A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


June 17, 2017

Connecting The Dots: There Is Power In God's Grace

     I have been receiving a huge download from the Holy Spirit as I seek more understanding of God and His Nature and Character.  I admit that the thoughts are coming at such an accelerated speed that I find myself flipping from Scripture to Scripture to determine if what I am understanding is confirmed by God's Word.  And I want to make it perfectly clear ... what I am about to share with you is from my own study of God's Word.  This is my opinion, and by no means, should you accept what I say without doing your own study.  But I am also declaring to you that I believe it is inherent upon [and necessary for] every Believer to search out God for themselves.  He has given us His Word as a revelation of His Character and His Divine Nature, and far too many of us rely on our pastors, popular ministers, and online articles to define God for us.
       I have been convicted in my heart that there is so much of the basic foundation of God's qualities and character that we really haven't figured out for ourselves.  Oh, we know all the words and probably use them often in our attempts to explain our theology: Sanctification, Justification, Redemption, Salvation, Faith, Grace.  But, do we really know what they mean from God's perspective?  Or put another way, do we search the Scriptures to understand how they are to be applied to our relationship with Him; that they are not just doctrines, but real dispensations from God to be applied in growing towards Him?
     For instance, I can say that I am saved by the Grace of God.  But do I fully understand the implications of God's Grace?  If you are like me, you've always understood the accepted definition of Grace as God's unmerited favor.  Grace has been defined as the following: We have received forgiveness of our sins through Christ's death on the Cross, and there was nothing we did to deserve it.  Grace has been given to us out of God's love and mercy; it's a gift.  And that's usually as far as most Christians go with their understanding of Grace... it's a gift... and if you will allow me to apply a grammatical attribute, it's a noun.
     And here is the astounding revelation I received as I did a deeper study on the Hebrew (Old Testament) understanding of the word Grace, and the Greek (or New Testament) interpretation.  In the Old Testament, the word for Grace is the Hebrew word chên.  And, indeed, it is a noun, and it does mean a favor; whatever is pleasant and agreeable.  What's more, there is no alternative word for Grace in the Old Testament --- everywhere it is used, it has the same meaning.
     In the Old Testament, Grace is usually applied in terms of "give favor" -- But the Lord was with Joseph, and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer (Genesis 39:21); "obtain favor" --  I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; (Exodus 3:21), or "find favor" -- And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. (Genesis 6:8).
     The Hebrew word chên comes from the word chânan, which includes the meaning to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior. Strong's Concordance also says, "Generally, this word [grace] implies the extending of "favor", often when it is neither expected nor deserved".  So, this seems to tell me that the modern Church's understanding of Grace is in line with the Old Testament perception.
     But when I looked at how God applies the concept of Grace in the New Testament, I saw a dramatic change.  Grace becomes a verb! And just like in the Old Testament, there is no alternative word or meaning for God's Grace -- everywhere it is used it means the same thing.  And the Greek word for God's Grace is charis.  At its root it indicates an act of favor on the part of the giver, and thanks on the part of the receiver.  Charis is related to sins and the attribute of God's Grace that they evoke.  It is God's Mercy (the free gift of forgiveness of sins) and compassion that recognizes the misery that our sin brings us.  It is God's tender sense of our misery that displays itself in His efforts [Grace] to lessen and entirely remove our misery.  God's Grace is applied; it is bestowed; it is His power to equip us for ministry.  This is what is shown us in Hebrews 4:16 ... Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  God's grace is a weapon in our spiritual war with the devil.  It is help in time of need, which implies [to me] that God's power is behind it.
     And it is imperative [in our understanding of Grace] that we recognize it to be a way that we live our lives.  And we must agree that God has an ability we do not have -- to resist sin.  Therefore, living a righteous life is not from our own ability to resist sin, but God's ability to do a work in our heart that helps us to say no to the temptation.  Grace empowers us through our relationship with God.  Put simply, when we pray for God's Grace to never commit a particular sin again, it is His ability NOT to do it that invades our heart and enables and empowers us to stop the sin.
     What about our free will? When God activates His Grace in our heart (His ability to not commit the sin), our will has a choice --- continue in our pursuit of that sin, OR come into agreement with God and let His ability (power to resist the sin) become our motivation.  This is the true understanding of that oft-quoted Scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:9 ... but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. When God's Grace is activated in New Testament Believers, there you will find the power of Christ.
     Grace is the manifestation of God's ability in any situation!  When the Apostle Paul wrote, By the Grace of God, I am what I am, I believe he was saying that Grace was the Ability of God surging through his veins and empowering him to do the work he did.  Paul was plugged into God's Grace all the time. That's how he lived! And we can live that way, too!  Every time we come to a challenge, we should ask ourselves, "Do I want to tackle this with my own ability [my own strength, wisdom, power], or with Jesus's?"
     I find it interesting that the first and last use of the word Grace in the New Testament involve our Lord Jesus Christ: And the child continued to grow, and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him (Luke 2:40); and The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen (Revelation 22:21). In both instances, it is the power and ability of the Almighty God [exhibited through Jesus Christ] that is being manifested.  Let me be clear -- I accept the truth of God's unmerited favor in my life.  But I don't want to settle for only that portion of His Grace.  It want it all!  I want His ability to resist sin to invade my heart, and I want His power to be manifested in all the works I do for His Kingdom.  I recognize my own weakness and come into full agreement with Him; calling upon His Grace to be applied, to be bestowed, and to empower me to live a righteous life that pleases Him. That is what Jesus did, and He is Grace personified.

