore, the Lord Jesus completely deserves the grace, or the favor of His Father.  This actually constitutes the heart and essence of grace, namely, Christ is from everlasting to everlasting the cherished Son of the Father, so much so that God's "eternal purpose" completely flows with the current of His love for the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).  

    "The Father loveth the Son… Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world… God hath given Him a name which is above every name" (John 3:35; 17:24; Philippians 2:9).

    When pondering Biblical grace, we always begin with its relationship to the Christ of grace.  As applied to Him, grace is always deserved and merited - "I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29).  Indeed, if we become the subjects of God's grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, the undeserved favor we receive is actually deserved favor - Christ's deserved favor - imparted to us as a free gift.  God's grace ever flows from and to His beloved Son and our beloved Savior.  If Christ dwells in us, we become immersed in the acceptance and affirmation He so richly deserves, and which God so richly bestows on us as sons and daughters favored because we are united to His Son.  "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).

   It is true that we do not deserve God's favor by our own person and work (just the opposite, in fact).  In this sense, grace can be viewed as unmerited favor.  However, the actual meaning of Biblical words matters greatly.  Grace, in its primary definition, simply means favor.  Understanding the meaning as such points us to the Lord Jesus as the primary beneficiary who so richly deserves God's acceptance.  We find our own place in grace by being united to Christ by faith, whereby God imputes His righteousness to us as the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted.  "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us… righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).

    When affirming the grace of God, as defined by Scripture, our Father grants to us the marvelous privilege of initiating the consideration by directing all glory, honor, focus, and attention to the only One who can rightly and righteously be known as the direct Subject of God's loving favor.  All others must receive God's grace as imputed, that is, as accounted to us because we are in Christ, and He is in us.  Yes, as the most familiar of all hymns intones, grace is amazing because it is always deserved - by One - and then given as a gift to the many blessed recipients who find themselves…

   "Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24)

"Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."

(II John 1:3)

Weekly Memory Verse

     We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.

(Ephesians 1:7-8)


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