Grace – another meaning

God is able to make all grace abound to you.
~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

When the Bible speaks of grace it can have the meaning of the unmerited mercy of God. But grace can have another meaning, which has implications for the life of faith.

There are many words that have more than one meaning. For example, ‘hard’. A rock is hard or an examination is hard. One means solid. The other means difficult. The context gives the correct interpretation. And so it is with the word grace.

The Bible says that we are saved by the grace of God, and that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Here, and in other places, grace obviously means the undeserved favour of God.

However, of the 155 times in the Bible that the Greek word ‘charis’ is translated as ‘grace’, most often it has the meaning of empowering or enabling. In other words, supernatural help is available. God empowers you to live a holy life, if you co-operate with Him.

Supernatural help is available. God empowers us to live a holy life as we co-operate with Him.

When the Bible says that the believer is not under Law but under grace, the main thought should be that since our sins are forgiven because of God’s mercy in Christ, we can rise above a loose and selfish life.

Paul wrote to Timothy and urged him to be strong in the grace that is in Christ. He was exhorting him to call on the power of God.

We are to use the talents that God gives us to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace, or enabling.

In one verse in Hebrews the word grace is used twice, and each meaning is different. We are told to approach the throne of grace – the throne of undeserved favour – in order to receive grace to help us. In other words, to receive power to do what we should.

There we have it. God shows mercy, in Christ, and God gives enabling.

Bible references:
Acts 15:11; Acts 14:3; John 1:17
Romans 6:14; 2 Timothy 2:1
1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 4:16

Acts 15:11

“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

Acts 14:3

So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of His grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:14

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

2 Timothy 2:1

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 4:10

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.