Today, I woke up to the familiar lyrics to ‘Wonderful Grace by Tasha Cobbs’ playing in my head.
**sidebar, I didn’t realise Tasha Cobbs’s name is short for Natasha Cobbs. Hmmm**
The word Channun’ aka Hebrew transliteration for ‘gracious’ occurs 13 times in scriptures. It is an adjective only used as an attribute of God and derived from the root word ‘chanan’.
** Definition for ‘Chanan’ is to beseech, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to favour, bestow, and in relations to God, as one who is the bestowal of favour and usually in the bestowal of redemption from enemies, evils and sins. **
Likewise, the word gracious is a derived term of grace, so, what is grace?
Grace is defined as courteous goodwill or smoothness and elegance of movement or bringing honour or credit to (someone or something) by one’s attendance or participation or (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
Grace is divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine favor.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary provides this theological definition of grace: “The unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings; divine influence acting in a person to make the person pure, morally strong; the condition of a person brought to God’s favor through this influence; a special virtue, gift, or help given to a person by God.” (cited in Mary Fairchild, 2018 article).
Based on the latter definition, God’s Charis, transliteration for grace in Greek accredits the whole of God’s activity toward man (James, 1915). Grace is a gift (Ephesians 4:7; Romans 5:15)
Some examples of Grace in the Bible:
Grace in Salvation and of Christ and Of God: Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:23-24, Titus 2:11-14, Romans 5:15, Titus 3:5-7, Acts 15:11, Galatians 1:15
- “… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
- “… For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
- “…. For the [remarkable, undeserved] grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to reject ungodliness and worldly (immoral) desires and to live sensibly, upright, and godly lives [lives with a purpose that reflect spiritual maturity] in this present age, awaiting and confidently expecting the [fulfilment of our] blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who [willingly] gave Himself [to be crucified] on our behalf to redeem us and purchase our freedom from all wickedness, and to purify for Himself a chosen and very special people to be His own possession, who are enthusiastic for doing what is good.”
- “… But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.”
- “… He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
- “… We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
- “… But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace.”
Grace in Sonship: Ephesians 1:4-7
- “… For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
The grace of the Holy Spirit: Hebrews 10:29
- “… How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled underfoot the Son of God and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that sanctified him and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favour and blessing of God]?”
Grace in Spiritual gifts: 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4: 11-13; Romans 12:6 -8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
- “… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
- “… 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Grace in Power to do Romans 15:16
- “… However, I have written you a bold reminder on some points, because of the grace God has given me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an acceptable offering to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
Grace without Christ: Galatians 5:4
- “… You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.”
Ultimately, grace is not on the based-on works or the law; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:6 paraphrased). And everything about grace points back to Jesus through who we have been saved by faith-and to whom we have been called and reconciled back to God.
So again, I ask, when you refer to God as gracious, what comes to mind?
**This inspired me to compose this song**