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The Anatomy of Grace

“And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth’” (Exod. 34:6 NKJ).

God’s grace has a spiritual anatomy, that is, a structural framework. This framework consists of how the scriptures use the word grace, especially in the New Testament. Understanding the various parts of grace and how they fit together to create a whole is essential to grasp the meaning of the grace of God fully.  

The framework I will describe here consists of 4 distinct parts: God’s nature, Jesus Christ, the operation of the Holy Spirit, and the human response.  You can read this article for a more detailed description of these four components. 

First, grace is God’s very nature and character. Exodus 34:6 above says He is gracious. He is good, loving, and kind in character. Second, grace is the form in which God has revealed Himself to save us. Jesus is God’s grace revealed. John 1:17 says grace came through Jesus Christ. His life, death, resurrection, and ascension were a visible display of grace at work. Third, grace is the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. In 1 Cor. 15:10, Paul says grace worked powerfully in Him. What he called grace in this verse is the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Finally, grace is the human response to the extravagant kindness of God.  In Acts 11:23, Paul and Barnabas saw God’s grace in the lives of the Gentiles. What did they see that the scripture calls grace in this verse? They saw the fruits of redemption in the lives of the Gentile believers. Therefore, grace is the salvation, joy, thanksgiving, and other outward manifestations of the results of God’s kindness in our lives.  

Let these four facets of grace open your understanding to the various ways  God reveals and manifests His grace in our lives. 

Read more: God’s Grace Revealed in Four Dimensions.

Meditate

What are the four dimensions of grace mentioned above?

Apply the Word

God’s true grace will always result in aw, reverence, thanksgiving, praise, and an ardent desire in our hearts to love Jesus. Grace can’t produce sin. 

Pray

Ask the Lord to help you experience the full measure of the grace of God in your life.

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