As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.1 Peter 4:10
Manifold in the Greek means multi-colored. There is grace for every circumstance, for every need we may have. Grace is the divine influence upon our hearts, followed by an outward manifestation in our lives. Grace always produces something tangible in our lives. If it doesn’t, it means that we are resisting the grace of God. So then, grace is a wonderful cooperation between God’s influence through His Word and His Spirit and our part, which is obedience to that influence. Grace is for the obedient. That’s why it says we must be good stewards or overseers of the grace of God. If we disobey, we become bad stewards.
Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.Hebrews 13:9
Grace is for the hearts of mankind, for we obey from the heart. Grace is not a physical substance, but it is a spiritual influence. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace. He’s the one that presents God’s Word to our minds and hearts. When we obey His influence, we are glorifying God and demonstrating His work in our lives. If we disobey His influence, we grieve the Spirit of grace.
God is the God of all grace. All divine influence is just that, divine or from God Himself, the Maker of heaven and earth. The doctrines of men and the doctrines of devils are imitators of God’s grace. They also try to influence mankind’s hearts, but for selfish reasons. The true grace of God is an unselfish Spirit, doing all things out of love for God and others. This will help you to know if the influence is from God or not. Will obeying that influence lead you into greater freedom or greater bondage? The Spirit of grace is a Spirit of freedom, of liberty.
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 5:21
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;Titus 2:11-12
Graces reigns or rules through righteousness or obedience. Loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. All true grace teaches us to deny self and to love. Grace is for this present world. It helps us overcome the world, the same way Jesus overcame the world, by the grace of God’s Word and Spirit. The true grace of God always leads in righteousness. Sin is always a violation of God’s grace, a denying of grace. God needs our obedience before the grace of God can flow in our lives to other people. Grace is not just for our needs, but is for the needs of God and others. Let the grace of God reign in your hearts through obedience, which is righteousness. Pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow Christ in the true path of grace.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Ephesians 2:8
We are saved by grace through faith. This salvation is not of ourselves. Salvation is the gift of God. One can also say that grace is also a gift of God. It teaches us how to be saved. That is, through faith. God influences our heart through grace and then in response we exercise the faith needed to obey. Again, the cooperation between man and God is amazing and 100% necessary to our salvation and the further salvation of mankind. Eternity with God is for those who used their freewills to exercise faith in God’s teaching of grace. While grace is for this present world, it is also to be found in eternity with Christ. God will always be influencing us through grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.John 1:17
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.1 Peter 1:10-11
Grace is a new testament era influence. The OT law was also an influence, but it was not free to flow the way grace does in the New Testament. What changed? Not God, but man’s heart changed. In the OT they had the blood of bulls and of goats, which could only cover sin and not remove sin from their consciences. Now we have the blood of Jesus, which washes us and cleanses us from all sin by the Holy Spirit. We are now free to obey from a clean heart, the way God always intended. When the word grace is used in the OT, it generally means favor. Noah found grace or favor in the eyes of God.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.Romans 11:6
Our election or calling of God to eternal life comes by grace. We are not saved by our own works. We still do works, but this time it is God’s works that we allow Him to flow through us by faith. Faith without works is dead. Grace without works is dead, for that is the definition of grace. It produces righteous works in our lives. It all starts with God’s Word of grace and God’s Spirit of grace. That’s why it is not our works any longer. Our own works came by the influence of man and of devils. Now we are zealous for good works. Works that come from a heart of love, unselfishly serving God and each other. Let us take heed to make sure we are listening to God’s influence at all times. He will always lead us in the path of true, pure grace. He will gently persuade us to do what is right.
Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.Philippians 1:7
Like I said earlier, grace is not just for us and God, but for those we are doing good works for. God’s intention is that we would obey His Spirit of grace, so that others will see the grace of God and be motivated to obey what they see in us! This is how grace abounds. It flows from person to person. Be encouraged to obey the grace you see in other people. We all have something to teach each other and that teacher is Grace. Be encouraged to also let the grace of God teach other people how to obey God. We are living epistles, known and read of all men. Our lives full of grace are meant to instruct sinners and the body of Christ of how to live a godly life. We must obey God! Not only for our sakes, not only for God’s sake, but for the sake of those we will influence through our obedience to God’s influence of grace.
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,2 Timothy 1:9
Grace was given to us in the person of Jesus Christ before the world began, but was not manifested until 30AD when Christ died on the cross. Since that time the gospel is preached, that is, the word of God’s grace to mankind. The way we are walking and living right now is what was always in God’s heart for His creation. Do you realize how blessed we are? We are walking in the fulfillment of God’s will, every time we obey God! We must take this grace seriously, for disobedience is sin and grieves the heart of God. If disobedience is not repented of, it will lead to the lake of fire for all eternity. Grace is for God’s saints, the body of Christ. The world doesn’t know grace until they repent of their sins and are born again. Then they can walk in the grace prepared for them before the foundation of the world.
God is unified in grace. That’s why Paul starts so many of his epistles by saying grace and peace to you from God and from Jesus Christ. Christ is the one who teaches our spirits, for He is the one that came to earth to live as one of us, obeying His Father in all things. The Father says to listen to His Son. The Holy Spirit of Grace says to listen to Jesus Christ. All 3 members of the trinity are responsible for grace to our hearts, but this grace comes by Jesus Christ. Amen.