I have over time been looking at the word GRACE in the Bible and discovered that the word GRACE has been mentioned almost 145 times in the Bible. 21 times in the Old Testament, and 124 times in the New Testament.
This word is first mentioned in Genesis 6:8 where we are told: “Noah finds favour in the eyes of the Lord." In some other translations, Genesis 6:8 says: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
The context in which this statement is based is in the earlier verses that tell us the Lord was grieved with mankind that He created. Genesis 6, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Because of man’s sin and man’s rebellion God said that he will wipe both human-kind and animals from the face of the earth, that is completely destroy them, be-cause of his anger at their rebellion.
In verse 8 Noah is described as having found favor (GRACE) with God. We see from this scripture that Noah finding grace with God had nothing to do with Noah. The Bible tells us that God was sorry that he had made man and regretted making man. Noah was part of God’s creation. From this scripture, we can see that the whole concepts of election, salvation, mercy, and forgiveness are all linked in this first illustration of grace in the Old Testament to one man and his family (NOAH). I have over the years come to learn what it means to be graced and empowered. Many preachers have preached and elaborated on grace from the stand point of “no longer under the law but under grace”. If we focus only on that, as true as that may be we will miss the big picture of what grace is all about.
Two things to note:
1. We are saved by grace not by works
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” The Bible makes it clear that grace is a gift from God. No one can argue or debate that.
2. We are empowered by grace
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Acts 20:32 - “And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
We are saved by grace and we are empowered by grace to live for God. Every believer has this favour from God and it has nothing to do with how good we are, but His Grace.
MOSES AND GOD’S PRESENCE – Exodus 33
When Moses said to God if I have found grace in your sight then let your presence go with us, he also said so we can find grace in your sight.
As I pondered on this statement by Moses, I began to see and understand where Moses was coming from. Moses in essence was saying “Lord I have been saved by grace and as we go on this journey, we will need your grace to complete this journey that we are on, for it is your grace that makes the difference.” “Lord leading this people has nothing to do with how good I have been, it has nothing to do with how clever or intelligent I am. Leading this great people of yours has nothing to do with my education. I am a murderer, I have messed things up, yet you chose me, you empowered me by your grace, please do not let me down now.” People of God, our walk with God has nothing to do with the strength of our faith, it is God’s faithfulness that is extended to us through His grace.
To forgive someone who has molested you, is by His Grace.
To love the unlovable, is by the grace of God.
To walk away from sin, is by the grace of God.
To live a life of holiness, is by the grace of God.
We are saved by grace through faith not by works lest any man should boast, the Bible tells us. So when Paul boasted, he boasted in his challenges not in what he had achieved, because he realized that whatever he may have achieved has been by the grace of God.
There have been times when I have questioned God’s Word. There have been times when I almost blew it but by the grace of God I am still standing. Grace is God’s empowerment, Grace is God’s unmerited favor, Grace is God’s ability working through us, to fulfil His commission.
So when Paul cried to God three times and God responded three times “my grace is sufficient for you”, God was saying to him and to us you need me more than you know it. I am the one that strengthens you and my grace is all you need in this walk of faith.
NOAH AND THE ARK
Finally, have you ever wondered how Noah could build an Ark that size?
How did he manage to bring the animals in, how did he cope with the smell?
How did he clean the ark? How did he survive 120 days in the confinement of the ark? It was all by the grace of God because he found favor with God.
Trust and rely on the grace of God alone and the grace of God will be sufficient for you. When you are weak, He will be strong in every situation and at all times!