Acts 20:24   "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God".
   

10 comments:

  1. Wow, Pam, Awesome and I haven't even finished the first two paragraphs! What you are sharing (in words) dwarfs what I attempt to share with others about our Father and knowing Him not just on the superficial level. I nly wanted to be the first to thank you for your diligence in seeking out all truth because this is one article I can already tell will take me hours to digest over this evening!

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    1. Thank you, but I feel the majority of my words came straight from the Bible or original context of the Hebrew and Greek writings. I am continually amazed at what God will reveal to us if we just take the time to try to understand what He inspired to be written in His Word. I know that I will spend the rest of my life seeking Him and asking for "more revelation, please"! And in doing so, my spirit soars!

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  2. Whoa! Grace as part of spiritual warfare? This is awesome. How come Ive never seen this in scripture? You know how many pastors say that only the text can reveal new revelation but you just revealed something totally new for me. Now how to apply it Belle? --Bill

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    1. Bill, applying God's Grace (His power and ability) to our lives should take each of us on a journey ... to debunk our sacred cows of theology -- that we are to be passive recipients of that grace -- and to study what Jesus says about the power and authority [from God] that He has given us... How are we to use it, in His Name? Now that we know that Grace is a verb for New Testament Believers, and it is the ability of God to accomplish through His power, we should be bold and confident to call upon that power to help advance the Kingdom of God on earth.

      As you go forward from this day, be aware of all the ways this world tempts you to live unrighteously. As you are confronted with a situation, try praying a different way.... instead of asking God to take care of it for you, try praying for God's grace (power and ability) to come upon you so that you can exhibit His presence in your actions and life. It is really a matter of renewing your mind to a new concept of God, and then walking in that knowledge. It may seem like a subtle difference in your understanding of Grace, but it will have an extraordinary impact on your testimony.

      P.S. Try doing a word search for "grace" in the New Testament, and then read Scripture from this new understanding of it as a verb. Amazing!

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  3. Pam, your discovery of grace as a noun in old testament(covenant) and that it 'changes' to a verb in new testament(covenant) stood out to me in that,
    ' For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,' (Titus2:11)
    When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.., we can therefore, no longer see grace as a potential action to occur in the future, ... but it (or He)has now become action and we are to be action also .
    And as that scripture continues on with our 'call to action' with the words,
    Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;... then , we are to be that 'action' now and no longer just a 'noun' and sitting still.
    That is not exactly the direction I thought I was going with this, but it does seem to fit just the same!?!

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    1. I just love it when I hear from you because you are a person who actually studies the Word, seeks to understand how it applies to us, and then is willing to do it! You have really summarized the concept of God's Grace in a clear and straightforward manner. Now, if we can get more of the Body of Christ to embrace that we are to live out God's Grace (which implies action on our part) in the manner described in Titus 2, I believe we would see the Kingdom of God defeating the kingdom of satan. I can't wait for you to comment on tomorrow's blog!

