THE GRACE OF GOD
Carlos Padilla, May 2012
...Amazing Grace, how
sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I was once lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see... This is how the famous hymn starts. It was written by
John Newton, who was a slave trader, in 1772. Repented and converted to Christ,
he became a pastor. He also fought to abolish slavery and saw it happen through
his friend William Wilberforce, whom he supported. The weight of the sin that
Newton carried was a heavy burden, thousands of souls tortured due to him under
slavery. It was hard for him to receive God's forgiveness, but that amazing
grace finally made him accept it.
Newton took the
melody from the songs of one of the black slaves who used to sing from the belly
of his ship. Since then black spirituals, gospel, have been composed mostly on
what has been known as the slave scale: the five black notes of the piano, also
known as the pentatonic scale, as Wintley Phipps tells us. He says that there
are five white musicians who composed spiritual hymns for the church using the
black keys of the piano. Listen to Wintley Phipps singing Amazing Grace in
The Grace of God is
His great blessing, and we receive it as the source of anointment, starting when
we receive His undeserved salvation through faith in the work of His Son Jesus
Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Salvation is the starting point for the grace of
God, which is being offered to us throughout our lives in every stage and
experience. But receiving His grace does not seem an easy thing to do. It seems
that our inner being fights against receiving something without deserving it, we
always try to do something or other to deserve what we receive. But there is
greater grace in receiving than giving, because giving makes our ego grow, but
receiving makes us humble.
The Bible says:
...For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8.
But it also says:
by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17. Here we have a
Biblical counterbalance to look for God's balance in grace, not in terms of
salvation, since it is through faith, without works; works are produced by faith
for a holy life, and through them we will be seen as children of God in the
combination of both, not to earn salvation which is through the Cross of Christ.
This is man's inner controversy, our fight to understand that it is not through our works that we
receive, not just salvation which is the main thing, but God's blessings, the
grace of the relationship with God, His presence, and a life that really has a
purpose for Him who has created us. We have to stop trying to do things
ourselves and trust in God our Father, looking for His anointment, His guidance,
praying in the Name of Jesus Christ. We have to leave
and enjoy our relationship with Him in Jesus Christ; and if we have failed, we
should receive His help, His great love. We receive all of these through His
grace, not through our individual merits and efforts.
Receiving His grace is our great debt with God. The
grace of God is received through faith. Without God's grace nothing we do in our
life will have God's anointment. We need His Grace every moment. We will see now
the effects of receiving the Grace of God in our lives, and it is not a one-off
event, it is more like a daily way of life which covers every aspect of our
life, because grace is also one of the basic doctrines of Christianity.
SEVEN WAYS OF SEEING THE GRACE OF GOD IN CHRISTIAN
The seven ways of seeing the grace of God in
Christian life start and end with God. The first and last is the
relationship with God, receiving from God, give to God. The second and fifth
things are the relationship with the Church, the brethren, receive from the
church, from the brethren, to the brethren. The third and fourth are the
relationship with our neighbour, give to our neighbour, two things, acceptance
or opposition and persecution. And the seventh, as I said at the beginning, and
last, is to enter in the rest of the Lord, that comes from the relationship with Jesus
Christ, which starts through faith that comes from grace. ...Therefore it is of
faith that it might be according to grace... Romans 4:16. Have we forgotten
about the family, the base of civilization and God's creation? Not at all.
Family is included in two groups, depending on whether they have received faith
or not. Our faith is that our family, at least our close relatives, are saved
through God's grace. Our faith, our grace, our anointment, our relationship and
testimony will play an important role in their lives. Our loved ones are in the
two groups. Let us see how we can bless them, because they are a link that God
has given us. Let us see each of the seven aspects in which the
grace of God that we need so much in our lives is granted.
1. Receive from God
Grace starts with God, with God's love for us. We
receive faith from Him, and faith is what allows us to receive the grace of God.
the first and eternal fruit of the grace of God is salvation of our souls for
eternity, in the Kingdom of God. When we confess Jesus Christ, His Son, as Lord
and Saviour we enter the dimension of grace, and that grace we cannot receive
through our merits, nor for our personal efforts. But grace continues to bless
our lives, blesses out hearts giving us the capacity to love that comes from
God. It blesses our mind in the mind of Christ. It blesses our hope, our whole
being, what we are and what we do. The grace of God is the source of divine
anointment that we need continuously in our lives, a gift of
Without God's anointment, nothing we do will be blessed, and that blessing
starts by receiving the grace of God.
