"ABOUT GRACE"

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
The Definition of The Dispensation of Grace

This dispensation is so called because the grace of God is the predominant characteristic throughout. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" Jn. 1:16, 17. The following look of grace will be helpful to the reader and will enable him to see that grace has been a part of every age:

The Definition of the word "grace"

The primary meaning of grace in connection with God is: free, eternal, and unmerited love and favour of God toward free moral agents who are the product of His own creation, whether human or spirit beings, and who are capable of God-consciousness and moral responsibility. Grace is the spring, source, and the very fountain-head of all the manifold benefits and blessings of God to all of His creation Jn. 1:14-17; 3:16; Rom. 3:24; 5:17-21; 11:5, 6; 2 Cor. 9:8; Eph. 1:6, 7; 2:5-8; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5.
The Greek word "charis" in the New Testament is translated "grace" "favor" "thank" and "thankworthy" "pleasure" and "acceptable," "benefits," "gift," "gracious," "joy," and "liberality" It is not found in Matthew or Mark. It is found in Luke , in John, in Acts, in the Pauline Epistles, in James 1, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and in Jude and in Revelation two times once in the beginning and once at the end.
Grace cannot be limited in usage to God's dealings with men in the New Testament or with men only in any one period. Was not God gracious and loving to angels and all spirit beings and to men in the Old Testament times as He is to men in the New Testament? He could not be otherwise to any of His creations at any time except when they were in rebellion and sin. The very creation and continued existence of such beings as in an act of grace. In fact, grace covers even the brute creation and abundantly provides for all living creatures those things which sustain life. Grace is merited no more by the brutes than by free moral agents. It is free for all. and all creatures partake of it in some form whether they realize it or not.
 
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Banjo Picker

Senior Member
The Benefits of Grace

All God's great benefits comes through His marvelous grace. We deserve nothing but He gives us everything. Grace moves God to act in behalf of, and for the best and eternal good of the whole creation. Grace is seen in Acts of judgment as well as in acts of mercy. It works for the benefits of the few as well as of the many. All living creatures have an eternal guarantee of God's benefits and loving providence through grace. We get through grace "every good and perfect gift" and "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:24; 5:2, 17-21; 6:14; 8:32; 2 Cor. 8:9; 9:8; Eph. 1:6, 7; 2:5-8; Jas. 1:17; 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; 2 Pet. 1:3, 4.
Such benefits are received solely by free moral agents upon the principle of humiliation and entire dependence upon God by faith, realizing that the creature is nothing, and the Creator is all and the source of all. SUCH BLESSINGS ARE WHOLLY APART FROM WORKS Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-4, 16; 5:15-21; 6:14, 15; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-12; Eph. 2:7-9.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
The Grace of God in All Ages

That there was grace manifested by God in all ages cannot be disputed. God has been gracious, loving and merciful in every age to all men. Every act of mercy from God has come through His grace. Every favor of God to man is through grace. The statement of John, "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" Jn. 1:16, 17, could not possibly mean that there was no measure of grace before Jesus came any more than the statement in the same verse. "the law was given by Moses," means that there was no law of any kind before Moses. There were many laws before Moses. There was grace before Jesus Christ came to the Earth, but it was the "fulness" of grace that came through Him at His coming Jn. 1:14-17. There have been different graces or favors of God to men at different times. The teachings that grace never brought men spiritual blessings before Christ is based upon unbelief and cherished preconceived ideas which are held solely to fortify certain false doctrines.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
Men all through the Old Testament times received the grace and favor of God in many ways, and many lost that favor again and never regained it. Others maintained that favor more or less throughout their lives (see Gen. 6:18; 19:19; Ex. 33:12-17; 34:9; Ps. 84:11; Prov. 3:34; Lk. 2:40). That all Old Testament saints had nearly every blessing that men in this age receive through grace. The only difference in the blessings of the new covenant and those before and under the old covenant is that we can have the fullness of what they had in part. They had the Holy Spirit in a measure; we can have Him in all fullness Jn. 3:34; 7:37-39. They had grace in a measure; we can have it in all fullness through Jesus Christ Jn. 1:17. They Had God's glory in part we can have it in a greater way 2 Cor. 3:6-15.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
Each dispensation began in the favor of God and ended in the judgment of God because men lost His favor. Every unsaved soul in all ages is an unanswerable argument proving a fall from the original grace of God. Millions have never regained this standing in grace again. Grace provided even in Old Testament times the means of reconciliation for all but all did not accept God's grace then any more than they do today, as far as spiritual things are concerned. As far as material things are concerned all men of all ages have accepted of God's blessings through His grace. All these blessings of life are unmerited favors of God toward man to lead him to repentance Matt. 5:44-48; Rom. 2:4-6; Acts 17:28; Jas. 1:17.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
That saint's in the Old Testament times received the Holy Spirit in their lives by faith through grace is clear from Gen. 41:38; Ex. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Num. 11:17-29; 14:24; 24:2; 27:18; Deut. 34:9; Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1 Sam. 15:1; 20:14; 24:20; Ps. 51:10, 11; Isa. 11:2; 26:9; 42:1; 61:1-3; 63:10-14; Ezek. 2:2; 3:24; 11:5, 19; 36:27; 37:14; Dan. 4:8, 9, 18; 5:11-14; 6:3; Mt. 10:1-21; Lk. 1:15, 41-46, 67, 70; 2:25-35; Acts 1:16; 3:18-21; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1, 2; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
People were made partakers of many spiritual blessings and of the Holy Spirit Himself, by grace through faith in the Old Testament times. Many examples are found in Rom. 4:1-26; Gal. 2:15-19; 3:1-18; Heb. 11. These passages prove that people were justified by faith through grace wholly apart from works or law. If not through works, how could they have received except by grace.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
There were permanent anointings and abidings of the Spirit and not just occasional visits as some teach. John the Baptist was "filled" with the Holy Spirit from birth, and this was before the coming of the Holy Spirit in fullness as on Pentecost. Did all these people receive the Holy Spirit by works? If not, then they received by grace. If by grace then, grace was evident in the Old Testament times. Of course, these people did not receive the baptism in the Spirit that all believers may have since the day of Pentecost (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:31-34; 7:38, 39; Acts 1:4, 5; 2:1-21, 33, 38, 39; 8:5-25; 9:1-7; 10:44-48; 11:15, 16; 19:1-7), but they surely had the Spirit in a measure.
 