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    2. Interesting! Having not read your reply here yet and Father waking me up early this morning, I think He may have answered a question I see in here(your reply to me), to wit, '...if we can get more of the body of Christ...'
      As I was just basking in Him this morning ( I'm trying out my authorship skills with that word, 'basking', trying to impress someone who truly has that gifted ability- but, as my wife says, leave that job to the ones who have truly been called and gifted to do that - LOL ) Well, what I saw this morning is His workings in our lives through His gifting us to accomplish His good pleasure. In other words, it's all Him, it's always been just Him and there has been no one else. We, His children, all of us, even the ones of us who rebelled against Him, He is continually working in/through/around/about. We perceive it as our 'self' working and trying to 'line up' with His will but it is Him in us whether it be the thought, the feeling, the notion of leaning on Him or whatever... we are coming back home, in a sense of the word, which is 'within' us, as we are His Body, we are His temple, we are His House and home. Which makes absolutely NO Sense in the natural mind but makes so much perfect sense in His mind, which I point out to myself this, I/We have the mind of Christ. (1cor 2:16; see also, 1:10)
      (Wow, this is so much harder to try to explain but it was so very clear when He was revealing it this morning). I do want to comment though about the 'download' the HS was giving you, if I may? I experienced that 'supernatural' download when I physically died(truck rollover caused a massive brain hemorrhage) and while out of the body, I 'focused my intention or attention' on 3 men whom I had been studying on earth and instantly received or was 'downloaded' all of their knowledge and(while I was there in my spiritual body) I comprehended and understood it perfectly!!!??! That is, I understood it UNTIL I came back into this flesh body again. Now, that happened almost 12 years ago and I have been putting together all of their knowledge and attempting to understand the wisdom imbedded within it in order to produce what Fathers purpose(d) plan is for today and us His body. In other words, it takes me a long time to put into practice (down here) what I received in seconds or minutes up there and it will take you a while to utilize all that the HS has downloaded into you. The really cool thing is that it's there, all of it. You can never lose it just like the parables of the talents (1,5,10) they never lost their gift but as they worked with them, it just kept producing more and even then, it didn't stop, the one(s) that made the most out of it were given even more and we as His body that are using those gifts and working with them as you are, are being given (or downloaded as you called it) more gifting that, as you are working with (1-what you have; 2-the new gifts downloaded) those gifts which were for the whole body but those who are sitting on them or have buried them then the angels are taking those and bringing them back to those worthy who will work with them to accomplish our Fathers purpose in His earth and to create His will and His kingdom here in His earth not Satans nor the agents of Satan. PS, for a better explanation of how those 'gifts' or 'knowledge' are downloaded , listen to Natan's interview by rabbi in Israel after having died and received knowledge quickly like I did. Or, just watch THE MATRIX and watch Trinity or Neo when they are 'downloaded' knowledge instantly-i.e. Trinity to fly a B212 helicopter; Neo learned combat training.

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    3. Thomas, after reading your reply, I must ask you a very serious question, and please, I mean no disrespect, and it is not my intention to offend you.... but I want to clarify something you revealed in your response. You reference "3 men whom you had been studying on earth"... I just want to make sure that I understand what you are talking about, because I received a check in my spirit at those words. I say that because both my husband and myself have been approached by other Christians who say 3 white-bearded men (whom they perceived as messengers from God, and who called themselves "ascended masters") came to them offering accelerated knowledge from God. And this Christian friend said these "masters" had a message for my husband and myself. We immediately knew they were not from God, and our Christian friend was being deceived. We wanted to know nothing of their "message" for us, and refused what they offered.

      I want to make it very clear that when I say I received a "huge download" from God and the Holy Spirit, it came from reading Scripture and my mind being able to discern a deeper level of interpretation as to the Scripture's meaning. And this was followed by being "a good Berean" and searching more of Scripture to see if this new understanding could be backed up before I was willing to say it was God's Truth. Any new revelation or greater perception of Scripture's meaning came with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, or I rejected it.

      I am not trying to place judgment on your experience, and I apologize if my spiritual alarm system has misconstrued what you were trying to say. There is nothing else within your (as usual) erudite comment that concerns me. You are absolutely correct -- all of the gifts are available to each of us when the Holy Spirit indwells us because He brings all of the gifts with Him! I so enjoy your insight on these spiritual and Biblical matters and I hope you will continue to share!

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    4. Pam, I thought that I replied to this yesterday but maybe I pushed the wrong button?

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    5. No, I did not receive any further responses. Can you resend?

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