Bible Study Certificates

Doctrine of Grace

Just like the word law, the word grace is used a number of ways (with different definitions) in the Bible, however we normally say the definition of grace is "unmerited favor" and try to apply this definition to each place the word grace is used. When we do this we change the meaning of the word/context in many of the verses.

For example the first place "grace" is used in the King James translation is Gen 6:8 which states "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." In verse nine it goes on to state that Noah walked with God and four times in the next two chapters it says that Noah obeyed God's commands. In Gen 6:22 & 7:5 the Bible states did "all that God commanded him" and in Gen 7:9 & 16 did as God commanded.

The word grace in this context is more suited to the definition "finding favor with God", than "unmerited favor". The concept of the atonement in the previous doctrine lesson could be considered "unmerited favor", while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8) and 1 Tim 2:6 it states "Who gave himself a ransom for all." In 1 John 4:10 it states "Here in is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins", and in 1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world."

In other words the foundation of salvation "by grace" is the freely provided atonement by Jesus' death on the cross for all (whole world). In Titus 2:11 the Bible states "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." Jesus provision of the atonement is sufficient for all, however it is only efficient for those whosoever will (John 3:16, Rom 10:13, Mt 10:32, MT 12:50, Mark 8:34, John 4:14, John 11:26, Acts 2:21, Acts 10:43, and Rev 22:17).

Those "whosoever will" find favor in the eyes of God. As indicated by the above verses the concepts of law. Atonement, grace, faith and works are all intertwined in God's plan of salvation. Sometimes we try to exclude some of those doctrines or try to make salvation only one or two of them.

The desire I have for this Bible school is that we will allow the Bible to speak for itself and not a particular church (denominational) doctrine. You may not agree, but all I can ask is that you pray and meditate on the whole counsel of God.

Adam and Eve like Noah walked with God, but when the sinned the broke fellowship with Him. In Deut 7:9 the Bible states "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;" and in Deut 10:12-13 "And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?" These Scriptures plus in most of the situations/events of the Bible stores those who find favor like Noah or those who seek to walk with Him by keeping His covenant relationship.

In the Gospels Jesus speaks of the "kingdom" and a number of His parables speak to the concepts above. Specifically I see the parables of the "Treasure & Pearl" in Mt chapter 13 as salvation (Christ/grace) is the treasure and the pearl and we the sinner must be willing to sell all (die to self) to receive this free but expensive gift.

Just like in the previous doctrine lesson I suggested that you spend a lot of time on studding the atonement, I suggest that you do the same on the concept of grace. The next two doctrines of faith and works are also closely connected to the previous two.