Grace in its highest definition is
Many in Christianity have been taught that grace is unmerited favor, something precious, like air and sunshine, that we receive without paying anything. However, this definition is not adequate. Grace is nothing less than the Triune God. John 1:14 tells us that the Word, who was God, became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace and reality. Then verses 16 and 17 say, "Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ," The predicate came indicates that grace is a person. The Jaw was given; it did not come, because it is not personified. We may say, "A Bible was given to me." A Bible does not come; it can only be given, but a person can come. Grace came through Jesus Christ. Thus, this grace is called "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 13:14). Expressions such as the love of God and the grace of Christ denote that the second noun is in apposition to the first noun. The love of God means that God is love and love is God. These two denote one thing. In the same principle, the grace of Christ indicates that Christ is grace and grace is Christ. This is the grace that Paul received. Paul received a divine, triune person—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit-as grace. This grace enabled, qualified, and empowered him to preach Christ in all His riches. Hymns, #497 says,...
This grace came through Jesus Christ; hence, it is the grace of Christ (John 1:17b; 2 Cor. 8:9a; 13:14a). In Greek, expressions such as the grace of Christ and the love of God are appositions. Grace and Christ, Christ and grace—the two are one. The grace of Christ does not mean that Christ is Christ and grace is grace; rather, it means that Christ is grace. Likewise, the love of God does not mean that outside of God there is something called love; rather, it means that God is love. This is the sense in 2 Corinthians 13:14, where the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are mentioned. God is love, Christ is grace, and the Holy Spirit is fellowship.
The first three stanzas of Hymns, #497 read as follows:
Grace to the apostle Paul was God in Christ. Can we also say that grace to us is God in Christ? I hope that we all can see that grace to us is God in Christ. All other things are not grace: neither wives nor husbands, neither sons nor daughters, neither properties nor bank accounts, neither education nor position. All these are not grace to us. Only God in Christ is grace to us. If we lose this Christ, we lose everything of grace. If we gain this Christ, He is everything of grace.
I hope that we all can see this matter. God has no intention to put us under the law; His intention is to put us in His grace. Today we are those who have received grace, which is the Triune God, which is the Father given to us in the Son, and which is the Son realized as the Spirit dwelling in our spirit. The Spirit dwelling in us is the practical grace. This is grace; we live this and we live by this. Apart from this, we can do nothing and we have nothing.
Grace is God Himself as everything to us. All the heavenly, spiritual, divine, and deep things are God Himself. Grace is the personified God. The New Testament is the history of such a personified Person. This Person is the Triune God in His Trinity processed and consummated. Today He is not the "raw" God, but the "cooked" God. Processed and consummated means cooked. If God had remained in His original situation as the "raw" God, how could He be anything to us? But in the New Testament, God is hundreds of items to us because He was processed. If God had not been incarnated and had not passed through human living, an all-inclusive death, and an all-surpassing resurrection, He could never do anything for us, give anything to us, or be anything to us. But today He can do everything for us, give everything to us, and be everything to us because He has been processed and consummated.
Second Corinthians 13:14 says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." This is the processed and consummated Triune God becoming constituted into the believers to make a divine and human constitution. The consummation of this constitution will be the New Jerusalem.
John 1:14-17 says that God's incarnation is to bring grace to men that men may become Him, and this grace brought by God to us is God Himself for our enjoyment. Hymns, #497 speaks of the highest definition of grace:
Grace is God Himself given to us. God gives Himself to us according to His righteousness, by His righteousness. Without God's righteousness, even if God is willing to give Himself to us as grace, He cannot do it because that is illegal, unlawful. But God has done everything to fulfill His righteous requirements by His righteousness. Now He is free to give Himself to us as our grace, as our enjoyment.
