Jul 26

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A few weeks ago while searching a subject on the internet; I came across an article talking about what the author called “Cheap Grace.” Now, just give a few moments as to what you think the author had in mind. Just how can grace be cheap?
First, there is a great deal of misunderstanding in regard to the subject of grace. Not necessarily about what the simple meaning of word is, but how the Bible uses the word. The word grace appears thirty-nine times in the Old Testament and one hundred and thirty-one in the New Testament; for a total of one hundred and seventy times altogether. It appears first in Genesis chapter six, verse eight; where it reads: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” The word means favor as used in relationship to Noah. Just what kind of man was Noah, that he found favor with God?
In the New Testament, Peter said he was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). Then, in Hebrews we read: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb. 11:7). But, it may be the case that Genesis reveals more fully the kind of man Noah really was, as it reads: “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen. 6:8). This should convince us as to why Noah found “favor” with God. It was not that God just bestowed “grace” upon him, but because he was a righteous man, he found favor with God. Remember, when God looked upon man, he saw “… that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Among all this wickedness, there was righteous Noah! Thus, God provided the means so he could be saved when he would destroy all others. There is the idea of “grace,” or if you will “favor,” but the favor was given to Noah because of his righteousness!
However, as we study the New Testament, the word “grace” is used in a different context. It does not always refer to the same thing. For instance, Paul wrote: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Eph. 3:2). Here the apostle is talking about the favor of his being an apostle of Christ. The word “dispensation” needs a little attention, just here, it is the Greek “oikonomia” and means among other things, stewardship. Paul followed with how he is using the word “stewardship:” “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:3-5). This “stewardship” was given Paul “to you-ward;” thus, it was his responsibility to preach/teach the “revelation” he received by means of the Holy Spirit to them, so they could understand his “knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” The point being, Paul was favored with this “stewardship!”
On the other hand, when this same apostle spoke to the elders of the church in Ephesus for the last time, he said: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:28). Note his use of the word “grace,” as he said, “the word of his grace.” Paul is speaking of the word of God’s favor. It is simply the word by which God favors man with the opportunity of being saved; as it “is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance.” Give some thought to what Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). Do you see God’s favor in these words? First, those to whom Jesus spoke were heading toward eternal punishment, but God favored them with salvation, if they would “repent.” Jesus expresses favor in the word “repent!” God did not have to, he was not obligated, and he was not in debt to them; but he offered them favor! He gave them a way of salvation!
Grace, God’s favor to man is an important teaching in the New Testament. But it is greatly misunderstood. It cannot in truth be separated from the gospel of Christ, which is the word of his grace! Grace is the offer of salvation when we deserved to be punished eternally!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/cheap-grace-1/