This Bible Study is taken from Chapter Seven: Understanding God’s Grace of "Working The Works of God" By Dr. Andrew M. Nkoyoyo
Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) ...For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:5, 8)
GRACE IS A DOMINANT THEME in the New Testament, as opposed to Old Testament, where it is seldom mentioned. Salvation is by grace, not works. Grace releases us from sin, and believers are not under the law but the grace of God.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
The New Testament epistles begin and end with the wish that grace would be upon the believers. Also, the New Testament concludes with these words:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)
It is important that, if we are to demonstrate the works of God and also appreciate the New Testament message, we get some understanding of His grace.
Grace is often, and correctly, defined as unmerited favor. But the extent of God’s grace cannot be summed up in one simple statement. Grace expresses a very radical view of life and of relationship with God. It expresses God’s attitude toward us—one of acceptance and love. If we know God’s heart, that He is a gracious God, then we can approach the throne of grace with confidence when we are in need (Hebrews 4:16).
Grace is a dramatic word to use about human condition. As human beings, we are helpless—trapped in sin and unable to please God or win His favor. God, through Jesus Christ, revealed His grace by coming to the aid of all who will trust Him for their eternal salvation (Ephesians 2:5, Romans 5:6, 10). The New Testament concept of grace has no full parallel in the Old Testament. The closest words seem to have been those drawn from the Hebrew, hanan (to be gracious, to be merciful) and hen (grace or favor).
In the Greek, “grace” is charis, which means a “gracious favor or benefit bestowed”. In the New Testament, Jesus shows us that God stoops to help the undeserving and pardons the helpless sinner.
God is God; He is who He is. He is a loving, merciful, compassionate and gracious God. That is why we are confident that, when we call on Him, He will hear us and answer.
He answers and acts, not because we deserve help, but because He is loving and He recognizes our desperation for His intervention. He moves in His power to meet our requests. This is the grace of God.
With regard to supernatural ministry, God has given each believer in Christ grace gifts. Charisma is the term that best describes God’s divine endowment to believers.
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:33)