Vol. 17, No. 37 – September 16, 2018
In Eph 6:23, we have, “… from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” APO THEOS PATER KAI KURIOS IESUS CHRISTOS.
This is similar to Paul’s wording in, Eph 1:2-3, 17; 5:20, and his opening salutations in 2 Cor 1:2; Rom 1:7.
Rom 1:7, “To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
But in our passage, the key word is “from,” APO, ἀπό the Genitive of Source Preposition that means, “from or out of.” In other words, God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are the source of all of our blessings, including faith that leads to having the blessings of peace and MVA love in our lives. Faith, peace, and love all flow from the source of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The ultimate source of these three essential features of the Christian way of life is God himself.
In fact, God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as “the source of,” speaks to the “grace” of God in our lives, as vs. 24 also tells us. Having faith, peace, and love from God the Father and Jesus Christ is specifically speaking of their grace plan for the believer post-salvation / conversion. Therefore, faith, peace, and love are given to us by the grace gift of God, and the Preposition APO in this passage, emphasizes the grace of God in our lives.
The name of Jesus Christ, Who is the Son of God, is associated with that of God the Father in perfect equality and unity in this and other passages. That is because faith, peace, and love are grace gifts of God bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ. That they come equally from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ shows us the equality of the Father and the Son inside the Trinity, as all grace comes from the source of God.
Grace comes from the source of God the Father, as the fountain of all our mercies, and grace comes from the source of the Lord Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice and mediation. The Father and the Son are regarded as equally authoring faith, peace, and love along with the Holy Spirit. Cf. 2 Cor 13:14, a Trinitarian verse.
2 Cor 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
Therefore, the Preposition APO acts as an introduction to the first word in vs. 24, “grace,” the Greek noun CHARIS, which we are going to note here. And, given the context of vs. 23-24, we are going to focus on the “grace of God” towards the believer post-salvation / conversion. But keep in mind that the grace of God is extended to the unbeliever prior to their salvation, as well as at the moment of faith in Jesus Christ.
“Grace,” CHARIS, χάρις means, “grace, graciousness, kindness, goodwill; a gift, a favor, etc.” Grace is all that God is free to do for mankind without compromising His Divine essence. Grace means favor, kindness, and mercy. Grace is undeserved blessing and suffering from God to mankind. Grace is free and unmerited love and favor toward us. Grace is unmerited Divine provision for mankind before, during, and after salvation. Therefore, grace depends on who and what God is.
Because God has personal love for the believer, He imputed His perfect righteousness to the believer at the moment of the believer’s conversion. Thereafter, (i.e., post-salvation), the grace of God can bless the righteousness of God inside the believer.
Post-salvation grace is found in 1 Peter 5:12, “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.” Unfortunately, sometimes there are distortions of God’s grace.
Grace is the free, unmerited favor and love from God alone, not from our works or because we are attractive to God. Grace means that all things from God are received from Him as a free gift totally apart from any form of human merit or any system of human works. They are never merited or earned by mankind. No one has ever been blessed by God because they are a “good person” or live morally. The Christian way of life, which is based on receiving God’s grace, is infinitely greater than humanistic morality. Humanistic morality with the exclusion of the Filling of the Holy Spirit is a function of the energy of the flesh; it is for the human race. Humanistic morality is the result of self-determination; grace is the result of God’s determination. As such, grace blessings never compromise His Divine essence or Divine effort in bestowing blessing on mankind, cf. John 1:12-13.
John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Grace is the helplessness of man and the helpfulness of God. In grace, God sows and we reap blessing.
Grace is the manifestation of God’s holiness, power, virtue, efficacy, mercy, love, compassion, indulgence, forbearance, pardon; unmerited favor based on the exclusive work of God. Grace is benefit from God totally a part of the work of God and totally apart from the works of mankind. Therefore, no matter what our circumstances may be, in Jesus Christ we are “blessed with all spiritual blessings” by God, Eph 1:3.
Post-salvation grace includes total Divine provision from God for the fulfillment of His plan, His will, and His purpose for our lives, James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6; Prov 3:34.
It is described in James 4:6, “But He keeps on giving greater grace. Therefore, it says, ‘God is opposed to, (makes war against), the proud, (arrogant believer), but gives grace to the humble believer’.”
1 Peter 5:5-6, “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God makes war against the arrogant believer, but gives grace to the humble believer. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt, promote, you at the proper time.”
Greater grace means greater than pre-salvation grace, greater than salvation grace. It is the greatest grace of all. Post-salvation grace includes more grace than anything else in life, John 1:16-17.
