John 1:16 (NAS) For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
The Grace Gifts
1 Cor 14:1 (NIV) Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts...
Many Christians know that "gift" in Greek is charisma, as in charismatic. Grace in Greek is charis. They are nearly the same word, and are very closely related.Rom 12:6 (NIV) We have different gifts [charisma], according to the grace [charis] given us...
To be sure, grace is more than just the gifts of the Spirit, it also produces fruit of Spirit. Yet grace [charis] and the gifts [charisma] are near synonyms, and this word-play is heavily exploited throughout the New Covenant.1 Pet 4:10 (NIV) Each one should use whatever gift [charisma] he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace [charis] in its various forms.
The Fruit Of The Spirit
Col 1:6 (NIV) ... All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.
More important than the gifts of the Spirit (which are temporary, can be faked, even sourced by Satan) are the fruits of the Spirit. The ability to produce godly fruit by the power of the resurrected Christ in us is grace in action.Gal 5:22-23 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Mat 3:8 (NIV) "Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance."
Acts 26:20 (NIV) "...they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds."
Mat 7:19-21 (NIV) "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
Rom 5:1-2 (NAS) Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
2 Cor 9:8 (NIV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Picture a concept "abounding". Then try picturing "fire insurance" "abounding". Such scriptures cannot be understood as conceptual grace. Grace must be real--it must touch ground in good fruit and works--or it is not grace at all, but a vapor of words.Acts 4:33-34 (NIV) With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them...
Grace In Action Through The Gifts
Acts 6:8 (NIV) Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
Rom 1:5 (NIV) Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people... to the obedience that comes from faith.
Eph 3:2,7-8 (NIV) Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you?.. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
1 Cor 3:10 (NIV) By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder...
1 Tim 1:14 (TEB) Our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and gave me the faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus.
Rom 12:3 (NIV) For by the grace given me I say...
Rom 15:15 (NIV) I have written to you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me.
2 Cor 8:7 (NIV) But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Col 4:6 (NIV) Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt...
1 Cor 1:3-9 (NAS) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace [charis] of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift [charisma], awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Gift is The Righteousness of Christ By The Holy Spirit
Rom 3:22-24 (NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe... For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
1 Thes 2:13 (NIV) And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
Titus 3:4-8 (NIV) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
2 Cor 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
In Christ, And Christ In Us
Eph 1:7-11 (Phi) ... It is through him, at cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that free and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and given us wisdom and insight. For God has allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposed long ago in his sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in him. In Christ we have been given an inheritance, since we were destined for this, by the one who works out all his purposes according to the design of his own will.
Phil 2:12-13 (NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
The Experience of Grace In The Moment
Titus 2:11-12 (NIV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
2 Tim 1:8-9 (NIV) ...Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Col 1:10-12 (NIV) And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Heb 13:9b (NAS) It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace...
Phil 4:13 (Wey) I have strength for anything through Him who gives me power.
2 Tim 2:1 (Phi) So, my son, be strong in the grace that Christ Jesus gives.
Surprised By Grace
2 Tim 1:8-9 (Jer) ...Bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy--not because of anything we ourselves have done, but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time.
Eph 2:8-10 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no-one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
There is a distinct experience of stepping into one of these "good works" moments; as if it were waiting for us before the foundation of the world and we have just now slipped into it, sort of like a hand popping into a glove. "It was for this we were made," seems to be the feeling when the life of Christ bursts forth from within us; even if what is being done is a small thing in the eyes of men. It might be swallowing pride, it might be turning the other cheek, it might be dying to a carnal instinct, it might be helping someone with a spiritual gift, it might be leading someone to Christ. But when we find ourselves obedient by grace, it is an experience far removed from legalistic, religious effort. It is an "easy yoke" (Mat 11:30) indeed, since He is in it with us. We are "surprised by grace" in the moment of obedience--to what we long knew God wanted--and we also have a strong sense that this moment has been waiting for us since time began. Have you ever experienced this?
Consecrated By Grace
Eph 2:10 (Wey) For we are God's own handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works which He has predestined us to practice.
We are His workmanship, and He will guide us into glorious episodes of obedience by grace through faith in the only One who is approved of the Father, even Jesus Christ, who has generously offered His very life to us to live in each and every moment.2 Tim 2:19-21 (Jer) ..."The Lord knows those who are his own" and "All who call upon the name of the Lord must avoid sin." Not all the dishes in a large house are made of gold and silver; some are made of wood and earthenware, some are kept for special occasions and others for ordinary purposes. Now, to avoid these faults... is the way for anyone to become a vessel for special occasions, fit for the Master himself to use, and kept ready for any good work.
Heb 12:28 (Jer) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
Php 2:12-13 (Wey) ...Labour earnestly with fear and trembling... to make sure of your own salvation. For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire.
By Grace We Stand
Col 1:6 (Jer) The Good News which has reached you is spreading all over the world and is producing the same results as it has among you ever since the day when you heard about God's grace and understood what this really is.
2 Pet 1:2-3 (Phi) May you know more and more of grace and peace as your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord grows deeper. He has by His own action given us everything that is necessary for living [a godly life] in allowing us to know the one who has called us to him, through his own glorious goodness.
1 Pet 5:8-12 (Phi) Be self-controlled and vigilant always... and after you have borne these sufferings a very little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to share his eternal splendour through Christ, will himself make you whole and secure and strong. All power is his for ever and ever, amen! I am sending this short letter... to stimulate your faith and assure you that the above words represent the true grace of God. See that you stand fast in that grace!
First Study: Grace vs The Law