StriperAddict

Senior Member
It is free for all. and all creatures partake of it in some form whether they realize it or not.
Salvation's grace is Sourced from Christ. Faith/trust comes in on that and hitches it's wagon to the cross and resurrection ... something many men miss - yet all the grace for Life is ready for the receiving. Come boldly!
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
There was and still is a measure of the Spirit that all believers receive is clear from Num. 11:16, 17; 2 Kings 2:9; Lk. 1:17; Jn. 3:34; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:22; 3:18; 5:5; Phil. 1:19; 1 Jn. 4:13. These passages speak of the Spirit "by measure" and "without measure" which is the difference between receiving the Spirit at conversion as do all believers (Jn. 3:3-8; Rom. 5:1-11; 8:1-17; 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:11-21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:18; 4:4; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn. 4:13) and the baptism in the Spirit referred to in the Scriptures above, which all believers may receive by asking their heavenly Father (Lk. 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:8-15; 8:1-21).
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
FULLNES OF GRACE AND POWER PROMISED MODERN BELIVERES

There are different measures of the Spirit and the power of God which Old Testament saints experienced. Christ was the first to receive the Spirit "without measure" (Jn. 3:34), John said "of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace, " proving that there are measures of grace (Jn. 1:16, 17). The Weymouth translation reads, "grace upon grace" and the Moffatt translation "grace after grace" thus plainly showing that all of grace is not necessarily received at once. This is due to the lack of knowledge and faith. According to our knowledge we have faith and according to our faith we receive grace of God's favor in every stage of our growth. there is no limitation to the grace of God or what we can receive from God through grace. The benefits of grace do not all come to all alike or all at once, as is taught by many modern teachers. If all men received the same fullness of grace alike then all would have the same benefits from God alike. The fact that some receive more benefits than others proves that they come by faith and according to the faith of each person. Faith governs the benefits of grace and faith in turn is based upon knowledge.
We are promised today "the fulness of God" and the same power to do the same works that Jesus did (Jn. 14:12-15; Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 1:8; Eph. 3:16-20). Since there are varying degrees of power of faith in different believers it proves there are also varying degrees of grace received from God.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
THE LENGTH OF THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE

This age is the one which we now live and dates from Christ to the Millennium. It has already lasted over 1900 years. It will continue until Christ comes back with the saints to set up a literal kingdom on the Earth for the purpose of putting down all rebellion Rev. 19:11-21; 1 Cor. 15:24-28. on the chart maybe 1950 years? for the length of this age. This is until 1980 A. D., adding 30 years of Christ's to 1950. This age really began about 30 A. D. "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it" Mt. 11:11; Lk. 16:16. This perhaps is plenty allowance of time for this age considering the fast fulfillment of prophecy and the signs of the soon coming of Christ that are now coming to pass. There are numerous reasons why we are near the end of the age.
The end itself cannot end, however for at least seven years, for the Antichrist is to be here that long after he is revealed Dan. 9:27. Further the Roman Empire must be revived and must exist in the form of ten separate kingdoms before Antichrist can possibly be revealed. This is proved by Dan. 7:24, "another shall rise after them" and not before them. Judging from the present trend will come the rise of the Antichrist for seven years before the end of the age.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
Noah found grace in the sight of God because he was righteous, and God favored him because of this Gen. 6:8; 7:1. God had mercy on him and his family. If Noah had not been righteous God would not have had mercy on him. He would have destroyed him and his house with the rest of the ungodly. This cannot be disputed if one believes the record. When lot found "grace" or "Favor" in the sight of God it was because of God's mercy and because of Abraham, the friend of God Gen. 19:19, 29. When Moses and Israel found grace in the sight of God it was because of God's mercy and choice Ex. 33:12-17; 34:9. They were His chosen people because of Abraham who God saw WOULD OBEY HIM and command his children to serve the Lord Gen. 18:17-19; 22:12. Those same people whom God had chosen and found grace in God's sight were destroyed because of sin, FOR GRACE DOES NOT TOLERATE SIN IN THOSE WHO WERE ONE TIME BLESSED WITH GRACE Ex. 32:30-35; Num. 14:22-35; Jude 5. When men in the early church found grace from God it was because they humbled themselves and accepted of their own choice the salvation of God. When they failed God, they were cursed as were the Israelites and men and angels of past ages Acts 1:25; 5:1-10; Rom. 11; 1 Tim. 1:19, 20; 5:11-15; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Rev. 2:5.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
It is folly to talk about being forgiven of sin or being saved without this salvation being an act of grace and mercy. Everything that God does for one is an act of grace and mercy. The fact that God has already paid the debt for man does not mean that actual forgiveness of sins today is not an immediate act of His grace. No sinner is saved personally until he accepts the work of Christ, and since sinners have to do this in their own lives today, then the grace of God manifests itself today only when one accepts Christ as a personal Saviour. This does not mean that God becomes good enough to excuse sins apart from the work of Christ. It is that God becomes personally gracious to each sinner the moment he accepts the work of Christ for him. The work of Christ was done centuries ago, but it does not benefit the individual until he chooses to accept it. God blesses by His grace the sinner when he surrenders, and this cannot be done in one life until the sinner turns to God and permits the grace of God to be manifest in him. No sinner will ever receive the grace of God until he personally humbles himself and calls upon God for mercy. God is free to forgive at the moment one confesses because Christ has already paid the debt for him. It is only when man knows the truth and accepts it that he is set free (Job 33:23, 24; Jn. 8:31, 32).
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
:popknot::hammers::deadhorse::rockon: I don't know why but God does not act on me the way he acks on you Banjo. Maybe someday I will. Nice to see you ain't the quitting kind.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
Further proof that grace is governed in the individual life by the will power and life of each person is clear from the fact that a person can receive the grace of God in vain 2 Cor. 6:1. He can frustrate grace in his life Gal. 2:21' He can fall from it Gal. 5:4. He can cause it to fail in his life Heb. 12:15. He can turn it into lasciviousness Jude 4. He can sin in spite of grace Rom. 6:1. And he can continue or discontinue in it as he pleases Acts 13:43. Christians can minister grace to others Eph. 4:29; Phil. 1:7; 1 Pet. 4:10. and grow in it 2 Pet. 3:18. Grace is an attribute of God that is used along with the words "mercy" and "compassion" in connection with sinners (Ex. 34:6; 2 Cron. 30:9; Neh. 9:17, 31; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 111:4; 112:4).
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
The gospel of redemption is called "the word of his grace" (Acts 14:3; 20:24, 32). Men are justified by grace (Rom. 3:24; Titus 3:7). All blessings come by grace (Jn. 1:16; Eph. 1:7; 2:7). It brings salvation (Titus 2:11-13). It is the source of answered prayer (Heb. 4:16). It can transform our lives (1 Cor. 15:10). It enables men to make great sacrifices (2 Cor. 9:8). It comes through faith (Eph. 2:8, 9), the Holy Spirit (Zech. 12:10; Heb. 10:29), God's choice (Rom. 11:5, 6; Gal. 1:15; Ex. 33:19), Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:4), and humility and choice on the part of man (Prov. 3:34; Jas. 4:6). It comes in various measures (Eph. 4:7; Rom. 12:3-6; 15:15), and the will power and life of the believer (Heb. 12:15, 28; 13:9; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5).
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
FAVORABLE BEGINNING OF DISPENSATION OF GRACE

This dispensation had most favorable beginning. Christ Himself began it when He started His earthly ministry (Lk. 16:16; Jn. 1:17). He, instead of the prophets became the voice of God to man (Heb. 1:1-3). He came as the Saviour of the world to complete the work of redemption that God gave Him to do (Jn. 17:1-5; 19:30). While here He destroyed the works of the devil and manifested His power all over creation, bringing life and liberty through the gospel. He established the church and endued it with the power of the Holy Spirit to carry on the work He began (Mt. 8:1-17; 9:1-38; 16:18; 28:19, 20; Jn. 14:14; 15:1-6; Acts 1:1-8; 2:1-4; 1 Jn. 3:1-10). The new church endued with power was victorious in all lands and in a few years brought the gospel of the grace of God to most of the then known world.

