I’m participating in an online conference at P-Net entitled “Understanding Grace’ and we will be coming to a better understanding of the biblical meaning of Grace. I hope to put down a few thoughts on what is shared/taught as we go along. In Christendom I don’t believe there is a concentrated focus on what grace actually is by many. I have been told that it is only a word that means favor and you can’t form a doctrine around a word. I guess that would be true if the word had no meaning, but of course it does and that is what this conference is about
We started with the understanding that God has a positive plan and everything is in His plan. Not everything is equally significant, the example being given of a blade of grass, the color of it, the shape of it but God is the ultimate cause of even this blade of grass as He is the ultimate cause of ALL events and grace is the foundation of His plan.
We read Ephesians 1: 2-14 as the sum of the whole gospel. If you haven’t done that in awhile I would greatly encourage you to do so with the understanding of Grace in your mind. Paul, in his greetings to the saints, usually combines grace and peace together, peace/shalom; shalom being a wholeness of being; Nothing missing, Nothing broken, wellbeing, and complete, which is the same work of Christ as grace. All that follows in these verses is describing our great salvation in Christ Jesus. These verses describe to us the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ; our adoption and our undeserved inheritance that cannot be merited. When God communicates to us the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, the Holy Spirit is our seal.
Grace is the most important, central and critical doctrine in the bible. It is the chief of the 5 Solas; “Sola Gratia” and was brought about by a ‘change in thinking’, which is really what the reformation was about. The change on the view of grace was a reversal of what had been taught by all since Augustine. ‘Sola Gratia’ defines God by what He does and what He has done to extend grace to His elect in Christ and is fundamental to a true Supralapsarian view versus the Infralapsarian view which puts law first.
We hope to meet most Sunday evenings, excepting this coming one due to Father’s day! I’m very thankful for this study as it will be a pinnacle to my own studies on Grace these past few years. Thanks Brandan and Bob!