God’s Grace Is Realized Following Obedience

6/30/12:  Grace is always present.  It is activated in our lives when doing something in accord with God’s plan or will.

“Finding grace in the sight of the Lord” is the prevalent expression in the old testament.  Grace as used there means favor.  The “in his sight” implies “in His presence” reflecting a close relationship, even face to face.  The word “finding” does not imply winning the lottery or dumb luck, but being or having done something according to God’s desires.  It implies God’s response to obedience.

In Psalm 84:11 the concept of grace is tied to a response of favor from God. “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.”  In this case it implies a reward.

 In Luke 2:40 grace was upon Christ.  “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit,  filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”  It was further amplified in John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

In John 1:17 we learn that grace was only available through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

In 1 Peter 1:1 we see the relationship of grace of God coming to the believer by God’s original intention, by the work of the Holy Spirit plus an act of obedience is introduced as means of gaining grace.  There is emphasis on Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross; the catalyst. “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

In Romans 5:20 we see the abundance of grace is God’s response for the purpose of overcoming of sin, not as some kind reward for sin.  “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase (be made obvious); but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”  The purpose of this abounding grace was to be available to the person who is willing to acknowledge their sin and repent.   

In Romans 6:1 the rhetorical and humorous question is raised.  “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?Paul in verse 2 answers his own question, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Summary: Grace is omnipresent in Christ, from the start.  Grace is available in abundance before we sin, but requires act of obedience in repentance to activate it.  The amount of grace to overcome sin is abundant.

Howeve a greater amount of God’s favor or grace is present when we have overcome sin and are walking in obedience to His Word as expressed in 1 Peter 1:2 where obedience is followed with multiplication of grace and peace.  We also see reward as a response to obedience in Isaiah 1:19; “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”