Define Grace.

This demand reminds me of Abraham Lincoln’s “The Elephant and The Blind Men” illustration where several blind men use their sense of touch to describe an elephant. One of the blind men, standing next to the elephant’s leg, describes the elephant much like a tree trunk while another, standing near the trunk, describes the elephant as a fire hose and then another blind man who can only touch the tail swears that the elephant must be rope like. And the point of Lincoln’s analogy is that all the blind men, at once, were both correct and in error simply because there was not an overview of the entire elephant. This scenario is much like the command to “Define Grace.” There are many perspectives of this complex subject that we call “Grace.” Why this is so is the discussion that follows:

I think we all realize that in the popular expression of Grace that the majority of the religious realm of today’s world finds a cheap covering for sins; no real repentance is required, and even still less any real desire to be truly delivered from sin. This kind of cheap grace amounts to a denial of the Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us effecting a real experience where “Grace and Truth hath kissed each other.”

The modern and contemporary doctrine of Grace negates the biblical truth that Grace “instruct[s] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age” as Titus 2:12 declares. Instead, they live as if Grace was a Monopoly “Get Out of Jail free” card –a no-strings-attached, granted amnesty, charity, leniency, immunity, approval, tolerance, and self-awarded privilege devoid of any moral demands. This popular teaching teaches a “Grace” that alters a believer’s standing without affecting his state. This is clearly not the grace of Titus 2:11-12.

Defining “Grace” clearly is notoriously difficult. True Bible Grace is not a passive or an abstract quality, but a living, active, working attribute of God: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation…and instructing us.” And this means that the prime mover of Grace is that of an Instructor or Teacher, therefore, we must realize that Grace moves us from one continual state to another through spiritual understanding just as a pupil moves from grade to grade as he gains the knowledge and experience taught to him at each level.

Grace, while unmerited, does require “insemination” of its teachings to be effective and beneficial in one’s life. Peter said we should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Grace, just as any teacher, freely gives knowledge in order to extract a profitable result FOR the student — enabling him to “live” bettered by his newly acquired understanding of the principles of the world in which he lives and to “apply” them and just as life has a mirada of factors so does the Christian life and that is why Grace becomes so varied in its perspectives because it deals with all those aspects — first and foremost as an Instructor. Grace therefore prepares us, IF we “be willing and obedient” to its teachings to live in Grace.

So the blind men were both correct and in error all at once…. because the parts make a whole and when we speak of “Grace” we are speaking of God Himself… a Whole which only eternity will be able to fully declare, therefore, when we seek to define “Grace” we find we MUST venture into a vast sea of the “parts” and each part sparkles with divine beauty each in its own right but wherever we encounter Grace we WILL come face to face, in some aspect, with a Teacher.


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