Wednesday, May 30, 2007
From, Communion With God (Puritan Paperbacks: Treasures of John Owen for Today's Readers)
"Grace is a word which has various meanings. But chiefly it means three things:
(1) Grace can mean grace of personal presensce and beauty. So we say, 'He or she is graceful and beutiful person'. The Song of Solomon deals mainly with the grace and beauty of Christ's person. See Psalm 45:2
(2) Grace can mean grace of free favour and acceptance. 'By grace you are saved'. That is, we are saved by the free favour and merciful acceptance of God in Christ. So the expression 'If I found grace in your sight' is often used. The person using this expression hopes that he will be freely and favourable accepted. So God 'gives grace', that is, favour, to the humble (James 4:6; Gen. 39:21; 41:37; Acts 7:10 I Sam. 2:26; II Kings 25:27).
(3) Grace can mean the fruit of the Spirit sanctifying and renewing our natures, enabling us to do those good things which God has purposed and planing for us to do, and holding us back from evil. 'My grace is sufficient for you,' says the Lord Christ. That is, the help which God gave was sufficient for Paul (II Cor. 12:9, 8:6,7; Col. 3:16; Heb. 12:28).
The last two meanings of the word grace, as relating to Christ, I call 'purchased grace', being purchased by him for us. And our communion with Jesus in this purchased grace is called 'a fellowship in his sufferings, and the power of his resurrection' (Phil. 3:10).