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Have Grace


This first passage from Hebrews is from the Bible study Shaking. Verse 28 is where this study began. It was the phrase “have grace” in the NKJV of the Bible (“show gratitude” in the NASU) that the Lord used to reveal this truth. The question that came to me is what does it mean to “have grace” and why is it so significant in the Christian’s walk with God? Let’s dig in the Scriptures to see.


Hebrews 12:25-29The final shaking that is coming to the entire earth at the end of this age will reveal where we all stand, whether that be close by the Lord in faithfulness or turned away from Him in unfaithfulness with an apostate heart (see the Bible study Cultivate Faithfulness.). To turn away from allegiance to God is to fall away from Him. (See the note below for more insights.)

25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused [3868- “to refuse, decline, avoid”] him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away [654- “to turn oneself away from, to turn away from allegiance”] from Him who warns from heaven.

26 And His voice shook [4531] the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN."

27 This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken [4531], as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken [4531] may remain [3306- see John 15:4-11 below].

28 Therefore, since we receive [3880- “to take, to receive from another”] a kingdom which cannot be shaken [761- “unshaken, immovable”], let us show [2192] gratitude [5485- terrible interpretation!], by which we may offer to God [“to minister to God”] an acceptable service [“in a manner well-pleasing to one”] with reverence and awe; [see the Bible study Well Pleased and Malachi 3:1-5 in The Right To Possess.]

29 for our God is a consuming fire.

NASU

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have [2192] grace [5485], by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

29 For our God is a consuming fire.

NKJV

NT:4531 saleuo (sal-yoo'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:4535; to waver, i.e. agitate, rock, topple or (by implication) destroy; figuratively, to disturb, incite:

KJV - move, shake (together), which can [-not] be shaken, stir up.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

a. properly, of the motion produced by winds, storms, waves, etc.; to agitate or shake (Matt. 11:7)

b. to shake down, overthrow, i.e. tropically, to cast down from one's (secure and happy) state (Acts 2:25)


NT:3306 meno (men'-o);

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):

KJV - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to remain, abide

I. intransitively

1. to place

a. to sojourn, tarry (Luke 8:27)

b. tropically

1. equivalent to not to depart, not to leave, to continue to be present (1 John 2:19)

2. to be held, or kept, continually: in the state of death (1 John 3:14)

2. to time; to continue to be, i. e., not to perish, to last, to endure: used of persons, to survive, live

3. to state or condition; to remain as one is, not to become another or different: with a predicate nominative monos (John 12:24)

II. transitively; tina, to wait for, await (Acts 20:5)


NT:2192 echo (ekh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

including an alternate form scheo (skheh'-o); used in certain tenses only); a primary verb; to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possessions; ability, continuity, relation, or condition):

KJV - be (able, hold, possessed with), accompany, begin to amend, can (+-not), conceive, count, diseased, do eat, enjoy, fear, following, have, hold, keep, lack, go to law, lie, must needs, of necessity, need, next, recover, reign, rest, return, sick, take for, tremble, uncircumcised, use.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to have

I. Transitively.

1. to have equivalent to to hold

a. to have (hold) in the hand (Rev. 1:16)

b. in the sense of wearing of garments, arms and the like (Matthew 3:4; 22:12)

c. tropically, to have (hold) possession of the mind

d. to hold fast, keep (Luke 19:20)

e. to have (in itself or as a consequence), comprise, involve (James 1:4; 2:17)

f. to regard, consider, hold as

2. to have equivalent to to own, possess

a. external things such as pertain to property, riches, furniture, utensils, goods, food, etc. (Luke 21:4)

b. Under the heading of possession belongs the phrase echein tina as commonly used of those joined to anyone by the bonds of nature, blood, marriage, friendship, duty, law, compact, and the like:

c. of attendance or companionship (Matthew 15:30)

d. to have a thing in readiness, have at hand, have in store (Matthew 14:17)

e. a person or thing is said echein those things which are its parts or are members of his body:

f. one is said to have the diseases or other ills with which he is affected or afflicted:

g. one is said to have intellectual or spiritual faculties, endowments, virtues, sensations, desires, motions, affections, faults, defects, etc. (Rev. 17:9)

h. of age and time:

i. echein ti is said of opportunities, benefits, advantages, conveniences, which one enjoys or can make use of:

j. echein ti is used of one on whom something has been laid, on whom it is incumbent as something to be borne, observed, performed, discharged:

k. echein ti is used of one to whom something has been entrusted:

l. in reference to complaints and disputes the following phrases are used:

m. phrases of various kinds:

n. echoo, with an infinitive

a. with the subjunctive, equivalent to to be able (Matthew 18:25)

b. is used of what there is a certain necessity for doing:

