Ephesians 2:7, 8
“That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Ephesians 2 verse 8 is one of those foundational scriptures like John 3: 16 that you learn at vacation bible school as a child or during the membership class at a church. It contains truth that is foundational to our faith. Having said that it is also probably one of those scriptures we get so comfortable with that we can overlook the deep revelation that it holds.
In learning about this scripture, as a child and even as an adult, the focus was always on the free gift of salvation. It is amazing that our faith is based on gifts that are totally free. We don’t earn them. Our salvation is free but the grace that makes the salvation free is also free. Some bible translations, define grace as “God’s unmerited favor”. I agree with that but I want to assert that it is more than favor that is undeserved. Grace is a spiritual force. It is a spiritual empowerment. Grace comes from who God is and it belongs to Him. Notice verse seven of Ephesians says “His grace”.
There are scriptures in the bible to speak of the Spirit of Grace. This is one reason why I believe it is a spiritual force and empowerment. It is a divine enabling that is part of our spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. All of which are free by faith! Not granted based on ability but freely given through Christ because we receive these exceeding riches of “His grace.”
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
Good ole’ King James! I wanted to use that particular translation because it says Spirit of Grace…not mercy or favor. King James doesn’t make its understanding any easier with King’s English! So what do I think these verses are saying? Grace is favor freely given. Grace is mercy freely given. However, it is a spiritual force from God through the Holy Spirit that makes salvation possible but also continues to empower our walk with God. In my experience, I know that grace, a spiritual force and empowerment, helped me homeschool my children for 10 years. I did not accomplish it in my own strength not even in my own gifting. I needed God’s grace. I prayed for His grace many days when I thought I couldn’t do it another day. I can testify to tangibly sensing the empowerment, similar to His Presence and His Spirit but more. I find this difficult to explain, like most spiritual things because it has to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. DISCLAIMER: In no way am I suggesting I have a full revelation of grace…I just believe there is more to it than is traditionally taught.
Another clue I received about grace being something a little deeper than my general understanding came through observation. I noticed that almost all of the Pauline epistles have a salutation in the letter extending “grace and peace from God”. So the Apostle Paul, writer of most of the New Testament, thinks it’s important to speak grace and peace to believers to whom he is writing! I then thought, Ronda you might want to start doing that too. So now when I greet believers I usually extend “grace and peace” either in the greeting or as a blessing. Apostle Peter takes it a step further and says in his second epistle, “grace and peace be multiplied to you”!
WOW. SELAH. Both of these apostles in my opinion probably had a deep revelation of God’s grace. Not only what we would call in church as “saving grace” but also the spiritual force from God that empowers and strengthens you to do what you could not possibly do without His grace! It’s what Paul realized when Jesus says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” WOW. RIGHT.
We experience the spiritual force of grace when we come to the place we know we cannot complete the will of God in our own strength. Grace is the free gift God gives us to complete the plans He has for us. We will come to the end of ourselves more than once. I know I have. We will cry out for strength. We must cry out for grace…not our own strength…because His grace is made perfect when we are totally weak! When I feel like the rug is pulled out from under me, and I don’t have strength for another step and I have cried and cried…I pray for His grace…not my strength. His joy is my strength but in my weakness I need His empowering grace to complete His plan for my life.
Remember pray for grace…His grace!
Grace and peace from God be yours