The Law of First Mention is commonly looked upon by biblical scholars and teachers as the place that the word seen for the first time sets the standard for the remaining references throughout scripture. As we know, the Bible is penned through men by the Holy Spirit and in the unchanging mind of God – a word remains in context from the first time spoken or mentioned. The word Grace can act as both Noun and Verb. The first mention of Grace is found Genesis 6:8 in the story of Noah and his family. Gen.6:8 “But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord“. (Verb Grace – a verb you may recall is an ACTION word)
GRACE IS A GIFT
Like Abraham, Noah was found by God to be a just and righteous man. Gen.6:9 Noah walked in intimate relationship with God. The Lord gave to Noah explicitly detailed instruction on how to build an ark that would house Noah’s own family and pairs of every animal species – saving them from a destruction designed to wipe out an entire generation for their wickedness. A holy re-set on all of humanity.
The most used definition for Grace is ‘undeserved, unmerited favor‘. It denotes a gift from God, only obtainable by His enduring mercy. Grace cannot be purchased or performed, it is purely an extension of His loving nature. God’s love for us is far reaching and immutable.
Romans 11:6 “ But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness) it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise grace would no longer be grace [ it would be meaningless]”.
JESUS AS TRUTH AND GRACE – JESUS AS TRUTH AND FAVOR
Has God revised His context of Grace since it was ushered in by the Last Adam – Jesus ? Christ Jesus is the actual embodiment of Truth and Grace. If Romans 11:6 is accurate, where grace is not conditioned on works – Noah’s righteousness (right standing) came through His close relationship with God Himself and God’s own knowledge of Noah’s heart. When given the option to choose, God knew that Noah would be the one to move forward on this critical mission. There was little margin for error on the assignment.
The first mention of grace refers to how God saw Noah – Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of God. Jesus, Abraham, Moses and Noah all found favor with God and each were given world changing assignments. All of these men were seen as righteous and possessing mature character traits. If grace is ‘undeserved, unmerited’ (one cannot earn it) would it be fair to say that to just be nominated for the Assignment we must still have our attention focused on Him, possessing mature character and be in very close relationship? Devotion would be an even better word. Devotion prioritizing Him. This involves no striving or work – it is simply a completely yielded, love relationship with the Father resulting in continual restful responses of service and obedience out of love and respect for who He is and what He has done. Being in position for the Assignment definitely requires faith –
Hebrews 11:7 [ Prompted] by faith, Noah being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance for his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgement and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness (that possession of being right into which god puts the person who has faith).
BEING SEEN WITH FAVOR BY GOD
Jesus as we know lived an irrefutably righteous life – much more so than Noah. When Noah “found favor in the eyes of God” he was not seeking it nor was God’s grace lost until it found Noah. The action of God’s grace was always there and still is. Jesus like Noah was favored by God and given an assignment that required complete focus, determination and rigorous discipline to complete. Jesus like Noah remained in very close communication and relationship with God – the Amplified states Noah walked in ‘habitual fellowship’ with God and we know Jesus did as well. Jesus like Noah was honored by God with a Covenant (promise, pledge). Noah’s covenant covered him and his family’s safety and a very large zoo’s worth of animals. God’s Covenant with Jesus served to save all of mankind from eternal damnation by exchanging our own sin for His sinless body and blood, retroactive from the beginning of time to the end of time. Both assignments changing the course of mankind – one on earth the other for all eternity.
Should we consider Jesus as all Truth and Favor ? To have grace is to have favor and to know Jesus intimately is to have both of these. I could write a number of articles just on rounding out the favor in Jesus. Interestingly, Jesus never mentioned the word Grace (Charis in Greek) in His teachings however His actions of grace are abundantly evident throughout His teachings and interactions with people. He modeled grace and illustrated grace repeatedly in His spoken parables (prodigal son, woman at the well, the demoniac). Grace (Noun) was the word used liberally by the Apostle Paul to describe Christ Jesus and as Paul traveled he greeted people with Grace (Action) teaching people the meaning of God’s gospel of grace as embodied in His Son Jesus. Jesus was (and is) Grace and Paul had the responsibility to draw out the meaning of Grace.
His Grace is Active.
And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers].
Author: Doorways of Grace, available on Amazon
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Related Post: The Assignment: http://wp.me/p1zoxs-4C
The gift of salvation is a Grace gift – as one is drawn by the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus as Savior – there is no work or striving involved. It is simply a decision – an act of will, a surrender. Have you prayed to receive Jesus ?
Eph 2:8 For it is by grace [ God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgement and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own efforts] but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God.