I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. I Peter 5:12
I love this passage at the conclusion of Peter’s letter to the churches. He wanted to be very sure the believers knew that the gospel is the true grace of God.
We who have the complete Bible have a great many verses on grace, and we have a well formed picture of what grace is. But what would the people in Peter’s time have thought grace was? One of their main reference points would have been the Old Testament books.
Thus, I searched it out. What was grace in the Old Testament? Here are a few of the insights I gained.
Ultimately, in the OT, GRACE IS GOD’S FAVOR ON US.
Grace is the Lord’s face shining on us. “The LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.” Nu 6:25
Grace is goodness. “And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” Ex 33:19
Grace is showing compassion. “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.” Is 30:18
Grace is acting on our behalf. “How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.” Is 30:18-19
GOD FORETOLD A TIME WHEN HE WOULD LAVISH HIS FAVOR ON US.
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. Zech 12:10
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. Isa 42:16
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Is 44:3
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves Mal 4:2
WHEN JESUS CAME, IT WAS SEEN AS THIS TIME OF THE OUTPOURING OF GOD’S GRACE AND FAVOR.
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:78-79
. . . the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
(Jesus) stood up to read, . . . “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”. . . He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21
AND WHEN THE CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED, IT WAS ALSO THE WORKING OF GRACE. They depended on the grace to build the church.
When (Barnabus) arrived and saw what the grace of God had done. . . Acts 11:23
From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. Acts 14:26
. . . but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. Acts 15:40
THUS, AS WE STAND FIRM IN THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD WE ARE THE CULMINATION OF GOD’S PLAN TO LAVISH FAVOR UPON MAN. He fills us with his Spirit. He builds us up and strengthens us. He gives us everything we need.
Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32
It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace . . Heb 13:9
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. II Peter 1:3
MAY WHATEVER WE DO TODAY BE THE WORK OF GOD’S GRACE IN US
. . . now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. II Cor 6:2