John 1:16-17, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
“Grace upon grace,” means that we had grace at salvation and we continue to have it post-salvation. If we are saved by grace, then we should live by grace.
The phrase “Grace to you (for your benefit) and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ,” occurs many times in Scripture: 1 Cor 15:10; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2; Col 1:2; 1 Thes 1:2; 2 Thes 1:2.
1 Cor 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”
“Not proving vain,” means you did not waste the grace of God in your life by giving over to sin and the world. Instead, you received His grace in your life by learning and applying His Word to advance and excel in your walk with Christ, along with having tremendous faith leading to peace and MVA love in your service towards God and man, i.e., Divine good production. Like Paul we are exhorted to not treat the Grace of God in our lives vainly, 2 Cor 6:1; Gal 2:21.
2 Cor 6:1, “We also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”
Gal 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law (and it does not), then Christ died in vain.”
Grace is the means of conveying the power of God to the life of the ordinary believer, 2 Tim 2:1; 2 Thes 1:12; 2:16-17.
2 Tim 2:1, “You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Thes 1:12, “In order that the person of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified by you and you by Him, on the basis of the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thes 2:16-17, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given to us eternal comfort and good of intrinsic value hope by confidence in the sphere of grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts right lobes in every good work and word, all Divine good production and Bible doctrine.”
God’s grace always operates within some sphere. In the plan of God for the Church Age believer, the sphere in which grace operates is our union with Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18.
2 Peter 3:18, “But keep on growing in the sphere of grace and in the sphere of knowledge about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory to Him both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
We proceed in grace as we began in grace.
The grace of God means that none of us can earn or deserve even one blessing from God. God does all the work; we do not earn or deserve anything from God. We are not blessed because we do something. We are blessed because God has done and continues to do something in us, through us, and for us. We never earn or deserve anything from God except condemnation.
God is the aggressor in establishing a relationship with man; when man is the aggressor that is works or what we call legalism. Therefore, grace is the policy of God in providing everything necessary for the believer to execute His plan, purpose, and will.
Legalism is the enemy of grace. Legalism includes any system by which mankind claims blessing from God through his own merit, his own ability, his works, or his service. Legalism derives its name from human beings trying to be saved by keeping the Mosaic Law or by doing some other form of works as a way of salvation. Legalism is refuted in both the books of Romans and Galatians.
Gal 3:1-5, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”
Legalism exists in many forms, such as salvation by works, spirituality by works, crusader arrogance, and human plans substituted for the Divine plan of God.
Grace and legalism are mutually exclusive. They cannot and do not coexist. No system of human merit or ability is ever a part of God’s grace policy, and therefore is never a part of God’s Plan. Grace at salvation is the work of God. It excludes human merit. Grace inside the Plan of God for your life is the provision of God. It excludes any form of human ability or merit.
Legalism is the intrusion of human works, thinking, opinions, and ideas on God. We superimpose on God our stupidity. Legalism is always finding some way of its own to superimpose on God and says, “God, accept my works, my emotionalism, my experience, my humiliating self‑effacement.” That is your way, not God’s way!
Talented believers have a difficult time because they associate their talent with some sort of spiritual advance. We often cling to some talent, morality, ability, program, plan, or gimmick which conflicts with the principle of grace. This only postpones blessing.
One of the major problems of the believer in time is to sort out the difference between grace and legalism, e.g., the Galatians. God’s Word in the soul is the basis of learning to distinguish between grace and legalism. In cracking the maturity barrier, you eliminate legalism from your life.
Legalism creates problems and excludes Divine solutions. Grace provides Divine solutions and excludes legalism. In other words, we cannot squeeze grace into the narrow confines of human viewpoint and human action. But under the Plan of God, we can utilize grace through the wide expansion of Divine viewpoint. We can only attain this wide expansion of Divine viewpoint through perception, metabolization, and application of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age.
In post-salvation grace, God provides everything necessary to keep us alive in the Devil’s world as a part of logistical grace and provides escrow blessings for time and eternity. There is nothing you can do to change the fact that you have eternal life. Grace is far more powerful than works. The virtue of God rationale is that we cannot cancel God’s faithfulness and love toward us. The unfaithfulness of the believer does not change the faithfulness of God, 2 Tim 2:13, If we are unfaithful, (and we are), He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
Under the Divine policy of grace, all of our blessings come from God. Under the function of our own volition, all of our failures come from ourselves through the law of volitional responsibility, which means that we must take full responsibility for our own bad decisions. Yet, because of who and what God is, His grace is greater than our failures, our sins, our flaws, our self-righteous legalism, our human good and our dead works.