The grace of God shines brightly when we lack
faith, when we have failed, when we were unable to trust God, when we feel
guilty - this is when our Father opens His arms, like with the prodigal son,
Luke 15:11. But the grace of God also shines when we are full of faith,
when we do things looking for God's anointment and direction, and we are
successful and thing come out well, when we feel blessed and guided,
when we are blessing our family, then it is when we will pray giving praise to
Salvation, blessing, anointment, spiritual growth,
relationship with Jesus Christ, direction and purpose, all of this comes from
the grace of God when we receive Him.
Psalm 23 talks about receiving God's
His protection and blessing. The Scripture invites us to receive the Gospel in
"...Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." Hebrews
3:7. The grace of salvation in John 3:16 is the first grace we receive from God,
through faith. The grace of the Great Commandment, in order to love God with all
Abraham received from God, he gave up everything
throughout his life following God's voice, and he was called "God's friend".
2. Receive from the Church.
The grace of God continues in the community of
people who have been bought at the price of the life and blood of Jesus Christ
on the Cross. These people are our spiritual family, the brethren in Christ, and
it is in the midst of our congregation of people saved by God that we receive
grace from God. The Lord provides for His people through pastors, elders in the
faith, deacons, friends in Christ. But, how many people have received God's
grace through a close relative in Christ, who has been praying
and interceding for you over the years? A Christian receives God's grace
through them in community, and this community can be large or small, they can
meet in a big building or a humble house, in a western country or in a mission
in the third world. They all need to receive the grace of God and His anointment
to move towards the blessing of all the brethren, of a holy and healthy
community, in brotherly love. This is not possible without God's anointment and
Companionship on the way, preparation
and relationship growth, friendship, help,
forgiveness, intercession prayer,
anointment, grace, brotherly love. Galatians 6:2 ...Bear one another’s burdens,
and so fulfill the law of Christ... And Jesus said "Greater love has no one than
this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." John 15:14. "And we also
ought to lay down our lives for the brethren". 1John 3:16.
The grace of joy while Jesus Christ returns,
because: the kingdom of God is among us, Luke 17:21. That grace is already shown
in the anointment of Psalm 133, which Israel already enjoyed in the feast of
William Wilberforce received from the church; he
received from his friend John Newton the strength to fight time after time in
British Parliament until he succeeded in abolishing slavery, just before he
3. Give to the neighbour
Through the grace of God we can give to our
neighbour more than occasional help for daily life. We can give Word of Salvation
to our neighbour, we can bring them the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Grace
enables us to be patient, godly, merciful, to love those who do not deserve
it, pray for them, fill our words with God's grace and anointment.
The grace of the Golden Rule, to love our neighbour
as ourselves, because that doesn't come from our heart by nature. And
the grace to serve in the Great Commission because if we love our neighbour,
what better present can we give than the Gospel that has saved us? ¿Is there a
better present for our beloved relatives who do not believe in God?. The grace
of being like the good Samaritan, so that the Lord tells us what He will
announce when He judges the nations: "...for I was hungry and you gave Me
food... ...Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom.." Matthew
Theresa of Calcutta
gave to her neighbour, in the midst of her doubts and scares resources.
4. Receive from the
Our neighbour will
give us two things. They will be thankful for material, personal or any other
type of help; but above all they can be grateful for the Word of Salvation, the
Gospel, if they receive the grace of God with faith. This is when we win
brethren for the people of God, those whom the Lord had already chosen
beforehand for salvation.
But we can also
receive rejection, persecution, hate, despise for our Lord Jesus Christ name's
sake, like the Bible tells us in the Words of Jesus
Christ Himself, and like all Christians experience.
The grace of God provides us with anointment that strengthens our faith and love
of God in the midst of tribulation,
trials of faith and despise.
"...If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word,
they will keep yours also..." John 15:20.
The Golden Rule
makes us cry out for grace to love our enemies. It is a rule that makes us see
what the human being is like in his mind, and the misery of man's existence
without God; this is how most of us were until we were rescued by the Lord, so that we
can have hope in the birth through
faith when we preach the Word to those who oppose us. "...And you will be hated
by all for My name’s sake..." Mark 13:13. If Jesus' own family did not receive
Him at the beginning, we cannot be surprised by our family opposing us, but
persevere because the grace of God will
touch their hearts, will give you patience and anoint your character. And those
who receive, bring grace to our ears when they ask to be baptized.
The man who
went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves received from his
neighbour. Left half dead on the side of the road, until the good Samaritan came.
