Who is Grace?
“How much worse punishment do you think will he deserve, the one having trampled upon the Son of God, and having esteemed ordinary the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and having insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29.
Much has been written and said about Grace in the last fifteen years or so, and much of what has been written and said has for the most part been wrong!
The Grace of God has become a controversial subject, not because of what Grace truly is, but because of what it has been presented by mankind to be.
To truly understand Grace and to be able to come to the Fountain of Truth regarding Grace, we have to firstly look at Grace in the light of Hebrews 10:29 and come to the understanding that Grace is not a ‘thing’, or an attribute of God or His Nature, but that Grace is in fact the very Person of His Own Being – He is called the “Spirit of Grace”!
The very Spirit of our Father, the Holy Spirit, is called the Spirit of Grace – Grace is not something, but Someone – The Spirit ofGrace is the very Person of God Himself!
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a Spirit of Grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a Firstborn Son,” Zechariah 12:10.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws,”Ezekiel 36:26-27.
“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”Joel 2:28.
Salvation is not a mere gift that is received – It is much more – It is a PERSON received!
Jesus Christ is received as a Living reality in our lives! Grace is more than a gift received – it is the Holy Spirit being received – It is the Spirit of Grace becoming an active and Living part in our lives every day! He comes to dwell and to live in us – Oh, what grace upon grace!!
From this understanding and corrected perspective, it becomes easy for us to see and to understand what it means when grace, from Spirit of Grace, is extended to us.
When you understand that whatever God gives us in grace extended over our lives, comes directly out of Himself, comes directly out of Himself, it is easy to understand the qualities in that which is received.
We are not receiving something that is separate from God given by Him to place as a blanket over us and over our mistakes, in order to come into His Presence as being guilt free, we are in fact receiving the very imputed (or imparted) qualities of Who He is in all of His Being, being imparted into us! We are receiving His HOLY Spirit – The Spirit of GRACE, who comes to inhabit us and to impute God’s very Own Character, Nature and Personality in us!
This Gift of the Spirit of Grace can only be received by an act of Grace. There is absolutely nothing a man or a woman can do to secure being touched by Grace. It is a Sovereign act of God that happens purely by the motivation of His Own will.
Even if we should choose to be ‘saved’, we do not have any access to salvation, except God by His Sovereign will chooses to grant us His Spirit of Grace and to include us as members of His Own household and His Kingdom.
People many times tend to use the Scriptures in order to thereby ‘secure’ their salvation, they will quote Romans 10:10 and other Scriptures as the “Word of God” and therefore being infallible, and demand salvation based upon the fact that they have the Scriptures and place a demand upon God that He is obliged to honour His “Word” and that He can therefore not refuse any who would come to Him in accordance to these Scriptures.
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” Romans 10:10.
Jesus warns those who wants to use the Scriptures to defend their position before God, He tells them, “You examine the Scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life, but these very Scriptures point to Me,”John 5:19.
He very distinctly underlines the fact that salvation comes in no other way except it comes as a direct will and act from the Father –
“For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up,”John 6:44.
“No one fully knows the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows the Father except the Son and the person to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him,” Matthew 11:27.
“He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them,”Matthew 13:11.
“Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:7.
Even when it comes to salvation itself, Jesus explains to Nicodemus, ‘the man of the Scriptures’ (Pharisee), that salvation can only come by a Sovereign act of God in being ‘born again’, and given new Life by the Spirit of Grace in order to have eyes to see the Kingdom and to become a partaker of the Spiritual Kingdom of God.
This must surely have been a shock to this man of the Scriptures, who had his whole life held to the Scriptures as the security to his own salvation. Who had been taught that he, as a son of Abraham, and a son of the covenant would have eternal life as a result of that covenant if he continued to follow the Scriptures and lived in accordance with them!
It must have been a further shock to hear John openly proclaim that God could raise up for Himself children from stones if He wanted to, and that He was not bound to receive anyone into His eternal Kingdom, whether they were a covenant child, or no covenant child!
- The Scriptures cannot bring salvation, our prayers (although they may be heard by God and may the vehicle to bring us to salvation – Acts 10:4) in themselves cannot automatically bring us salvation, simply because we prayed them.
- Our confessions (though they may be Scripturally correct) cannot save us because we have confessed them – Salvation is not in the power of our words or our confessions, they in themselves will not open the Heaven’s to us.
- Our works cannot save us, no matter how wonderful and noble they may be (although God may notice them and they may lead to our salvation – Acts 10:4), they in themselves cannot assure us the Gift of salvation.
There is only One Way we can be saved and that is by a Sovereign act of God’s Grace!
The Spirit of Grace needs to come into our lives and become our Life! We need to be born into the Spirit, and God’s Own Spirit of Grace, in all of His Being and with all of His attributes needs to become the very Life-Breath of Himself in us – We need to walk in Him, move in Him and have our being in Him, because of Him having His Life-Being in us!
We need to be joined in Him, Unified with Him and become One with Him in very aspect of His Life and Being.
The Spirit of GRACE needs to permeate us so that we may be vessels filled with His Grace, filled with Him and His Being.
Grace vessels of the Almighty, bearing the fragrant fruit of Grace detectable in us and throughout all of our lives wherever we move, as the Fragrance of His Sweet Perfumed Presence poured forth from our lives!
This is God’s work of Grace, by His Spirit of Grace!
This is the fruit of the Spirit of Grace, detectable in our lives .
This is what makes us the children of Grace and what makes us a part of Him, and Him a part of us.
This is the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, the seal of the Holy Spirit within our lives – His Presence in us, as a Sweet Aroma perfuming the world around us.
What then can be greater than Grace, or the act of God’s grace by His Spirit of Grace presently at work in our lives?
What could be a greater Gift than Grace?
If we can be saved by no other means, except by the freewill choice of our Redeemer, and of the Living God, choosing to make Himself known to us by the Spirit of Grace.
Then to what measure are we to live in gratitude and in daily worship of Him, expressing our thankfulness in a life given to be lived in total and pure surrender of His Spirit, wherein He is Lord, and wherein we live for Him to be Love to be glorified and to be exalted!
If Grace found you, and Grace transformed you, and if the Spirit Grace now dwells and lives in you, how blessed are you, and how grateful should you be, by showing your daily Love to Him, and by giving your life in service of Him to be extolled and exalted in and through you?
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you],” Romans 12:1-2 AMPC.
To suggest Grace as receiving anything less than God’s Spirit being imputed into us as His Life in us, is no more than pure spiritual ignorance on our side! To associate the Spirit of Grace with blanketing our sin – a dis-grace!
In the light of what you have just heard and learned, Hebrews 10:29 should take on an entirely new meaning. It should become clear just why it would be detrimental to lose focus of what you have received from God that is so precious, and that can never be obtained in any other way, except through His Grace being extolled over you!
It should clear how valuable your salvation is, and how that, should you ever lose it, by disregarding it as described in this verse, it could never be regained by any action from your side, since it never came as result of anything you had to offer, or any action you performed I the first place – But purely as an Act of God Himself!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through a living encounter of the Reality of God (faith) in God — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, lest any man should boast,”Ephesians 2:8.
In conclusion, may we be reminded of the Sovereignty of our God and the great GRACE He shows each one He chooses to reveal Himself to, and to bring into salvation as a result thereof –
“I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”
So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.
Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”
No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.” (Romans 9:15-23).
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit www.sonsofsovereignty.com or Revival.