Grace – Discovering More

If grace can be decreased in power and effectiveness, hopefully there is a way to increase the same. Paul keeps saying “grace to you” at the beginning of his epistles and Peter tells us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” ( 2 Peter 3:18)

The first way to increase grace is frankly out of our control – or better be:

  • “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20)

Which statement Paul quickly clarifies two verses later, highlighted with another “God forbid”:

  • “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2)

Grace – the desire and power to overcome sin – is enlarged automatically whenever we are faced with increasing sin. That could be sin from past failures, or new temptation being pushed on us by the devil and his minions. We don’t pick this fight, but if it comes, God responds with an increase of supernatural desire and power to overcome it. And the effects are general and lasting. Those that come to Jesus out of the blackness of sin tend to burn brighter and fly higher than many of us with more protected backgrounds. At times it almost seems unfair . . . But it is how God “rolls”, to use the vernacular. The answer to our failures is not just to put us back together, but to put us together with a “Welcome Home” present, a gift we would never have otherwise had.

  • “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:9)

Is there anything we can do – “legally” – to increase grace? The easy answer is that since God makes grace increase, we can just ask Him for it as we need it:

  • “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

We have already focused on the “throne of grace” which we are urged to come to boldly to get all we need. But as we have discovered, we can dispense with that grace, freely given as it is, so there are responsibilities on our part if we are to “grow in grace”.

We need to first go back to another previously cited verse:

  • “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7)

This statement – God giving grace to the humble while pushing away the proud – is also found in James 4:6, both of these in turn a quotation from Proverbs 3:34. It tells us that the key to “growing in grace” becomes as simple as how much we are prepared to humble ourselves before God and others. “Clothed with humility”, something we deliberately put on and, like clothing, is clear enough that everyone we are in contact with can see.

Apparently genuine humility is very much our responsibility. It is really not that hard, something any child can do. Dying to our pride, now that is hard. But no Christian should ever be under any illusion that any aspect of blessing or benefit enjoyed is due to his working really hard. Once we realize that God graces us in spite of our helpless and useless labors to improve our standing with Him, then we can relax, ask for, accept that grace, and then with joy “get busy” for Him.

Continue to Grace – Ministering to Others or visit previous in series, Grace – The Rejection of

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10 Comments

  1. Robert Norvell Robert Norvell
    November 2, 2015    

    Thanks for getting it up let me know when to make it public to my friends!

    • Moderator Moderator
      November 3, 2015    

      We are up! You can let them know.

  2. David David
    November 8, 2015    

    So far I have read many of the main accusers in this matter. This must be the least sexual sex scandal I have ever read about. Clearly though, Mr. Gothard should have pursued marriage at a younger age. It seems he has ONE big problem – not knowing how to push the ball across the goal line of infatuation to marriage.

    I mean good grief – Moses had at least two wives and many other Biblical leaders had several wives. Holding fast to such strict morality in the face of clear human nature is a recipe for personal disaster. I’m amazed BG was able to maintain himself to the extent he did under such conditions.

    He should never have put himself in a position for a corporate board to pass judgment on his love life and maybe he would have gotten married. Albeit in our culture a major age difference is frowned upon.

    • rob war rob war
      November 19, 2015    

      You have just put yourself in the Mormon camp that polygamy is ok and just undercut 2000 years of Christian teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman.

  3. Moderator Moderator
    November 8, 2015    

    Not sure if you meant to attach here, but it is fine. Many , including apparently his own parents, have felt marriage would have been good for him. We agree too, that the lack of a moral failure given the opportunities and the realities of his normal hormones is most significant. On marriage, having to submit himself and his life to a wife :-) would have been an enormous strain on a man who continues, at 80, to live the craziest of schedules, used to jumping on every project with complete abandon with full disregard for schedule. Whose idea of a vacation is 40 days fasting at the Northwoods.

    • rob war rob war
      November 19, 2015    

      You can’t have it both ways. You defend Bill in that he had “no sexual intention in all of this” and now you are admitting that he probably should have been married and all this “affirmation touching” was a sign that he should have been married and even ignored his parents and their desire and ideas that he should have been married. Sounds to me that he didn’t “obey” his “chain of command”. In other words, Bill did not practice what he preached. He sexualized any sort of touching between the sexes yet he himself has the most purist of intentions with young ladies. Then his own parents thought he should be married, but he didn’t follow his own “chain of command” and just made himself “too busy” to marry. Can’t have it both ways. And I also thought this section was about grace not Bill and his girls.

      • Moderator Moderator
        November 19, 2015    

        For an adult that would be “chain of counsel”, not “chain of command”, Rob, right? There is not violation in Bill declining to marry even if urged by his parents, not even the way Bill teaches it.

        • rob war rob war
          November 19, 2015    

          I don’t buy into “chain of” anything. You may want to split hairs here but if you follow his teaching, single children even if adults were under their parents authority until married. If his parents counsel was that he should marry, then why in the world wouldn’t he have listen to them when he went around and taught that adult children were even suppose to submit to parents even if not Christian. I’m sure you remember Bill’s story about a young man, over the age of legal adulthood that wanted to go into the ministry but his parents (not Christian) were against it and wanted the young man to go to business school. Chain of counsel only applied to when the adult child was married. Nice try but Bill again didn’t follow his own teaching.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 19, 2015    

            A young man living in his parents’ home might do well to work within the bounds of parents’ authority. Not sure that Bill taught “until marriage” per se, although many see it that way. Others teach a lot of things commonly grouped under the “patriarchy” heading that Bill never endorsed, so it is good to be accurate. Regardless, Bill being in his 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s would surely not be under “Chain of Command” to his parents, would he? Clearly he didn’t see that as the case, and I am having a hard time coming up with a point where he taught that.

          • rob war rob war
            November 19, 2015    

            He defininately taught that, I remember that clearly from the IBYC and advance seminar. Bill also made it clear that single girls were to remain in the parent’s home until married which is the other side of the coin. Bill also made a show of the fact that he was single and still “lived” at home with his parents, implying under their authority. Of course “living” at home with ma and pa enabled him to travel and he did have to be responsible for a house but that is besides the point.

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