About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Empowering Grace Of God
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."
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.
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
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.
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.