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What Would I Do Without Grace

19 Apr

“Grace.” I hear the word quite often, and I have a general understanding of its meaning when the word is used in a sentence, but what does grace really mean? According to Webster, grace is “a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior”, and some synonyms are “charity”, “forgiveness”, and “mercy”. Ephesians 2:8 says

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” 

I think that anybody who has ever been to church has probably heard that verse before. Still, it isn’t totally unreasonable to question its meaning in some way or another. My research tells me that the word “grace” is used 170 times in the Bible, which tells me that there is more to it than simply what that short, one-line verse says. So I started digging around, and I came to 1 Peter, where I’ve found

Grace means sobriety (seriousness)

  • In Holiness“Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit” (1:13) “Because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’.” (2:16)
  • In Fear“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.” (2:17)
  • In Love“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.” (2:22)
  • In Growth“Therefore putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander” (2:1) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (2:9)

Grace Means Submission

  • To Governments“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” (2:13-14) “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (2:17)
  • To Masters“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.” (2:18-19)
  • To Husbands“In the same way wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives” (3:1) Meaning that the wives actions should show the husband toward Gods will, rather than her words doing so. I can say that this one is a big challenge for me.

Recap

  • “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (3:8-9) “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, Also His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (3:12)

Grace Means Suffering

  • “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed, and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled.” (3:14) “For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.” (3:17)

Grace Means Service

  • “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God, and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness” (5:1-2)
So “grace”, is more than just a word. Grace is an action. It is something that God has given us and the verses above are what he wants in return. Really, the things listed up there, aren’t difficult tasks. While it may seem hard to hold your tongue rather than fight back when somebody insults you, it’s definitely something that is possible. I myself will have to work really hard on some of these things, not because they are difficult, but because I will have to break the habits that I’ve been living for twenty-two years. In the end, it will all be worth it. I can either struggle to live the best life that I can here on earth for a few decades (hopefully), or I can find out what real suffering is for eternity later on. Doesn’t seem like the toughest choice.
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3 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Building Blocks for Life

 

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3 responses to “What Would I Do Without Grace

  1. savedbygrace

    April 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    @Grace Means Suffering

    I see what you mean here. Good thing you put those verses. Otherwise, I will disagree.

    I am experiencing suffering and persecution now, not because grace caused it. but rather because grace causes me to preach the love of Jesus to other and the response is not so good.

    good find. 🙂

     
    • valyoume

      April 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      I will pray for you as you are spreading the word of God.

       

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