Form this point on, in the upholding of God's plan, it was possible for every man to be fully reconciled to God by the death of His Son and to be re-created made anew and recognized as a child of God with power over all powers of the enemy to do the same works that Christ did while on Earth (Jn. 3:1-8; 14:12-15; Rom. 5:1-11; 8:1-16; 2 Cor. 5:17-19). In other words, all men now can receive the super-abundance of the same kind of grace and favor that men before received in a measure. After man's continued failure in all past ages there was a need of grace and restoration, and God met this need in His Son Jesus Christ.

The grace of God was now revealed in "fulness" to man to meet his need for body, soul, and spirit (Jn. 1:14-17). Thus, the beginning of this dispensation was exceptionally favorable for every man could approach God in the Holy of Holies and have free access to Him at all times through grace (Heb. 4:16; 10:19-23). Each man now becomes his own priest and can obtain what every other man can. God's riches are for all who will avail themselves of their privileges in Christ What more favorable conditions could be asked?
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
THE TEST FOR MAN IN THIS DISPENSATION

The particular test for man in this dispensation is "the obedience of faith among all nations" through the grace of God and the work of Christ on the cross. This test is plainly stated to be that faith and obedience to God as the necessary thing to do to please God and to be saved in this age (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 1:5, 16; 16:26; Mk. 16:15-18; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

Although salvation and all the spiritual and physical benefits of grace are free for all, yet they only benefit those who believe, and are received only by those who accept them by faith in Jesus Christ and who live according to the Holy Scriptures. The material benefits of grace are still for the unsaved as well as for the saved, especially those things that sustain to life (Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; 17:26-31). This fact should never be overlooked, however, if they are for the unsaved, how much more are they for the saved and those who conform wholly to the will of God? They have all the right in the world to get material blessings from God since they are special subjects of providence. No Christian should be satisfied without such blessings. A sinner will continue to receive from God certain benefits that sustain life, and he will continually be a subject of God's goodness and mercy which are given him to lead him to repentance (Rom. 2:4), but no sinner can be saved from sin and receive the manifold spiritual and eternal blessings of God without faith and obedience to God according to the gospel.
 

Banjo Picker

Senior Member
This much of the gospel must be learned by all men before they can be blessed fully. Paul said "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save THEM THAT BELIEVE"; and the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH" (1 Cor. 1:18-21; Rom. 1:16). John said, WHOSOEVERY BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16-21; 5:24; 1 Jn. 5:1-4). Mark said, "HE THAT BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved; but HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT shall be dam-ned" (Mk. 16:16).

Faith is not only required of sinners to be saved but it is required to saints to keep saved, as proved by the following passages: "IF YE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel . . . As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and STABISHED IN THE FAITH" (Col. 1:23; 2:6, 7); "HOLDING FAITH, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck . . . having ****ation because they have cast off THEIR FIRST FAITH . . . Fight the good fight of FAITH, lay hold on eternal life" (1 Tim. 1:19, 20; 5:12-15; 6:12-21); "Whose house are we, IF WE HOLD FAST THE CONFIDENCE and the rejoicing of the hope FIRM UNTO THE END . . . For we are made partakers of Christ, IF WE HOLD THE BEGINNING OF OUR CONFIDENCE STEDFAST UNTO THE END" (Heb. 3:6, 12-14); "We desire that everyone of you do shew the same diligence TO THE FULL ASSUURANCE OF THE HOPE UNTO THE END. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE inherit the promises" (Heb. 6:11, 12); LET US HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING; for he is faithful that promised . . . CAST NOT AWAY THEREFORE YOUR CONFIDENCE, which hath great recompence of reward . . . NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: but if any man draw back my soul shall have no pleasure in him. but we are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them THAT BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL" (Heb. 10:19-23, 35-39); BUT WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS and THAT HE IS A REWARDER of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). These and scores of other passages prove that one act of faith is not sufficient as is argued by many of today in certain modern churches. One must make up his mind whether he is going to believe God or man, and woe be unto the person that makes God a liar and makes false doctrines of men the truth! Woe to the man that fails in meeting the test of this age the obedience to the faith, not only for one moment but for his whole life.
 
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