About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

Home Page

The Empowering Grace Of God  


We often understand God's grace to be His love directed towards us who do not deserve it.  We call it unmerited favour.  If that is all you understand God's grace to be, you may be missing out on its totality in your life.  Grace is also God's divine ability, enablement, or empowerment, given to us to accomplish His will in our lives.  This aspect of God's grace is less known, partly because it takes some thought to see it's usage in the Bible, and, partly because it places a responsibility on us to accomplish God's will.  In our humanity, we seem to prefer being beneficiaries of grace rather than being the benefactors of grace.  This second aspect of grace is seen in many Biblical passages, such as 1 Corinthians 3:10.   


"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care."


Grace, as unmerited favour, doesn't fit into the point Paul was making in the above statement.  I don't believe it was God's unmerited favour that made Paul a master builder.  It was God's grace, His divine ability, enablement, or empowerment, that made him the master builder that he was.  It's what we see in the life of Jesus Himself. 


Understanding Jesus to have been fully divine and fully human while on earth, He needed God's divine ability to overcome His humanness in the process of facilitating God's will.  Remember, Jesus did have to overcome all human tendencies.  Hebrews 5:8 reads:


"Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered."


While in the Garden of Gethsemane the battle between Jesus' humanity and divinity raged.  In the midst of the struggle, God's divine empowerment, or grace, within Him settled the matter.  The battle was won.  By God's divine empowerment, His humanness was conquered, and God's will was accomplished on the cross.     


God's grace is twofold.  If you have benefited from God's unmerited favour, His divine empowerment resides within you to accomplish His will as a benefactor, or, a giver of grace.  Of course, unlike God's unmerited favour, His divine ability means that we have a God-appointed responsibility to participate with Him in the working out of His will.  It's what the apostle Peter told us, as recorded in 2 Peter 1:3 and 4.


"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."


Like Jesus in the garden, the inner battle between being a beneficiary of grace and a benefactor of grace rages within us.  Nevertheless, also like Jesus, God's empowering grace is available within us to win the battle so we can be the giver of grace that we have been called to be. 

Home Page