Friday, 18 December 2020
Grace is most commonly defined as God's unmerited favor or simply unmerited favor. My own definition, which is similar incorporates the covenantal context as well. This is meant to reflect how God has chosen to relate to us in terms of our salvation and those things to which that is connected. After all in Ephesians, it says we have been "...saved by grace through faith..." This is a gift we didn't and can't earn. This is relational.
Scientifically speaking, each of us knows his/her identity because it is mirrored (by mirror neurons) by our parents, family and groups we are a part of. Biblically speaking, we are meant to reflect the identity of Yeshua who reflects the father (1 John 4). This is relational.
In Genesis 30:27 (ESV) it says, "But Laban said to him, 'If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.'" The Hebrew word used there is often translated as favor or grace. This word and its root ultimately implies the idea of acceptance whether for a particular purpose or in general. In the passage above, it was for a particular purpose.
We know we are called to love our neighbor and our enemy. Part of this really means we are meant to show (to the world) our enemy is our neighbor. This is where the idea of grace comes in to play.
Grace is meant to show how our identity is in Yeshua. This means we are special to God. We are called to make disciples for Yeshua; and, without demonstrating what it means that we are special to God, we are trying to make disciples in vain.
We are called to demonstrate what grace means to others by demonstrating grace, or that others are special to us. This is relational. Sin has often been used as a bar to demonstration of grace (this is not relational) Rather, when we encounter sin, we need to be able use it as Yeshua did, to demonstrate identity of the Father and the meaning of grace. Thus, showing how not to sin. This can be very complicated and theological.
For now, let's leave it like this: the joy of our salvation is the result of grace. God shows that to us (and what that means to have our identity in Yeshua) through Yeshua. Our job is to make sure, as disciples, we help people to understand what that means (and their identity in Yeshua) by showing it them.
Daniel and Berelyn,