Personal stuff – answered questions from people on grace and mercy

Sunday, July 16, 2006
Becky asked what was meant when God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” I thought I would give you what Pastor Don Moore wrote about “grace” in his book Christianese /’kris-ch  n-‘eze/ language of the believers. (You can see more about the book at Pastor Don’s Website)

Page 39-40 “The Bible says, “ye are saved by grace” )(grace is empowering ability of God bestowed upon the believer as unmerited favor of the goodness and the kindness of God) “through faith, lest any man should boast”. (Ephesians 2:8)

Grace: In the church “unmerited favor” is the most common definition, but further clarification is needed. It is God’s pleasure to empower us, show us favor and give us exceedingly wonderful gifts. Holy Ghost power is a demonstration of grace in the life of the believer. The church would be much stronger if it would realize that unmerited favor is mercy but grace is the ability to access and demonstrate the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus told the Apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you”. Therefore, grace is not just favor but is the bestowed blessing that is given due to favored status. Jesus was telling Paul to use his own Faith to bear up under the attacks of satan’s messenger and go on to defeat his enemy.

Mercy:  is defined as God’s kindness and favor to the undeserving. Well, this is no different than “unmerited favor”. This error (of using the same meaning for grace and mercy) has been overlooked for years; probably because another definition for grace would force a change in theology and thinking. Many denominations teach a Gospel of suffering and salvation through poverty, illness, weakness. So we end up with “God is merciful and gives grace to suffer through to a Heaven we don’t deserve. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” is often cited as evidence of God’s reluctance to heal and the suffering fate of believers. A careful reading of the passage, 2 Corinthians 12:7-12, shows that Paul was troubled, tormented, afflicted and opposed by a demonic spirit that influenced the people in the places he went to preach. There is no evidence that his “thorn” was physical illness. In verse 9 the Lord tells him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” The Lord says is sufficient. In the Strong’s Concordance, we see the word grace is 5485 “Charis…the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life including gratitude, acceptable, benefit, favor gift.” God affects man’s heart by giving him grace as defined above and this is then reflected in the man’s life. This grace comes with gifts and benefits – empowerment, not suffering. True grace can impart to one a supernatural ability to be longsuffering, but one can also be an overcomer. Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:10-11 “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at (Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra) – what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me”. We see that Paul was delivered, showing that God’s grace was sufficient once Paul received it and acted upon it. God’s grace empowered Paul and God’s mercy qualified Paul to receive the power.

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Hope that is helpful. Sometimes I think we sell God short by not realizing the fullness of the Words that He uses in His Scripture.

Have a blessed Sunday,

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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