"The Finesse of Grace"
February 1, 2013

C. R. Oliver

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February 1, 2013

"The Finesse of Grace"

This newsletter is designed to be the last of the series on Grace. Within its walls lies a desire to show the great scope of relevance Grace plays in the total walk of Holiness. Most of the references will be in the form of summaries to be used for further investigation by the reader. Also, the bulk of materials will be from the New Testament. However, select Scriptures found in the Old Testament will introduce this study by showing how grace appeared back in ancient days.

For the ancient saints, grace was given for special circumstances and was randomly applied as God saw fit. Intervention by Grace resulted in a variety of outcomes. Sometimes Grace demanded destruction, for out of God's mercy a continuation of sin could not have been tolerated. Sometimes Grace hovered over a person or a nation and protected them like a mother's womb. Sometimes Grace intervened and opened doors that could be only obtained by Grace's venue. (Below are some instances of these various applications of Grace. It must be acknowledged that no one could have been a saint at any time in history without the overt grace of God being applied to their life.)

The Bible says that "Noah found* grace (Genesis 6:7, 8)," and "Moses found* grace (Exodus 33:12, 13)" and grace was administered* in the wilderness to the people of God (Jeremiah 31:2). It can be deduced in the Old Testament that grace came sporadically upon individuals and to Israel upon occasion. It was so with Ezra, who declared that grace, for a short period, was given to the nation for a specific purpose and season (Ezra 9:8). Ezra recognized Grace had provided a window of opportunity that could close if God stepped back.
*OT: 4672 Found: matsa' (maw-tsaw'); a primitive root; properly, to come forth to, i.e. appear or exist; transitively, to attain, i.e. find or acquire; figuratively, to occur, meet or be present:
KJV - be able, befall, being, catch, certainly, (cause to) come (on, to, to hand), deliver, be enough (cause to) find (-ing, occasion, out), get (hold upon), have (here), be here, hit, be left, light (up-) on, meet (with), occasion serve, (be) present, ready, speed, suffice, take hold on.
The birth of Jesus was initially prophesied as "intervening Grace, an interruption of history."
Psalm 45:2
You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
The ancient people were not bereft of grace, for the whole plan of God rested on it. They fully understood that the goal of grace was to bring Holiness within reach of those who gave themselves to God (this is what the Reformers taught, that grace alone redeemed mankind without benefit of clergy, religious affiliation or dogma [See: Chas. Jennings Study on this subject, www.truthinhistory.org, January, 2013, edition. See also his treatment of sun, moon and stars.]). "Taking hold of grace" is a rare treatment in today's theology.
Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Proverbs 3:34
Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.
Beginning with Jesus, who was the epitome of the Grace-filled life, the transition to the New Testament gave vent to the work of grace more universally. Before Jesus' advent, grace was narrowly defined; now Grace explodes on the scene, even incorporating Gentiles. Grace dwelled with Him and was and is conveyed by Him on His disciples.
(Allow me to confess. I had originally planned for the February study to show-case passages from the Gospel of John and the book of Hebrews and to entitle the letter, "Against a cheap grace." The Gospel of John and the book of Hebrews were birthed near the same time period (65-70 AD). The other gospels and the writings of Paul [except 2 Timothy] were already in circulation. Only 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation followed. So, there are parallels in John and Hebrews that are not found elsewhere. Mainly, they reveal that "it cost Calvary to enable the Grace of God to rest upon His saints.

Nonetheless, the Spirit moved upon me to do what you find in this work-an overview of the power of Grace in the life of the believer. Yes, I will touch on my original subject, but in a deeper context.)
          My initial definition of grace incorporated a principle: "that Grace is the favor of God given to man to propel him to the fullness of redemption, righteousness and holiness in right standing with Jesus." Grace takes its recipients from where they are spiritually and yes, physically, and guides them into the arena of blessing.

          Hopefully, the following Scriptures will form a base of theology in the mind of the reader which can be grasped and held and glorified.