There is no limit to God’s grace. God’s grace is not limited by human reason. The believer who is full of himself is quite empty and limited, but the believer who is grace oriented from Bible doctrine is quite powerful. We cannot squeeze grace into the narrow confines of human viewpoint, but we can and should live by grace through the wide expanse of God’s thinking.
We must not and cannot distort grace to comply with the lust pattern of our sin natures, but we expand our grace horizon through spiritual skills; the filling of the Holy Spirit, cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine, and execution of God’s plan. Grace does not give us what we want, but grace gives us what God wants, which is far better for each one of us.
Consistent grace is the Church Age believer who is saved by grace and living by grace. God is consistent. There is no legalism in salvation; therefore, there is no legalism in the Christian way of life.
God provides the means for eternal relationship with Himself. The grace policy of God provided blessings for believers in eternity past before man was created. What God provided for man in grace in eternity past cannot be earned, merited, or deserved. That includes our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, escrow blessings for time and eternity, the Problem Solving Devices for each believer in the Church Age, the blessings of dying grace, the blessings of resurrection, and the blessings of the eternal state, Eph 2:7ff.
Eph 2:7, “That He might show you in the coming ages (Millennium and eternal state) the surpassing riches of His grace in generosity toward us in Christ Jesus.”
God’s act of kindness / generosity is solely an act of His grace. The marvelous feature of this kindness is that it was done when we were in rebellion to God, Titus 3:3-4. That is truly GRACE!
Titus 3:3-7, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared. 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
If God’s grace so operated in regards to our salvation, it must operate as such post-salvation on into eternity.
1 Tim 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” That is GRACE!
1.) In grace, God works and man benefits. In grace, God provides and mankind receives apart from any form of personal merit.
2.) Grace is the policy of God in establishing a relationship with mankind both in time and for the eternal state.
3.) Grace is the policy of God in providing everything man needs in two categories.
a. Relationship with God in time and in eternity.
b. Fellowship with God in time only.
4.) Grace provision for relationship with God forever includes not only salvation the instant we believe in Christ but also eternal security.
5.) Grace provision for fellowship with God in time includes your very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets, which God prepared for you in eternity past. Your portfolio includes your very own spiritual life.
a. Included in the Portfolio of Invisible Assets are: your spiritual gift, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Pre-designed Plan of God for your life, Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity, unique Royal Commissions, unique Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age, Indwelling of the Trinity, 100% Availability of Divine Power, the Spiritual Skills, and the Problem Solving Devices.
6.) With the Problem Solving Devices circulating in your soul, there is no problem too great. They have capacity for everything.
Eph 1:2-3, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
Under the grace policy of God, all believers are mandated to have grace orientation, 1 Peter 5:12, “This is the true grace of God, stand fast in it.” Therefore, we are to stand fast in grace orientation. We are not to be confused by legalism or impressed with our works. We are to stand fast in grace.
In terms of God’s grace policy, the believer who fails to execute the command to “stand fast in grace” is described in four ways:
- In Heb 4:1; 12:15, such a believer “comes short of the grace of God.”
- In 2 Cor 6:1, such a believer “receives the grace of God in vain.”
- In Gal 2:21, such a believer “nullifies the grace of God.”
- In Gal 5:2-4, such a believer, “has fallen from grace.”
Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
Gal 5:4, “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
Under God’s grace policy, you have to accumulate an inventory of metabolized Bible doctrine in the stream of consciousness in order to have Divine viewpoint, because Divine viewpoint is the basis for making right decision or applications of God’s Word. No decision is good unless you have the facts; and the facts are Bible doctrine. Therefore, under Grace Orientation, the thinking of Bible doctrine under every circumstance of life is the only viewpoint by which you can live with true contentment and tranquility in the Devil’s world. In that, to truly solve the problems of life, we need to learn His Word, think His Word, and solve with His Word.
If we do not understand the principle that God solves problems through His grace policy and grace provision, we will never advance in the Plan of God, because you have to be grace oriented, and grace orientation depends on metabolized Bible doctrine in your soul. God’s grace is the only way the believer can be strong.
2 Tim 2:1-2, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
Grace Orientation is a Problem Solving Device along with: Rebound, the Filling of the Holy Spirit, Faith Rest, Doctrinal Orientation, Authority Orientation, Personal Sense of Destiny, Personal Love for God, Impersonal and Unconditional Love for Mankind, Occupation with Jesus Christ, Sharing the Happiness of God.
Grace Orientation is the way of discernment in life. It is the basis for establishing right standards about everything, about people, about things, about life in general and then making good decisions in all situations.
