"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and MUCH GRACE was with them all'' Acts 4: 33.
''From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been COMMITTED TO THE GRACE OF GOD for the work they had now completed'' Acts 14:26.
Why was the grace of God so important in the experience of the early Christians? Why did the church in Antioch pray that the GRACE of God would be upon Paul and Barnabas, and later on Paul and Silas, as they set out on their missionary journeys?


The most common understanding of the word ''grace'' is ''God's unmerited favour'' - in other words, even though we were sinners, deserving of judgment, God looked upon us in love and forgave us. This, however, is only half its meaning. It also means ''GOD'S ENABLING POWER''. Not only does His grace make us accepted into the family of God (2 Thessalonians 2:16), but it also provides the power we need to live the Christian life (2 Thessalonians 2:17).


Two scriptures indicate the two aspects of God's grace in every believer:
  1. God's unmerited favour (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  2. God's enabling power (Ephesians 1:5-6; read also the whole chapter, which describes all that we have received by grace).
In salvation, not only is God's unmerited favour expressed (in that we receive forgiveness and restored relationship with Him even though we don't deserve it), but so also is God's enabling power - for it is only by HIS power that we can be transformed (2 Corinthians 5:17), taken out of Satan's dominion into God's kingdom (Colossians 3:10), and born into His family (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8).

This principle of grace continues throughout our walk with God. In every area of our Christian lives, it is God's grace that causes us to grow and be strong - God's enabling power given to us without any merit on our part (see 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 2:1; Hebrews 13:9).


This operating force of grace is revealed in the lives of men and women throughout the whole Bible. Every hero of faith began his walk with God aware of his own weakness and inability. It was only through him allowing God's grace - His enabling power - to work in his life that he was able to become the kind of person that God wanted him to be, and to fulfil the plan and purpose God had for his life.

Grace In The Life Of Moses

Read Exodus 3:11-13; 4:1-13. The command the Lord gave Moses was no small task. Egypt was the ruling empire of the day. It was an evil nation, and Pharaoh, its satanic leader, held authority that was claimed to be divine. Every nation in the known world lived in fear of Pharaoh . When God told Moses to go down to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let His 3,000,000 people go free from slavery, Moses' immediate response - out of his own weakness and inability - was as follows:
3:11........."Who Am I?"
3:13........."Who Are You?"
4:1..........."They Won't Believe Me!"
4:10........."I'm Not Eloquent!"
4:13........."Lord, send someone else!"
But with God's grace, Moses did go down to Egypt, and with signs and wonders brought the people of Israel out as God told him to.

Grace In The Life Of Gideon

Read Judges 6:1-24. When the call of God came to Gideon to deliver his people from the conquering armies of Midian, Israel had known only defeat for many years. Gideon's response to God's word reveals his initial unbelief.
'' 'BUT sir,' Gideon replied, 'IF the Lord is with us, WHY has all this happened to us? WHERE are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ''Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?'' BUT NOW THE LORD HAS ABANDONED US and put us into the hand of Midian' " 6:13.
Even when the Lord encouraged him and promised to be with him, Gideon answered, in effect, ''How can I save Israel? I'm the smallest member of the smallest family in our tribe!" (see verse 15). But Gideon did, with just a small band of men, deliver his nation from its enemies. It was GRACE that made the difference!

Grace In The Life Of Paul

Read Acts 15:40. Before Paul and Silas set out on their missionary journey together, the church at Antioch prayed for them and ''commended (them) . . . to the grace of the Lord" for the work that was ahead of them. Read Paul's description of his experiences in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. It is understandable that he was first commended to the grace of God! He needed it to survive! The Lord's answer to Paul's confession of his weakness is His promise for us too:
''My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. . . '' 2 Corinthians 12:9 (see also 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Timothy 1:14).


In our relationship with God - as we walk with Him each day - we constantly meet situations that would try to overwhelm us. Our response to God is to trust His word and express it in faith, which is believing what God's word says despite what the circumstances might indicate. God's response to our faith is His grace - His ENABLING POWER, which is more than sufficient to meet each and every situation.


1. We Have Access To The Throne Of God

''Let us then approach the THRONE OF GRACE with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and FIND GRACE TO HELP US IN OUR TIME OF NEED'' Hebrews 4:16 (see also Romans 5:1-2,17; 1 Corinthians 1:3-4).

2. God Is able

"And God is able to make ALL grace ABOUND to you, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will ABOUND in EVERY good work'' 2 Corinthians 9:8 (see also Acts 13:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; Titus 2:11-12).


Copyright © 1981,1996 Paul, Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

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