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Why Grace is More Than Unmerited Favor

    unmerited favor

    And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. – Luke 2:40

    I have grown up in the faith being taught and believing that grace is the unmerited favor of God for believers. Since mercy is not getting something your deserve, then grace is getting something you don’t deserve. And where this makes definitions easy to remember, they cannot be right. If they are, then Jesus would have no need for grace. Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly. Therefore, Jesus would have merited and deserved blessings from God.

    But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! – Romans 5:15

    Grace was manifested in Jesus’ life and ministry and then distributed to us who believe. Where the death passed down by Adam gave sin power over us, grace was passed down by Jesus giving us the ability to live in life. It is the power to live to God’s standard. Grace came through Jesus, came on the disciples, provided by God, and we can grow in it (references: John 1:17, Acts 4:33, 2 Corinthians 1:2, and 2 Peter 3:18).

    The question should then be, how do we grow in grace? We need to love it, treasure it, pursue it, and give it away. God supplies what we need for all our circumstances.

    7 thoughts on “Why Grace is More Than Unmerited Favor”

    1. I absolutley agree.The bible says we are saved “by grace through faith” thats what it takes to tap into the supernatural empowerment to endure and live for Christ. Its been said that ” nobody shows up for your pity party but you and the devil” God honors Faith. Without it its impossible to please him and anything thats not of faith is sin. Jesus said ” Im not alone, He who sent me is with me for I do always those things that please Him. Must have been constantly walking by faith to always please the father also how he obtained grace.

    2. Being in the midst of enjoying your insights about the whole meaning of Grace and how much greater the Gift is than the trespass, my attention was drawn to the phrase: ” Where the death passed down by Adam gave us the power to sin”. I’m probably just trying to split hairs, but it seems to me that Adam’s legacy gave sin a power over us, from which, through the overwhelming Grace of Christ, we have been set free to follow Him.
      Either way though, He Lives that death may die.

      Thanks for who you are and what you do,

      1. Dear Doug,
        Thanks for your encouragement and comment. I looked back over what I wrote and thought through your comment, and I think you are right. If we were all innocent as Adam and Eve were at the beginning, we would still have the power to sin otherwise the fruit would have never been eaten. As you said, Adam’s sin gave sin power over us. The power to sin has become a stronger influence. Grace gives us the power over sin, but we still have the power to sin.

        I made the change to the post. Blessings,

    3. Pingback: Freely Give Grace - prayer coach

    4. Two verses come to mind that show that grace is much more than just “unmerited favor.” (It is, but that is just one aspect of grace.) 1st Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by God’s grace I am what I am; and his grace, which was towards me, has not been vain; but I have labored more abundantly than they all, but not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” And 2nd Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” These two verses shows grace is something more than God’s favor to us. I’ve heard this definition before of grace, which I like: “Grace is all that God has in Christ coming to us and for us.” (I think it might also be summed up in Colossians 1:27 – “Christ in you, the hope of glory!”)

    5. Who better to give the true definition of grace than Peter. In 1st Peter chapter 2 verses 19 and 20 Peter gives the example of what grace is. The operation of the power of the Holy Spirit in us that enables us to respond to life situations differently than what is engrafted in our carnal nature with the spoken word of Christ recalled to our mind the same way he did for the 12 and the 70 he sent out . The word, “thankworthy” and, ” acceptable” are both the Greek word, “charis” in these two verses. May God open our eyes to understand what he really can be in us!

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