          In order to trace the path of Grace in early church history, it is necessary to first focus on the Savior. Because Christ was born into an Old Testament environ (Temple, sacrifices, etc.), the New Testament expression of Grace rested upon Him and was an extension of His being. (He was born to make the change found in Jeremiah 31:31-34.) His ministry was that of grace and truth. He took the primacy of Law and fulfilled it with the primacy of Grace. This was His destiny.
Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
John's Gospel affirmed the master plan of Grace; that it was the Father's doing and Jesus revealed it.
John 1:14-18
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
John, the Apostle, uniquely cast verse 16 into the equation in order to issue a superlative, Grace stacked on top of more Grace (the double use of grace was a Hebrew method to show emphasis). As the Law had a portion or semblance of Grace within it, Jesus came bearing the fullness of Grace.

The Book of Acts sequences this theme, telling the new found congregants to "continue in Grace," which was unlike the Jews who refused His message and rejected its giver.
Acts 13:43-44
Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Acts 18:27-28
And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Paul opined that his mission was to spread the "gospel of Grace." (Thousands preach "another gospel." Let us preach about Jesus, full of Grace and Truth, who imparts His fullness to those who receive Him.)
Acts 20:24
24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
The gospel of Grace is not the cheap gospel preached in modern society. This is costly Grace, the essence of Calvary, which cost Christ His life by death on the cross. Golgotha was the plan of Grace by which one must enter into His death. It is what Martha Robinson said, when describing the experience which led to the fire falling upon her prayer group: "We prayed through to our death." (See: Consumed By His Fire, pages 164,174)
Hebrews 2:9-11
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 for it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Outcropping from His Calvary death are the following attributes and facets of Grace. The following manifestations should be the work of Grace in all believers.
Release from fear of death:. Hebrews 2:14-15 '... through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.'

Rom 5:21 'so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

Forgiveness of sin: Hebrews 2:17-18 that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted

Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Romans 5:15
'For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.'

2 Timothy 1:9 'who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,' (NOTE: when this grace began.)

Romans 3:23-25
'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance, God had passed over the sins that were previously committed...'

Access to the Throne of Grace: Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Ability to serve God acceptably: Hebrews 12:28-29 'Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 3:7 I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

2 Corinthians :12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

1 Corinthians 15:10 'But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.'

Spiritual Growth: 2 Peter 3:18 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'

Colossians 1:5-6 ...the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

Acts 20:32 'So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

The Ability to Stand: 1 Peter 5:12 '...exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Romans 5:2 'through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:17 ... those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Have An Established heart with an established altar: Hebrews 13:9-10 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

2 Corinthians 9:14-15
'by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!'

A Ready Supply: James 4:5-6 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, 'The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?'
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (NOTE: power and grace are connected).

A girdled mind: 1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (NOTE: the connection between grace and holiness.)

Successful relationships:
In Marriage:
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

With the Brethren:
1 Peter 3:8 one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Grace: the Fulfillment of Prophecy: 1 Peter 1:10-11 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow

Grace: The Factor in spiritual calling: Galatians 1:15-16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace,
16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Romans 11:5-7 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (Italics in the above scriptures used for emphasis)
(Hopefully, you have allowed the Scriptures to speak for themselves with little commentary from the writer. However, there remain two additional aspects which must be covered before we can reach the end. Below, you will see these "stand alone" passages and their frightening propensities.)
Warning about cheap grace: Hebrews 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

Romans 6:15-16 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
(Dangerously close to these warnings has the modern gospel come. When appeals are made to "accept Jesus" without evidence of sorrow for sin and repentance toward God, promotes a cheap grace. When the church overlooks sin in its ranks and does not stand in faith against forces which would dilute the message of Grace; the warnings in these passages move to the front. Millions have joined hands with deception and created a union that is not in covenant with the grace described in these newsletters. Let us not support or sustain such alliances. Look below, to the miserable state of those who cheapen Grace. Look upon those who have purposefully denigrated the true Grace of our Lord.)
Fallen from Grace : Hebrews 12:15 'looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;'
Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:3-4 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
          For well over a year, the Spirit has been at work expanding my knowledge of the vastness of the work of Grace. Regardless of what lies before us, we will be able to stand on the fact that His Grace alone is sufficient to stand upon. We can shout the double Grace, just as Zechariah:
Zechariah 4:7
Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'"
The people possessing the Grace of God can now address their mountains and command them to be removed, and with their purpose complete, be able to shout, "Grace, Grace to it."

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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Die Sohn Zadoks

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