II. Intransitively

a. to hold oneself or find oneself so and so, to be in such or such a condition:

b. impersonally (1 Timothy 5:25)

III. the middle voice to hold oneself to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to; to be closely joined to a person or thing


NT:5485 charis (khar'-ece)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):

KJV - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

grace

1. properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2. good-will, loving-kindness, favor (Luke 2:52)

3. what is due to grace

a. the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace,

b. a token or proof of grace (2 Cor. 1:15)

4. thanks (1 Cor. 10:30)

In this passage, Paul gives a warning “from Him who warns from heaven” for God’s people to be careful not to turn away from Him in rebellion and think that we will escape His judgment.

In a recent devotional for April 8 from Spurgeon in which he was speaking of the crucifixion of Jesus, he made the following statement;


When God saw Jesus in the sinner's place, He did not spare Him; and when He finds the unregenerate without Christ, He will not spare them. O sinner, Jesus was led away by His enemies: so shall you be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you. Jesus was deserted of God; and if He, who was only imputedly a sinner, was deserted, how much more shall you be?”


I would take that even further and ask, per what is written in the Word of God, that when He finds His people “in the sinner’s place,” jointly participating in their sins, will He spare them?

The Lord said to John in His final Revelation regarding the destruction of Babylon, the spiritual harlot;


Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share [“co-participate in, to become a partaker together with others”] in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues [“a blow, stripe, a public calamity, heavy affliction”].” (Revelation 18:4/NIV)


The Lord has clearly declared that, “No!”, He will not spare those of His people that stubbornly refuse to listen to Him and come out from her by not participating with her in her sinful lifestyle against Him. Because of their choice to remain with the “unregenerate” instead of Christ in obedience to His will, they too will receive of her “plagues” which by definition is a “public calamity” and a “heavy affliction.”

Regarding the separation of God’s people from those who practice lawlessness, Paul said to the Christians in the city of Corinth;


Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ [Rev. 18:4] Therefore, ‘Come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1/NASU)


What we need, and will receive, is a good dose of the fear of the Lord in our land.

As with the children of Israel during their wilderness journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, rebellion among those in the church will be dealt with for His namesake and the sake of those who, like Joshua and Caleb, have remained faithful to the Lord during the great falling away from the faith (2 Thess. 2:3; the “apostasy, the defection from the truth”). The removing of the wicked found among God’s people will cleanse us, His body, from all defilement, resulting in a pure and spotless people who have been made ready for His return. They heard the word of the Lord to “Get ready!” and then did what was spoken, preparing their hearts by faith, working together with the Holy Spirit rather than against Him.

The Greek for “turn away” is defined as “to turn oneself away from, to turn away from allegiance.” We have doctrines (i.e. “Eternal Security”) that say Christians will escape judgment even when walking in stubbornness and rebellion toward the Lord. Again, like the children of Israel in the wilderness, continued unfaithfulness will cause many to forfeit their “reward of the inheritance” from the Lord (Col. 3:24). (See the Bible study Cultivate Faithfulness.)

The final shaking that is coming to the entire earth at the end of this age will reveal where we all stand, in particular God’s own people. It will make public whether that be close by the Lord in faithfulness or turned away from Him in unfaithfulness with an apostate heart. To turn away from allegiance to God is to fall away from Him (2 Thess. 2:1-4). It is to be a covenant breaker that did not “continue in His kindness” and will therefore be cut off from Him (Romans 11:17-22).

In verse 28, the NAS version says “let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God [“to minister to God”] an acceptable service [“in a manner well-pleasing to one”] with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” The NKJV version says “let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” These two versions say two seemingly different things; “show gratitude” and “have grace.” To help make it clearer what is being said we have to look at the original Greek words from which we obtained our English interpretations.

The Greek interpreted in English as “show” and “have” is echo (ekh'-o). It means “to have, to hold, to hold fast, keep, to own, possess.” The first two definitions are very similar to vows in the covenant of marriage.

