26. The “Grace" of God
It would however be an oversight, if we did not point out the source of all this procedure that we mentioned, which deifies a person. John the Apostle points it out to us:
"...for it is from the fullness of Him (Christ) that you all have also received grace for grace. For the Law was given through Moses, and grace and the truth was through Jesus Christ...." [John 1:16,17]
The word "grace" is used in the Holy Bible to state the source of charismas - of all the gifts of God.
"..grace was bestowed, according to the measure of God's gift". [Ephesians 4:7]Sustenance, air, creation, our very life, are all gifts of the grace of God. But above all, the Holy Bible with the word "grace" implies God's arrangement to send Jesus Christ to earth. As we have seen in the preceding passage by John, Christians receive the grace of the fullness of Jesus Christ in lieu of a grace.
With this grace they acquire strength, according to 2 Timothy 2:1 -"be strengthened through grace...."
Thus, grace is an energy of God's power, according to the following verses:
"... whose minister I became (of the Gospel), according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to me according to the energy of His power". [Ephesians 3:7]The Holy Spirit of God is named "the spirit of grace" in Hebrewe 10:29, indicating that God Himself is partaken of as "grace". That is why the throne of God is also referred to as "throne of grace" in Hebrew 4:16, just as the "glory" of God - that is, His "light" - is also referred to as "the glory of grace" in Ephesians 1:5. In the previous chapters, we saw that the saints inherit the "life" which is the "light of the people" (John 1:4). Well, in 1 Peter 3:7, the inheritors of that life (the enlightened ones) are referred to as the "co-inheritors of the grace of life". Furthermore, those who are called to the kingdom of Christ are referred to as: invited "in the grace of Christ". By partaking of the "fullness of Christ" - that is, in the "complete union" with God, we partake of the grace of God:
"..and knew the grace of God in truth". [Colossians 1:6]
With the verses that we have quoted, we can now understand that if the "primeval" grace leads man to the Christian Baptism and union with Christ, then the grace of Jesus Christ with which he becomes united will provide him with sanctification - Theosis (deification) - and all the other charismas which we spoke of in this study.This becomes apparent in the following verses also:
"…He has co-vitalized us by Christ, and has co-resurrected and co-seated us in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come the exceeding richness of His grace may be shown, in kindness toward us, in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace, through faith. And this is not by yourselves - the gift is God's." [Ephesians 2: 5-8]Here it becomes apparent that the rebirth by Baptism is an act of grace, due to the union with Christ. The verification by the Holy Spirit that a person is a child of God (Romans 8:16,17) is also a work of grace: "...For it is good for the heart to be reassured by grace..." [Hebrews 13:9] Also the work of grace is the charisma of tongues in the hearts of the faithful: "The word of Christ dwells within you bounteously, in every wisdom, teaching and educating you, with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs being sung in grace in your hearts, to God..." [Colossians 3:16] Every charisma of the Holy Spirit is a work of the grace of God: "Let each one who has received a charisma minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." [1 Peter 4:10] The grace of God, therefore, is the energies of God's love towards mankind - especially His sanctifying and deifying energies, which man partakes of when he is "made complete by Godhood".
Article published in English on: 15-10-2010.
Last update: 15-10-2010.