A Point of Grace
Grace has become, for many, often interpreted to mean that God's law was abolished. Is this true?
We must know what grace is, so that we can indeed grow in grace as the Word of God has instructed us to do .. 2 Peter 3:18. Many Christians believe that grace is 'God's unmerited favor towards us in Christ'. Though not incorrect it is certainly an incomplete understanding of the word 'grace'. Still other Christians believe that we can attain more grace by doing works or by abstaining from certain fleshly desires, that we can 'earn' grace by performing religious duties and sacraments. Grace cannot be earned as it is a gift from God and can only continue because God continues to give grace. Getting more grace is not the same as growing in grace. Growing in grace is a deepening of our relationship with God and His generosity with His grace towards this spiritual growth and development in our lives.
The word 'charis' is a word that is used over and over in the KJV and means favor. The scriptures say that Jesus grew in favor with both God and man. This favor that the Word speaks about will bring about blessing and this blessing enables us with the ability to get results. God puts His ability on us and we are able to carry out His plan for our life. This is what is meant by grace. Grace connects the Father to us and us to the Father.
Grace is not an unmerited pardon that allows a person to live as they choose to live, and remain connected to the grace of God. Grace is not the abolishing of the law, but the fulfillment of the law. We are unable to exalt ourselves to a Divine position or level, therefore we could never know God, much less have any sort of relationship with Him or to Him. But, God has done what we are unable to do .. Bring us into a Divine position or level. We cannot choose God therefore He chose us. God, in His mercy, brought Himself down to our position or level, that we are now able to reach a Divine position or level in Him. This is grace in action.
Christians must understand that God will give His Spirit to those that obey Him .. Acts 5:32
When a Christian puts their beliefs and faith into action and begins a life of practicing their faith, then they open themselves up to God's grace and it's ability to conquer sin and to sanctify their souls as well as continuing to mold them into the image of Jesus Christ. Without grace it is impossible to grow and develop as a Christian or be transformed or conformed to His image. Grace is given freely to every soul on the earth, but rejected or goes unacknowleged by many. Without grace, even salvation is impossible. As the Christian continues to practice their faith and God continues to lavish His grace upon them, they are then freed up within their very spirits and souls to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and this love will extend to their neighbors as well.
Therefore, grace is not the power to sin and avoid punishment (this is mercy). Grace is the power to avoid sin itself. Grace is the favor that God bestows to us and the acceptance He provides to us.