Chapter 30

 

Jesus of Galilee

Grace

Speaking of the forgiveness, let us not forget what has been termed grace, given by Our Lord, the free and eternal love and favor of God the Father. I believe it is fitting here that we speak of grace, as it is given through the generosity of the divine love of Our Lord Jesus, through his forgiving of us and our sins. Through the act of his, he brings not only grace but a generation which I would coin "genosis" because it is an ever functioning thing. Let us look now at this:

Peter said in 1:13 of his first letter, "The grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." This is to be for eternal life or final salvation, which God will graciously bestow upon His people at the appearing of Christ at the Day of Judgment.

 

In I Peter 4:10, he asked the people that they use whatever gifts they may have received in service to one another, like good stewards dispensing the Grace of God in its varied forms. Thus grace is a gift which God bestows in one way or another, each according as He sees fit. And this comes at the time of transformation of the soul, from the old man to the new.

 

This free and unmerited Love of God is the original mover in our salvation and has no cause, above it, to excite or draw it forth, but merely arises from its own will. Paul said in Romans 2:6, "And if by grace, then it is no more by work."

 

Thus we did not earn this by being good, or by obeying all the rules, for he says again in Romans 5:20: "Where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound." These people needed it more, as there was no other way they could hope for salvation, having refused to do the good work and follow the good path which God had previously set up for them to follow, as His Will.

 

Therefore, "Ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14) The way of the law had been too hard for the undisciplined. They could not or would not go the way which so conflicted with their earthly wants.

 

So rather than see them all destroyed by their moral laziness and confusion, God sent His Son to lead them quickly out of the burning house which would have destroyed them, His creations.

 

He led them to a high place and asked that they not even look back at the flames, but accept his safety as coming direct from God through his person, as God's Son -- as a king would send his Crown Prince to deal with intense problems too delicate to place in the hands of any of his ministers.

 

The Concordance defines Grace as the "free and eternal love and favor of God, which is the spring and source of all the benefits which we receive from Him." The Old Testament mentions Grace sparingly, and the word is used only once in Luke 2:40, where the Child Jesus grew and waxed strong, "And the Grace of God was upon him." The other mentions are in John where it is used three times. These four mentions are the only places where Grace is used in the four Gospels. The word Grace is used 128 times in the 1,189 chapters of the Bible. This should indicate that God's Grace was not paid too much attention to by man or even by the writers of the Old Testament.

 

Jesus never used the word "grace" in the Bible, but Paul used it repeatedly. Jesus brought Grace, and his Spirit brought it to Paul. It was not by his deeds of persecution that Paul received this grace, but by the love of God through Christ.

 

Looking at the word "epigene," it means "upon, or after" and "born, or originating." It refers to something arising after birth, and therefore not congenital. Chemically, it refers to an alteration which has taken place in the substance of a crystal after its formation. The Epigene crystal is formed by materials of one substance modeled on the perished crystals of another.

 

This is what the Christ did to Paul, and what it does to us all. It stopped him in his tracks, overpowering and temporarily blinding the "old" man with his Light, and leaving him in seclusion for three days to digest this miracle; and he built a new Paul over the old, which had been changed in consciousness and completely won over to the side of the Lord. Then his sight was restored, better than before, for now he could see the Truth of things.

 

The word "epigenesis" is from the Greek, meaning "upon" plus "generation." It refers to the formation of an organic germ as a new product. The theory of epigenesis is that the germ is brought into existence by successive accretions, and not merely developed in the process of reproduction.

 

The opposite theory was the theory of evolution, now some- times called the "theory of preformation" or of encasement. Geologically, "epigene" means "produced on the surface of the earth." Air, rain, frost, etc. are epigene.

 

Grace is sometimes regarded as a permanent force, having its seat in the soul. As Norris said, "By grace, I understand the inward operation of God's Spirit supernaturally assisting our natural faculties."

 

In ecclesiastical terms, sufficient grace is the grace which merely renders the soul capable of performing a supernatural act, while efficacious grace really effects the end for which it is given. Prevenient grace is the grace which produces the repentance and faith without which the grace of justification cannot be received.

 

Still speaking ecclesiastically, grace is called the free and gratuitous operation of God, the divine influence which operates in men to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation. Often it is spoken of as the Grace of God, of our Lord, of the Holy Spirit, or as imparted through the sacraments; also in Catholicism as proceeding from the Virgin Mary.

 

To "say grace" is to give a prayer of blessing or thanksgiving. In university language, grace means a dispensation. It is the share of favor allotted to one by Providence. Also, an individual virtue or excellence, divine in its origin -- pleasing quality, favor, goodwill, gratitude.

 

The words, "I absolve you," penetrate to the soul with grace restoring power, just as the water of baptism reached it with grace-originating power, says Anderson.

 

John the Apostle said in John 1:14, 16, 17: "So the Word became flesh; he came to dwell among us, and we saw His Glory, such glory as befits the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth."

 

St. John also said, "out of His full store, we have all received grace upon grace; for while the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

 

Thus he correlates grace with love, for Jesus said that love fulfills the law, the law that was given by Moses. And it was the grace and truth brought through love which became the salvation of man.

Home Up INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30