The Greek for “gratitude” and “grace” is charis (khar'-ece) which is defined as “grace, goodwill, lovingkindness, favor, the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” From these definitions I understand this phrase to mean let us hold fast/keep/possess the goodwill and lovingkindness and favor of the Lord toward us by remaining/abiding (v.27) in Him, staying near Him through obedience with a steadfast spirit “by which” we then minister to God in a manner that is acceptable and well-pleasing to Him (see the Bible studies Holding Fast To The Lord and Well Pleased).

To not keep the favor/grace of the Lord is to turn away from allegiance to our covenant with Him in unfaithfulness/unbelief. It is to fall away to destruction from Him with an apostate heart (2 Thessalonians 2:3). According to Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this will happen among the Lord’s followers in particular right before His return (2 Thess. 2:1-4).

Like the Israelites in the wilderness who defected from the Lord after being set free from the bondage of Egypt, many will not cross the finish line and enter in but will instead be disqualified (1 Cor. 9:27). Only those who remain loyal to the Lord, as seen in type through Joshua and Caleb, will remain alive (see the Bible study The Sons Of Jephunneh). They, along with those new children who have turned to Christ in the final revival (Numbers 14:28-31), will enter into the promised land of eternal life in Christ at His return (Numbers 13:38).


The Authority Of The Bride And The Right Of Decree


An Old Testament type of those found to have favor and are well pleasing in His sight is found in Queen Esther. She had been raised to a ruling position by God to be used to spare the lives of all of her people. When a plot to destroy the Jewish people was uncovered by Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her, she went before the king to request that he revoke the letters of destruction devised by Haman, the enemy of the Jews. She risked her life by going before him even though she was not summoned.

After Haman was exposed and then hung on his own gallows he had made specifically for Mordecai who refused to comply with his executive order (Esther 3:4 in N.I.V.), Esther spoke again to the king, falling at his feet, weeping. He extended the golden scepter of his acceptance toward her and she then “arose and stood before the king,” saying to him;


If it pleases the king and if I have found [“to find, to attain, to secure, to get”] favor [“favor, grace, charm, acceptance”] before him and the matter seems proper to the king and I am pleasing in his sight [see the Bible study Well Pleased], let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king's provinces.”

(Esther 8:5/NASU)


The king granted Queen Esther’s request and declared that she could write a decree to the Jews as she saw fit, in his name, that could not be revoked. Mordecai, who had now been set over the house of Haman, then wrote in the king’s name, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and then had them sent by couriers on fast horses especially bred for the king.

What I see through this is that the Bride of the King (Jesus), she who has favor with Him and is pleasing in His sight as He was with the Father, has the authority to request decrees of justice for her and her people’s lives, the people of God, in the Lord’s name, that cannot be revoked by our enemies. The word proclaimed in the name of the Lord will be delivered by those couriers who have been prepared for that particular moment. “Hastened and impelled by the king’s command,” they will go out (Esther 8:14).

Their letter declared that;


“…the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil, on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar). A copy of the edict to be issued as law in each and every province was published to all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies.”

(Esther 8:11-13/NASU)


I hear the Lord saying in this that He has granted the authority to His favored, faithful Bride that is pleasing in His sight to request/petition that a decree be made in His name as well. We are called to publicly decree the right to assemble and the right to defend our lives against all those who would desire to attack us and annihilate us as well. We are to be ready for this day, like the Jews were, to avenge ourselves on our enemies. Amen!


The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States:


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


“Overall, the Right to Assemble is of significant importance to U.S. society as it gives all citizens the freedom to have a voice and freely associate with one another in public under a common cause or shared value.” (learningtogive.org “Right To Assemble”)


Jonah 2:8This passage tells us the means by which we move away from God, loosing ourselves from His grace and mercy with an unfaithful heart. What is being described here is the condition of a covenant breaker. See the note below. (This passage is also in the Bible study Shaking.)

8 "Those who cling [8104] to worthless [7723] idols [1892] forfeit [5800] the grace [2617] that could be theirs.