5.- Give to the
The grace of God is
going to provide us with the anointment of companionship in the church, it is
going to give us determination to serve God in those areas where we can be of
blessing. We can help in ministries, be part of the worship and praise, teach
others, enjoy the friendship of brothers, of whole families, it allows us to
love our brethren. "...By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another... " John 13:35. Give our time, dedication, help in
daily life, celebration like in the
weddings of Cana. Lead and
serve our brethren, work in evangelization, outreach and the support
of the church, for the glory of God, through His grace. But there
is a great grace when we do all this with our family, with our wife or husband
in Christ, with our children, parents, brothers, sisters and relatives, that
grace is a blessing from above. Serve with your family in Christ.
Let us give grace
to our brethren. Grace is like a spring of eternal life
from the heart of the person who has been born again. "...Freely you have
received, freely give..." Matthew 10:8.
The golden rule and
Psalm 133 are now our legacy to the church, in our relationship and in our joint, personality in Christ to live under the anointment of Psalm 133.
Martin Luther gave to
the Church, he provided the Bible in vernacular language and preached salvation
through undeserved grace of the merits of Jesus Christ.
6. Give to God.
The grace of God and
the anointment have changed our heart towards God, and now we live in worship,
honour, in a song from our heart for God. Now we give our time, our life, our
will and all our beloved ones to God through grace, so that He is the first one
in our heart, in our temple, and we remember to carry our cross, remembering
the cross of Jesus Christ that
Simon of Cyrene carried. The Great Commandment is private, God sees it and
perceives it in the intimacy of the heart. Even though it can be manifested in
the congregation, the heart is the inner place of the Temple of God in the believer that
has only access to God in Christ. This "Sancta Sanctorum" is exclusive for the
Lord. Let us give Him that grace that He gave us, that such great love that we
did not deserve, and which now gives fruit to God.
fellowship, thanks, love, obedience, trust, worship, our whole life from the day
we receive Him to the last one and forever.
But the grace of God
shows itself in how we treat others, our family, our
brethren and our neighbour. This is how Jesus taught us in His parable of the
Son of Man Will Judge the Nations "...Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one
of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me..." Matthew 25:40. It
is through grace that we can keep this balance of loving God and our neighbour, the
Great Commandment and the Golden Rule. Many people say they have a relationship
with God, but it does not show in their relationship with their families or the
rest of the people. Therefore, we must pray so that the grace of God gives us
the anointment of brotherly love, that when you are alone with God, He will love
you as you loved others as He taught us, until His life for us. Jesus Christ already had a perfect relationship with the
Father and the Father with the Son, but God loved us. Now, through His grace and
His anointment we may love God in Jesus Christ with that same love.
Jesus Christ gave to
God, He gave His life for us.
7. Receive from God
Yes, the first and
last points are receiving from God, because: "...I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End, says the Lord..." Revelation 1:8. The grace of
"entering the rest of the Lord" starts and ends with God. Once we have received
and given to God, the church and our neighbour, is when the Lord received us in
His rest, Hebrews 4:3. The rest of the Lord also includes our peace, "...My
peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you..." John 14:27.
This rest and this peace of God includes peace for the end times, for
resurrection and/or rapture of the Church, in the prophetic times we live in.
The hope in the rapture on the return of the Lord and it is a peace that comes
from the grace and the love of God.
Whoever does not have this peace does not have the grace of God. Grace will take
us to eternity, if we hold on to Him every day of our lives, obeying His
anointment, and His guide, trusting Him, praying and learning His Word
and living a Christian life, giving fruits in these seven points of anointed
relationship with God, with our family, brethren and neighbour.
Only if we receive
from God His grace and His anointment, we will have a character and love up to
the level to allow us to work in a holy way and directed by God. Not working for merits,
but as the fruit of the grace of love, to serve, because we will be known by our
fruits, fruits of grace and truth. This grace allows us to receive the rest of
The person who
received from God, who entered His rest is: The purpose of each one of us.
The Doctrine of Grace
Doctrine is an essential foundation of Christian faith. The Protestant reform
was partly based on this concept which says that salvation is by faith, not by
works. But grace includes many concepts that are part of salvation, which flow
from the Cross, such as resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the
formation of the Church, the final victory over evil and the new creation. This
is all through God's love for us.
