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Grace (Greek: charis, χάρις) only comes through Jesus Christ. Through the Word tabernacling within you and out of His fulness, Jesus gives gracean unearned and undeserved spiritual blessing (John 1:16). God offers grace as a free gift and work in humankind. 

Jan Paron/January 22, 2013

The author of John’s Gospel records that after John the Baptist calls Jesus the Lamb of God, two disciples follow Jesus (1:36). According to the narrator, Jesus turns to the disciples and asks them what they seek (v. 38). After learning they seek where He dwells, Jesus invites the disciples to “Come and see.” The disciples respond to His beckoning (v. 39b). “They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day, for it was the tenth hour” (v. 39 KJV). Jesus extends this same invitation to all believers today. He wants them to follow Him, and then dwell and abide in the fulness of His grace: “one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (v. 16b AMP).

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (v. 14 KJV).

Tabernacle.pkonline.org.2

The word dwells refers to the Incarnation, where “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19 NKJV). The author of John uses the term dwell as a culturally-relevant means for early Jewish Christians to understand that God’s covenant relationship with His people now manifests itself in Christ, as opposed to confirmation through the Tabernacle/Temple.[1] As author David Norris notes, “Jesus is the unique revelation of God, where both the name and presence of God dwells.”[2]  Jesus is Grace, by manifestation and name.

While God provides grace through Jesus, a person must experience it through the obedience of faith. When the disciples ask Jesus, “Where dwellest thou?” (John 1:38b KJV), He answers them with an invitation to “Come and see” (1:39b), foreshadowing grace with an offer to abide in His tent. Jesus extends this same invitation for grace today to enter His dwelling place. A person’s acceptance hinges on faith in the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, He pitches His tent and indwells within at New Birth.[3]  One abides in Him from that time on, regenerated and renewed.

Faith does not excuse one from obedience to the Word.  While the inward evidence to the believer of His salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:16), outward evidence is a life of righteousness and true holiness.[4] Inward evidence comes through changes resulting from the fruit produced through the inner workings of God’s Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 NIV).

Upon abiding in Jesus’ tent, He bestows honor as a son in God’s Kingdom under the New Covenant, and separates His beloved from sin unto the Gospel for a regenerated life. A member of the Kingdom now  belongs to the household God, and walks according to a different code. Desiring a closer relationship with Him and submitting to His will, a servant of Christ freely gives oneself to God. The believer joyfully lives in chains for Christ; and diligently seeks Him through daily dying to self, prayer, speaking in tongues, fasting, solitude, meditation, thanksgiving, worship and studying the Word. Additionally, one follows the ordinance of breaking bread in remembrance of His suffering and takes part in fellowship for the perfecting of the saints. These actions support covenant with God in a two-fold manner. The first provides opportunity to hear His voice with the mind of Christ, while the second gives Spirit-driven power to walk in healing and deliverance from sin.

Since all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), Jesus’ constant presence makes grace work in a person’s  life. He does not limit grace, rather freely makes it available incarnated from within. The Holy Spirit’s inner working produces a righteous and holy walk. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor 3:17 NKJV). Since God is Grace, His Spirit fully dispenses it to all those who abide in His tent.

To ponder:

How do you access grace in your life?

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ENDNOTES

[1] David S. Norris, A Oneness Pentecostal Theology (Hazelwood, WAP Academic, 2009), 73.

[2] Norris, A Oneness Pentecostal Theology, 73.

[3] New Birth occurs through proclamation, confession, water baptism and Spirit baptism, with the initial evidence of covenant of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4,38 ).

[4] Jan Paron, “PAW Faith Statement,” PerSpectives12 Blog, Cited 21 January 2013. Online: https://specs12.wordpress.com/faith-statement/