According to New Testament usage, grace and reality are equal to life. In John 14:6 the Lord declared, "I am the way, and the reality, and the life." In this portion of the Word, reality and life are joined together. If we do not have the reality, how can we have the way? If we do not have the life, how can we have the reality? When we have the life, we also have the reality. When we have the reality, the reality is the way. We are human beings; but without the human life, how could we have the human reality? Without the human reality, how could we carry out human things? In order to carry out human things, we need human reality, and in order to have human reality, we must have human life. The way is the reality, and the reality is the life. Hence, John 14:6 tells us that reality and life are one thing. Grace and life also are one thing. Both 1 Corinthians 15:10 and Galatians 2:20 contain the phrase "yet not I, but." First Corinthians 15:10 says, "...yet not I, but the grace of God," and Galatians 2:20 says, "...yet not I, but Christ" (KJV). Putting these two verses together, we can see that grace is Christ Himself. Second Corinthians 13:14 refers to "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ." This too indicates that grace is just Christ. This Christ is the One who lives in us (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:10) as our life (Col. 3:4). When all these verses are put together, we can see that grace is the divine life of God becoming our portion. When the divine life of God becomes our portion, this is grace...
John 1:14 says that the incarnated Triune God was full of grace and reality. Many Christians do not have a proper realization of what grace and reality are. Grace is God Himself for our enjoyment. A line from Hymns, #497 says, "Grace in its highest definition is God in the Son to be enjoyed by us." Grace is God being enjoyed by us, and reality is God being realized by us. Grace is God for our enjoyment, and reality is God for our possession. Nothing is real in the universe except God. The real light is our God. Our real drink is God. Our food is God. God is the reality. The phrase "full of grace and reality" in verse 14 indicates that the incarnation is for God to come to dispense Himself into us as our enjoyment and as our possession. We need to see such a great vision. The incarnation of the Divine Trinity is for the dispensing of Himself into us for our enjoyment and for our inheritance. In His dispensing we enjoy Him and inherit Him as our possession, as our reality.
The Gospel of John reveals that God came in the way of incarnation. The Word, who was God, became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace (John 1:14). Hymns, #497 tells us that grace in its highest definition is God in the Son to be enjoyed by us. Grace is God in the Son for our enjoyment. Many of us enjoy eating steak. Steak is beef and beef is a small part of a big cow. The only way such a big cow could be our enjoyment is by processing it. The cow must first be killed and then cut into pieces. Cutting alone, however, is not adequate. These pieces of steak must be cooked. After such a long process, the beef is now available to you. In like manner, for God to be our enjoyment in the Son, He must be processed.
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
It is this grace-Christ as our inward strength-
Which with His all-sufficiency doth fill;
It is this grace which in our spirit is,
There energizing, working out God’s will
Church In Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
OH! What Grace! Oh! What Love! "May the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints"(the last scripture in the Bible) Come Lord Jesus!
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
God is incarnate in the flesh that we can
experience HIM, how wonderful is this saints!
Paul counted everything as dung, accept this Grace,
wow Lord, Youre working out Your will in us.
May we Know this Grace and By it Live, Really Lord
we need to Live by You! , moment-by-moment!
Rochester, England, United Kingdom
This is a very blest hymn for us. We sing it often. Oh what grace the Lord has shown us. My wife and I have recently started a house group in the Church life and a brother and his wife have come out from London to fellowship with us. Those evenings were beautiful. So far we have no one in our area but keep putting out the tract the mystery of human life. May the Lord grace those who read it.
San Marcos, TX, United States
Not I but grace (1 Cor 15:10)
Not I but Christ ( Gal 1:20)
Grace = Christ :)
Diamond Bar, CA, United States
G - God
R - Received
A - And
C - Christ
E - Enjoyed
Moreno Valley, California, United States
Praise the Lord for this grace, the greatest gift from God to man. Lord continue to show me this grace.
Anaheim, CA, United States
What a lovely song. So much to learn from it and the other teachings about grace. Thank you for sharing with me.
Fargo, ND, United States
Grace has several definitions but this hymn unveils the highest and most experiential. By praying over and with this wonderful song we can enter into the Person who is Grace and can be our all-sufficient supply for any situation the Lord allows us to be in. Lord may we know this grace and by it live.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
This is our song for this week in The Holy Word for Morning Revival. Thank you for the music. We used to sing this often but not lately. We needed the tune. Lord keep us open for Your Grace to work through us today and every day.