The works of the
fallen man are an obstacle to salvation by faith that comes from divine
faith. The natural man believes that through his good works he has more right to
receive the grace of God that the man of evil works. The result is that the man
who acknowledges himself as a sinner, the one who knows and accepts that he has
done things wrong, opens the door for salvation more easily than the one who
considers himself righteous because he has good works. Good or bad, works are an
obstacle to receive the grace of salvation. Works are for love to our neighbours
because they emanate from a heart that has been transformed by the anointment
that the grace of God brings. Man cannot do anything apart from surrender
unconditionally before the Cross of Christ, who died for our sins, to receive the
grace of God. Faith is a gift of God to receive that grace in our heart. The
Trinity is the origin of the grace of God. The Father provides the grace, the
Son brings it and makes it shine, and the Holy Spirit makes it work in the heart of
SEVEN BIBLE TEXTS ON
...But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy,
and gave him favour in the sight of the
keeper of the prison. Genesis 39:21.
...“I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
for My anger has
turned away from him. Hosea 14:4.
...“And I will pour on the house of David and on the
inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will
look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his
only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zechariah 12:10.
the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us, and we beheld His
glory, the glory as of the only
begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth.
15John bore witness of Him and
cried out, saying, “This was He
of whom I said, ‘He who comes
after me is preferred before me,
for He was before me.’”
16And of His fullness we have all
received, and grace for grace.
17For the law was given through
Moses, but grace and
truth came through Jesus Christ.
...Therefore, having been justified
by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2through whom also we have access
by faith into this grace in
which we stand, and rejoice in
hope of the glory of God.
3And not only that, but we
also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation
4and perseverance, character; and
5Now hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been
poured out in our hearts by the
Holy Spirit who was given to us.
...But God, who is rich in mercy,
because of His great love with
which He loved us,
5even when we were dead in
trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ (by grace
you have been saved),
6and raised us up
together, and made us sit
together in the heavenly
places in Christ Jesus,
7that in the ages to come He
might show the exceeding riches
of His grace in His
kindness toward us in Christ
8For by grace you have been saved
through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the
gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should
boast. Ephesians 2:4
...Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:2.
Grace is God's love and His
undeserved blessing, His
salvation and every gift from
His Spirit through faith. He
loves us even though we are
sinners, to bring us to
salvation through faith in the
redeeming work of His Son Jesus
Christ. We are under the grace
of God when we believe that we
are not going to save our soul
and become spiritual before God
through our righteousness or our
personal, moral or religious
efforts, neither through
tradition or belonging. If we believe God
and we receive His love, He will
make us worthy through Christ of
receiving and feeling His
presence and His knowledge
lives and until eternity. Grace
is a state where Jesus Christ
places us out of condemnation of
the Law because of sin through
His redemption work, so that we
live in His presence, and the
Father's, through His permanent
intercession through the
Communicating the grace of God is
our priority in the Great
Commission, that we announce
salvation to every person so
that they are saved from
condemnation and hell, and they
can enter, through Jesus Christ,
in the Kingdom of God for
Our personal relationships with
others, and if these are fed
from God's love, make our lives
have a spiritual meaning which
from God's anointment. But
relationships are not only based
on ourselves, they are not only
based on giving, furthermore,
receiving is more important than
giving, especially receiving
without deserving it. Our God is
the specialist in loving
us first. He gave us His son so
that we would have eternal life
by His side, by the side of God
instead of separated from Him
for eternity. Now it is our turn
to love God with all our heart,
with all our soul, with all our
mind and with all our strength,
and our family, our brethren and our
neighbour as ourselves.
know that our life here and now
is a temporary journey, a test,
a place where we get ready for eternity. This is
why the grace of God is a
priority for us, receiving it
and giving it. The Bible says
...Freely you have received,
freely give. Matthew 10:8.
Grace came through Jesus Christ.
Salvation came through grace but
we can only accept that grace by
faith. We are freely justified
through His grace undeservingly.
And that saving grace shines
from the Cross for the
forgiveness of our sins.
The blessings of grace in our
life are so many and so abundant
that if a certain aspect of our
life is not working, we have to
stop and find out where are we
being an obstacle, not letting
God's grace work, where are
we trying to win the battle
ourselves, where is it that we
are not allowing Jesus Christ to
be our guide and direction in
our lives, and let Him have the
glory and honour.
The warning is that we must
persevere in grace, grow in it
2Peter 3:18 and fight not to
fall from it Galatians 5:4.
Not receiving such an amazing
Grace is rejecting God
Himself, and for this reason we
are warned not to stop reaching
it, in Hebrews 12:15. And
also because: "...it is good
that the heart be established by
grace..." Hebrews 13:9b. This is
our big debt with God,
receiving His grace without
deserving it. Achieving it is
through faith, so it may be by
The Grace of God of the apostolic
that we read 31 times in the
Epistles and Revelation may be
up on you. ...Grace
be with you all!... Amen.