NIV

Jonah 2:8

8 "Those who regard [8104] vain [7723] idols [1892] forsake [5800] their faithfulness [2617],

NASU

Jonah 2:8

8 They that observe [8104] lying [7723] vanities [1892] forsake [5800] their own mercy [2617].

KJV

Jonah 2:8

8 "Those who regard [8104] worthless [7723] idols [1892] forsake [5800] their own Mercy [2617].

NKJV


OT:8104 shamar (shaw-mar')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.:

KJV - beward, be circumspect, take heed (toself), keep (-erself,), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed

a) (Qal)

1) to keep, to have charge of

2) to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle)

3) to watch for, to wait for

4) to watch, to observe

5) to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory)

6) to keep (within bounds), to restrain

7) to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow)

8) to keep, to preserve, to protect

9) to keep, to reserve

b) (Niphal)

1) to be on one's guard, to take heed, to take care, to beware

2) to keep oneself, to refrain, to abstain

3) to be kept, to be guarded

c) (Piel) to keep, to pay heed

d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from


OT:7723 shav' (shawv); or shav (shav)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from the same as OT:7722 in the sense of desolating [see Daniel 8:13, 9:27, 11:31, Rev. 17:16]; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjective), uselessness (as deceptive, objective; also adverbially, in vain):

KJV - false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

emptiness, vanity, falsehood

a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity

b) emptiness of speech, lying

c) worthlessness (used of conduct)


OT:1892 hebel (heh'bel); or (rarely in the abs.) habel (hab-ale')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:1891; emptiness or vanity; figuratively, something transitory and unsatisfactory; often used as an adverb:

KJV - altogether, vain, vanity.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

a vapor, a breath

a) breath, vapor

b) vanity (figurative)

as an adverb:

2) vainly


BREATH

hebel[OT:1892] - "breath; vanity; idol." Cognates of this noun occur in Syriac, late Aramaic, and Arabic. All but 4 of its 72 occurrences are in poetry (37 in Ecclesiastes).

First, the word represents human "breath" as a transitory thing: "I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity [literally, but a breath]" (Job 7:16).

Second, hebel means something meaningless and purposeless: "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity" (Eccl 1:2).

Third, this word signifies an "idol," which is unsubstantial, worthless, and vain: "They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities..." (Deuteronomy 32:21) — the first occurrence.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:5800 `azab (aw-zab')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to loosen, i.e. relinquish, permit, etc.:

KJV - commitself, fail, forsake, fortify, help, leave (destitute, off), refuse, surely.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

1) to leave, to loose, to forsake

a) (Qal) to leave

1) to depart from, to leave behind, to leave, to let alone

2) to leave, to abandon, to forsake, to neglect, to apostatize

3) to let loose, to set free, to let go, to free

b) (Niphal)

1) to be left to

2) to be forsaken

c) (Pual) to be deserted

2) to restore, to repair

(Qal) to repair


TO FORSAKE

`azab[OT:5800] - "to leave, forsake, abandon, leave behind, be left over, let go." This word occurs in Akkadian and post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Similar words appear in Arabic and Ethiopic. The word occurs in biblical Hebrew about 215 times and in all periods.

Basically `azab means "to depart from something," or "to leave." This is the meaning of the word in its first biblical appearance: "[For this cause] shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife..." (Genesis 2:24). A special nuance of the word is "to leave in the lurch," or to leave someone who is depending upon one's services. So Moses said to Hobab the Midianite (Kenite): "Leave us not [in the lurch] I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes" (Numbers 10:31).

The word also carries the meaning "forsake," or "leave entirely." Such passages convey a note of finality or completeness…

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:2617 checed (kheh'-sed)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety: rarely (by opposition) reproof, or (subject.) beauty:

KJV - favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness

2) a reproach, shame


checed [OT:2617] - "loving-kindness; steadfast love; grace; mercy; faithfulness; goodness; devotion." This word is used 240 times in the Old Testament, and is especially frequent in the Psalter. The term is one of the most important in the vocabulary of Old Testament theology and ethics.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


This passage tells us the means by which we move away from God, loosing ourselves from His grace and mercy with an unfaithful heart (see the Bible study Cultivate Faithfulness). What is being described here through Jonah’s prayer of confession and repentance is the extreme danger of becoming a covenant breaker with God.

Based upon the four versions of the Bible listed above, grace, mercy, and faithfulness are all related. The five Hebrew words in this verse that Jonah spoke in his prayer while in the belly of the fish must be understood by Christians today who, like Jonah, are running from their call.