Grace is the Divine policy that depends on God’s wisdom rather than our desires. Therefore, grace does not always give us what we want. But when we stop and recognize the grace, we realize grace always provides for us what is best. Grace gives us what God wants, which is far, far greater than any desire we could ever have, far beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine.
The age or dispensation in which we are currently living in is called both “The Church Age” and the “Age of Grace.,” Eph 1:7-10; 3:2, 8-9. That is because God is building His Church, i.e., the body of Christ, cf. Eph 2:19-22; 3:6; 4:12, and He is doing so through and by means of His Grace applied in our lives; 1 Cor 3:10.
Eph 3:2, 8-9, “Inasmuch as you have heard about the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for your benefit. 8To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.”
Being in the Age of Grace, we have tremendous benefits inside the plan of God. Never before in human history has the grace policy of God provided so much for the ordinary believer.
In this Age, the Royal Family of God is the beneficiary of the firm and unchangeable policy called grace as follows:
1.) Grace is the Divine policy of providing you your very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets that God designed in eternity past through His grace policy and provided to every member of the Royal Family of God in time. The #1 asset is escrow blessings. As the grantor, God the Father in eternity past deposited into escrow for you two categories of greater blessings, for time and for eternity. As the very first thing God ever did for you, escrow blessings are something you could not earn or deserve, since they were provided for you billions of years before you existed.
2.) Grace is the Divine policy of providing us the unique environment of the Church Age where God has provided you a Dispensation of the greatest power experiment in human history. It includes the permanent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit to every believer during the Age of Grace, plus the indwelling of the Father and Son, and also includes His Word.
3.) Under the Divine policy of grace, every Church Age believer has been given equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute God’s plan, purpose, and will. God makes us all equal so that we can use our freedom to be winners or losers.
4.) The Divine policy of grace is the means of creating a new spiritual species for the utilization of Divine power.
5.) Grace is the Divine policy in appointing every believer a Royal Priest and Royal Ambassador. We represent ourselves before God, and represent God to the human race. We have privacy for the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine.
6.) Grace is the Divine policy whereby every Church Age believer is indwelt by all three persons of the Trinity for a purpose.
7.) Grace is the Divine policy of providing us with a spiritual I.Q., so that our human I.Q. is no longer an issue in the perception, understanding, and application of Bible doctrine. Under post-salvation renewing of the mind, Rom 12:1-3f., grace is the means of understanding and applying God’s Word and God’s policy.
8.) Grace is the Divine policy for keeping both winners and losers alive through logistical grace support.
9.) Grace is the Divine policy for the manufacture of invisible heroes, who glorify God in time as well as in eternity.
10.) Grace is the Divine policy that depends on God’s wisdom rather than our desires. Therefore, grace does not always give us what we want. But when we stop and recognize the grace, we realize grace always provides for us what is best. Grace gives us what God wants, which is far, far greater than any desire we could ever have, far beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine.
Therefore, grace is all that God is free to do for each member of the Royal Family of God and be consistent with His own essence and attributes. Grace demands that God must be compatible with His own essence. Therefore, God is only free to bless the believer where perfect righteousness is the target or recipient. As such, there is perfect affinity between the grace policy of God; His perfect Divine righteousness and justice. This also makes up His holiness: perfect and incorruptible righteousness and perfect and incorruptible justice. All grace blessings travel between those two attributes. The function of Divine integrity and God’s grace policy follows the principle that righteousness demands righteousness; justice demands justice. To avoid compromise of Divine essence, Divine justice as one-half of Divine holiness can only bless Divine righteousness, the other half of Divine holiness. Divine justice can only bless perfect righteousness.
Righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity; justice is the function of Divine integrity. God cannot accept anything less than perfect righteousness. God cannot bless anything less than perfect righteousness. Therefore, there is affinity between Divine justice and Divine righteousness. At the moment of salvation, Divine righteousness is imputed to every believer, which means both justification and the basis for God’s grace policy.
What the righteousness of God demands, the justice of God must execute. This indicates how the grace policy of God functions without compromising Divine attributes. The righteousness of God demands life support; it comes from the justice of God. The righteousness of God demands blessing; it comes from the justice of God, etc. We cannot do anything to be blessed by God after salvation; it is done for us through Divine grace.
When we yield to God’s transforming grace, we can be assured that the Spirit will do everything necessary to help us live and finish well. Then we will be able to say the same words Paul said when he wrote his final words to Timothy, the pastor of the church at Ephesus: 2 Tim 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-095 – 18-097
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!