Grace differs to Everyone

In previous posts, we explored the topic of grace from the parables of Jesus that it is conditional, expiring and reversible. We also explored the sad truth of grace. While Jesus Himself never mentioned the word grace, His parables do show that God is gracious and merciful. However, this grace differs from person to person.

The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5), Raphael (1483–1520)

Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Exod 33:19

Based on God’s own statement about His grace to anyone, it is entirely up to Him and there is no absolute guarantee. This post is an attempt to explore His grace based on Scripture.

Grace to the Humble

Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.

Prov 3:34

As in Jas 4:6 and 1Pet 5:5 which quotes the above verse, God gives grace to the humble. This is one of the first requirements to receive grace from God.

The one who lacks

If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. For that [is] his only covering, it [is] his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I [am] gracious.

Exod 22:26-27

We all know God is gracious. However, in the above verse, God specifically provides a reason for Him being gracious, that is, He is gracious towards the one who lacks.

But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: “how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? (Matt 12:3-4)

But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to [his] destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. … And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he [was] leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the LORD had struck him. 2 Chr 26:16,20

David ate the showbread when he was hungry which is only allowed for the priests and God didn’t accuse him of it. On the contrary, King Uzziah burnt incense because his heart was lifted up and God stuck him with leprosy. We can clearly see that God is gracious to the one who lacks but resists the one whose heart was lifted up even if they did similar sin.

Practicing Righteousness

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. … Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD…. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:9)

Gen 6:5,8-9

Noah found grace in the eyes of God because He was a just man and perfect in his generation. This is again echoed by prophet Ezekiel in in Eze 14:14.

Conclusion

God’s grace is entirely up to Him and there is no absolute guarantee to anyone that s/he will receive His grace. Ananias and Sapphira never had the opportunity to even regret or repent of their sins but died instantly for lying to Holy Spirit before the very man, Peter who denied the Son of God not just once but thrice. God’s grace on Peter isn’t same as to Ananias and Sapphira even though the sin of Peter is much greater than Ananias and Sapphira. Based on Scripture we can conclude that,

  • God gives grace to the humble
  • He is gracious to the one who lacks
  • The righteous will find grace in His sight

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