The first is shamar (shaw-mar') which is interpreted into English within these four versions as “cling”, “regard” (2x), and “observe”. It’s defined as “to hedge about, to keep, to guard, to retain.” The next two Hebrew words from Jonah reveal what exactly it is that’s being guarded, kept or retained. They’re interpreted as “worthless idols” (2x), “vain idols”, and “lying vanities” within our versions.

The Hebrew for “worthless,” “vain,” and “lying” is shav' (shawv) or shav (shav) which means “emptiness (of speech), vanity, falsehood, lying, worthlessness (used of conduct).” The other, hebel (heh'bel), is defined as “breath, vanity, idol.” It refers to something meaningless and purposeless, also as “an idol, which is unsubstantial, worthless, and vain.” From these two definitions we can understand that Jonah is praying with a repentant heart from inside the great fish about what he has come to understand, the hard way. Those of God’s people who continue to refuse to let go of falsehood or meaningless idols when convicted by the Holy Spirit, choosing instead to keep or guard them in their life, are in great danger of being chastised, severely if necessary, by their loving and impartial Father. The purpose of producing the reverential fear of the Lord in us when we go too far is to keep us from moving away from Him to destruction in unfaithfulness. As we already have seen in Hebrews 12:27, to move away from God is to be in a place where we can be shaken and overthrown, literally “to be cast down from one's (secure and happy) state.”

When understood in truth, the last two Hebrew words should produce the fear of the Lord in His followers so as to keep us from continuing to retain that which God says is worthless, whether that be in heart or conduct. Either way, it is rebellion against the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us. There are times when God will take drastic measures in order to get the full attention of His prodigal sons and daughters so as to keep them from self-destruction.

The last phrase to look at in the different versions is “forfeit the grace that could be theirs”, “forsake their faithfulness”, and “forsake their own mercy”. The Hebrew interpreted into English as “forfeit” and “forsake” is `azab (aw-zab') which means “to leave, to loosen, to forsake, to abandon, leave behind, be left over, let go.” What is it that by holding on to our meaningless idols and falsehood we are loosening ourselves from with an apostate heart? (See the Bible study Binding And Loosing.)

The next Hebrew word, checed (kheh'-sed), which we interpret in English as “grace”, “faithfulness”, and “mercy” is defined as “loving-kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, devotion.” Jonah is saying that we, by refusing to let go of that which He says is not from Him, can actually loosen ourselves from and let go of God’s grace granted to those who have turned to Him!

You might say, “Yes, but Paul said in the New Testament, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of God?’” (Romans 8:35-39) You have to look at the verses preceding this verse to understand why he was encouraging us with this statement.

In the first verse of this chapter Paul says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (NASU) The KJV says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” That last phrase is often dismissed among Bible teachers. It’s stated in all the versions in verse 4;


For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

(Romans 8:2-8/NASU)


A Christian can, and does to one degree or another at different times, live according to the leading of the flesh (i.e. our fallen natures that oppose God). In this state of mind we “cannot please God” (see the Bible study Well Pleased to see what will happen to those who willfully continue in the flesh and are not pleasing to God).

What we see in this passage is that even when we let go of the Lord, forfeiting the grace that is ours, His love reaches out to us. Per the word of God, therefore, the only thing that CAN separate us from Him is us, not any outside force. It is our not letting go of sin that results in our not being adopted, receiving through perseverance the redemption of our body at the end of this age (v.18-25). This is what it means to “receive God’s grace in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1). It had no effect on us. Through rebellion we did not let it conform us to the image of Christ but instead fought against the leading of the Holy Spirit resulting in the disaster of Esau (Hebrews 12:16-17).


Luke 2:51-52When we continue in subjection to our Heavenly Father, as Jesus did with His earthly parents, we will then keep increasing in wisdom and stature/maturity (Ephesians 4:13), and in favor/grace with God and men. If we’re not maturing in the Lord, growing up in Him (Ephesians 4:11-16), it is proof that we are receiving His grace toward us as a Christian in vain. It isn’t changing us into the image of Christ.

The Hebrew for “vain” in 2 Corinthians 6:1 and 15:10 is kenos (ken-os') which is defined as “empty, places and vessels which contain nothing, empty-handed, fruitless, without effect.” Spiritual maturity is evidence that we are walking in the Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, thereby manifesting that the Divine influence upon the heart, through its reflection in our life (see the def. below for [5485]), is not in vain.

