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Grace: An Unmerited Love of God for Mankind

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Grace is the most popular term found in Bible and especially in the New Testament portion of the Christian Bible to show God's unconditional and underserved love by forfeiting His Son, Jesus Christ in the place of the sinners. Grace can be ambiguously used for Love. Grace in the Bible refers to supernatural act of God. It is unhuman, that no one can show unconditional and undeserved benevolence to another person, even to the worst of one's foes or the unwanted and rejected. The God's grace is also free. The recipients, according biblical perception of the grace, are merely given freely on a golden plate so as to speak. It is given freely because if price value is placed on God's grace, it will not in any way enable the recipient of God's grace to afford it because there is no equivalence of God's grace to what man can reciprocate. In the New Testament, God's grace is effected in his act of giving his son Jesus Christ, (John 3:16). God's giving is because of his love, and His love involves in His only begotten son's death.

Love in Greek has many distinctive meanings and four of those many meanings are commonly found in the Bible, especially New Testament. They are agape, philos, eros and stomma. Agape denotes God's unconditional and undeserved love Philos refers to friendly love that people have for their friends. For instance, Peter and John live in the neighbourhood and grow up together as children and later develop a strong bond of friendship. They love each other as best friends. Then we have third kind of love called eros, from which the English word erotic derives from. It is sexual love that a man would have for a woman or husband would have for his wife or vise versa. The forth one, not commonly used in the New Testament is stomma, is motherly love. Stomma is the love that one would have especially for one's mothers. In Greek, agape is specific, but in English, the word love would be a bit ambiguous and misleading if it is not seen in the context of God's act of grace.

Agape love that connects to God's Grace is a love that involves giving of a prized possession or a life for a cause or someone that supersedes love of the one being given. In John 3:16, the agape love is explained clearly. "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son." As it states, God loved the world so much. The God's love for the world supersedes his love for His only begotten Son. In others, God holds dearly his only begotten Son, but his love for the world is so much that if He withheld His son, he might lose the world, so he gave his Son. From human point of view, it is irrational. How could God do that when His dear son is so closest than human beings? This is what grace is meant for humans to understand. God plugged his heart away and gave it for humans. God went to the point of having nothing, not even his only son to gain something.

God's grace is unconditional and undeserved has another dimension. It is for all. In John 3:16, it is qualified by "whosoever". It is in fact offered. If it is offered, then it must be received by those who see it as being offered. It gives a degree of free choice where decision is made. "Whosoever" implies anybody without qualification and that is humanity not to be determined by conditions set by human standards. Whoever is a divine invitation of grace that is open to anyone of human origin with sinful nature who needs salvation.

Acceptance of Grace is by faith, not by works. No one needs to labour for it or claim any part of the Grace as a result of their labour or effort. Paul explains this so clearly in Ephesians 2: 8-9" For it is by God's grace that you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast." In this text, the term gift is also explained. Gift is something, someone endowed you with freely that you have not worked for it or contributed to it or put an effort to it. If you had done all these then it will not be a gift, but a reward or payment for your effort. You would earn it. Here gift is nicely defined as "it is not from yourselves, referring to the recipients of the gift. If it was from yourselves, obviously you would have worked for it so Paul says, "not by works" and naturally people boast of their achievements. No one should boast because it is not an achievement for their effort, but a free gift. The recipient did not put an effort thus achieved nothing. It is given to them out of sheer love. Jesus explains love. "There is no great love than for one to lay his life for many." That kind of love is so difficult to be shown by human being as it involves sacrifice event to giving up of one's life. It is only possible for God and especially for people who deserved nothing that is why God's love is called Agape.

Paul explains this love which it makes it more practical for Christian living. It is a century old explanation which has so much juice in it to be squeezed out for use in daily life of human relationship. Here is his explanation in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. 'Love is patience, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. "Paul's teaching circulated among the Christians of the ancient Corinth at least knew what love is and what love can do if the love is to be shown among the Christ community. This is exactly what God did when he showed grace and love for the lost humanity.


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Comments

Oct 5, 2010 7:44am
BlogMakesMoney
very nice article thanks
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