Part 3: GRACE AS THE POWER AND ABILITY OF GOD OPERATING THROUGH THE BELIEVERS
Too many Christians are trying to reach all of their goals and aspirations by operating out of their own strength. Instead of relying on God’s power and guidance to get them to where they are supposed to be going with Him, they are relying on self (their own wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and strength).
If we are going to achieve any real success in the Lord with whatever His calling is for us in this life then we are going to need the power of God to operate and flow through us. Without God’s divine power working through us, we will never reach the mountain peaks that He is calling us to climb. We will never be able to reach the goals, aspirations or the finish lines that God has set out for us to achieve. We need the power of His Holy Spirit working in us and through us!
The grace of God is the divine life, power and expression of God operating and flowing through born again believers. It is the power and the expression of God Almighty operating in and through us so that we can do His work on earth effectively. This divine power is imperative so that we can be fully sanctified in the Lord. This power of the Holy Spirit helps us to not only overcome but to overthrow all sin, addiction and temptations.
POWER VERSES FOR MEDITATION
The following verses show us that grace is the power and expression of God working through us. Each verse is a major power verse and they are all focused on the second definition of grace that we are looking at today. Remember the first definition or the first side of the coin we discussed in the previous blog (part 2 of Grace) is that grace is the unmerited favor and unconditional love of God towards mankind. As you read and meditate on these scriptures, may you be rooted and established in deeper faith.
“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33)
“… but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-8)
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith …” (Romans 12:6)
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)
INSIGHT FROM THE ABOVE SCRIPTURES
Verse 1(Acts 4:33)
The first verse really sets the stage for us as it shows us that in God’s divine grace is also His divine power. Notice that “great power” and “great grace” was on the early apostles. I believe that God is giving us a major key in this verse; in His divine grace is also His divine power. Great power is thus a part of God’s divine grace. If God the Father can give “great grace” and “great power” to the first set of apostles, then He can also do the exact same thing for you since He is no respecter of persons!
Verse 2(2 Peter 3:18)
Notice in the second verse, that we are to “grow in the grace” of God for our lives. In other words, you can grow mightier and stronger in God’s grace if you will allow Him to train and bring you up in it. It tells us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To grow in grace is to mature as a Christian. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), and as we mature we are sanctified by grace alone. We know that grace is a blessing that we don’t deserve. It is God’s grace that justifies us, sanctifies us and eventually glorifies us in heaven. The sanctification process of becoming more like Christ is synonymous with growing in grace.
We grow in grace by reading God’s Word by allowing it dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16) and by praying in accordance to it. Doing only these things won’t mature us, but God uses these spiritual disciplines as building blocks to help us grow. Therefore, maturing in our Christian life is not about what we do, but about what God does in us by His grace. Understanding and applying God’s grace in our lives is important. We are not to take grace for granted by being prideful; God says that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Grace is a characteristic of God that enables us to break free from our sinful nature and follow Him. It gives us strength and protects us. Without God’s grace and His favour we would be hopelessly lost in this world. The more grace we have and ask God for, the more mature as Christians we will be.
Verse 3(2 Timothy 2:1)
The third verse then adds more meat to this revelation when it tells us to “be strong in the grace” that is in Jesus Christ. Put it all together and God not only wants us to grow in His grace, but He wants all of us to become mightier and stronger in His grace.
Verse 4 (2 Corinthians 9:8)
The fourth verse tells us that we can have an “abundance” for every good work that we do for God and a “sufficiency” in all things as a result of God being able to make His grace “abound” toward us. The word “abound” means “to increase greatly.”
The last four verses are revealing to us that added to God’s grace is the spiritual gifts that He has for you. In other words, whatever gifts God has set aside for you in order to work for Him in this life will all be included in His grace for your life.
We just discovered that we can have “abundance” for every good work that we do for God and a “sufficiency” in all things as a result of God being able to make His grace “abound” toward us.
It is evident in all these highlighted scriptures that not only does God have grace to give to impart to us but He wants to give it to us abundantly!
THE POWER OF THE GRACE OF GOD
Romans 5:20-21 "but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our lord."
God's grace is so powerful that abounds over sin and it reigns where once sin reigned.
THE POWER OF GRACE OVERCOMES
First—Grace overcomes our spiritual death
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…" (Ephesians2:10). You see dear friends in our sinful nature we were spiritually dead, sadly this is still the condition of most of the human race. We all died in Adam (Refer to Romans 5:12-19), which means that all men were born into this world spiritually dead, without one ounce of spiritual life!
This means that we were dead to the interests of our own souls; we were dead to the life of God and to spiritual things, these did not interest or even faze us at all. This is the condition of the vast majority of people in the world today, both in and out of so-called religion. They give no thought to the things of God and easily dismiss them if they are mentioned.
Though they are religious, they are spiritually dead! They have no spiritual awareness; no spiritual understanding; no conception of the things of Christ at all. …So grace has to overcome this state of death. Nothing but the power of the grace of God in Christ Jesus can do it!
Second—Grace overcomes opposition. Flesh is an enemy of God; it dislikes truth and the things of God. Opposition is the tragic state of the natural man, that is, of every sinner outside of Christ. Not only does man fail to respond to spiritual truth, but he hates it, spurns it and opposes it.
"The carnal mind, [the natural mind of man, the fleshly mind] is enmity against God." It not only does not respond to truth, but it is also an enemy, hostile against God; the natural mind and heart are "not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
And why not?—"for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Man in his sinful state laughs at the things of the Spirit of God; he does not receive them because to him they are nonsense, folly and utter rubbish. Not only does he not receive them, but he actively and bitterly opposes them; he rejects them altogether. This is the Biblical truth of the awful and fearful condition of natural man! How then, is this man going to be saved and maintain his salvation when he is in this condition? There is only one answer: by the power of the grace of God. It is because the power of grace is altogether greater than the reign of sin!
Third—Grace overcomes the enemy.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)
You see, Satan does not want to lose his citizens, his slaves. He is the strong man mentioned in Luke 11:21, fully armed, guarding his own palace keeping his goods in peace. He holds men captive at his will (2 Timothy 2:26), guarding and surrounding them with mighty fortification; so they must be delivered from the "power of Satan" (Acts 26:18). How then can anyone ever be redeemed? Nothing less than the power of the grace of God can do it as the Scriptures so plainly tell us. I praise the Lord for His grace that is so powerful!
Ask God in prayer for His grace, which is His power operating and flowing through us. Without God’s divine power and expression operating in and through us, we will never make it to where God wills us to go for Him. We have the power of His Holy Spirit working in us and through us and we need a greater measure to be imparted to us. This divine power of grace keeps us from fleshly desires and temptations which lead us to sin. The power of grace sanctifies us for His glory.
Thank You Jesus!