51 And He [Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection [5293- “to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection”] to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus kept increasing [4298] in wisdom and stature [2244], and in favor [5485] with God and men.

NASU


NT:4298 prokopto (prok-op'-to)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:4253 and NT:2875; to drive forward (as if by beating), i.e. (figuratively and intransitively) to advance (in amount, to grow; in time, to be well along):

KJV - increase, proceed, profit, be far spent, wax.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to beat forward

1. to lengthen out by hammering

2. to go forward, advance, proceed; of time (Romans 13:12)


NT:2244 helikia (hay-lik-ee'-ah)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from the same as NT:2245; maturity (in years or size):

KJV - age, stature.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. age, time of life

a. universally (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:25)

b. adult age, maturity (John 9:21,23)

c. suitable age for anything; with the genitive of the thing for which it is fit (Ephesians 4:13)

2. stature (Luke 19:3)


NT:5485 charis (khar'-ece)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):

KJV - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

grace

1. properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2. good-will, loving-kindness, favor (Luke 2:52)

3. what is due to grace

a. the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace,

b. a token or proof of grace (2 Corinthians 1:15)

4. thanks (1 Corinthians 10:30)


2 Timothy 3:5-9 A form of godliness but have denied its power, oppose the truth, rejected in regard to the faith, will not make further progress.


(The following passage is from the Bible study Noah; A Sign Of The End.)

Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time.” (Genesis 6:9) He is a picture, in type, of the final group of Believers who will hear and do what the Spirit is saying to them right before judgment comes to the world. He represents the faithful Bride of Christ who will be eternally joined to her Bridegroom.


Genesis 6:8-9 Noah represents the final group of Believers who hear and do what God says, bringing to completion the Body of Christ. For more complete insights see the Bible studies When The Perfect Comes, Wholly Illumined No Dark Parts, and The Appearing Of Christ And Perfecting Of His Body.

8 But Noah found [4672- “to attain, find, or acquire”] favor [2580- “grace” in the KJV] in the eyes of the Lord. [See Exodus 33:12-17 where Moses also found favor with God.]

9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless [8549] in his time; Noah walked with God.

NASU

Genesis 6:8

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

NKJV

OT:8549 tamiym (taw-meem')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:8552; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth:

KJV - without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

(Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

complete, whole, entire, sound

a) complete, whole, entire

b) whole, sound, healthful

c) complete, entire (used of time)

d) sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity

e) what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact (neuter adjective/substantive)


(The following is from the Bible study Elul; The Season Of Preparation And The 40 Days Of Favor.)


The 40 Days Of Favor

In Jewish tradition, the “Season of Teshuva” (“turning back [shuv] to God”) lasts for 40 days from the first day of Elul to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) on Tishri 10. These forty days are known as the “Days of Favor.” Some of the Jewish teachings during Elul point to the idea that it is “a time of divine closeness, a period where connection to God comes easier than at other times of the year” (“What is Elul?” My Jewish Learning).

In an article entitled “Elul and Selichot, The Season of Teshuvah,” the following statement is made;


According to Jewish tradition… the month of Elul represents the time that Moses spent on Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the idolatrous incident of the golden calf. Moses ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul (“Head of the month of Elul”) and then descended 40 days later on the 10th of Tishri, the end of Yom Kippur, when the repentance of the people was complete. The month of Elul therefore represents the time of national sin and forgiveness obtained by means of teshuva before the Lord.”

The 40 Days of Favor, then, represent the appointed time/season of the Lord when the repentance of His people is brought to completion right before His return with His judgment being declared (Feast of Trumpets) and its being carried out (Day of Atonement). The number 40 is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, most often referring to a time period of testing or trial.

As I searched out more on this incredible revelation that I was receiving from the Lord, I was led to an article from gotquestions.org called “What is the favor of God and how can I get it?” In it they gave a definition for favor that witnessed within me as truth. They said;


The best definition of the word ‘favor’ is ‘demonstrated delight.’ The favor of God can be described as ‘tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord’… We usually favor people who also favor us. In the same way, God shows favor to the ones who delight in, connect with, and give honor to Him.”



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