The Epiphany of Grace
Epiphany as defined in the dictionary, is an appearance or manifestation especially of a deity; a sudden intuitive perception of, or an insight into the reality or essential meaning of something. Usually initiated by some simple, homely or commonplace occurrence or experience.
Grace is God at work in completing the redemptive and restorative processes in man. The epiphany of grace then, is the sovereign and unmerited favor of God for humankind — especially in regard to salvation; irrespective of actions ("deeds"), earned worth, or proven goodness. Grace is the enabling power sufficient for progression. Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion. More broadly, divine grace refers to God's gifts to humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More narrowly but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are saved from original sin and granted salvation. Grace is often distinguished from mercy in that mercy is seen as escaping punishment that one deserves to receive; whereas grace is receiving a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive. In effect, mercy reaches back into the past to erase the cause for which a man deserves some punishment or sanction. Grace moves into a person’s future to provide a means of ensuring that what God promised is brought into reality. Man’s assurance of God’s love is seen in the work of mercy and grace which culminates in divine favor. The Fall of Man in Gen 3 brought punishment to mankind. The hope of a new beginning was quickly quashed in Genesis 4 as sin, murder and seeming swallowing of hope engulfed humanity. The narrative of Cain & Abel illustrates the hopelessness of sin and evil. The birth of Seth (the appointed seed) in the latter end of Genesis 4, his birthing of Enoch (mankind) in Gen 4:25-26 mark a revival. Men begin to call upon the name of the Lord seeking a restoration of the grace that was lost in Eden. Thus we embark on the revival of mankind; the return of man to God, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.
God always begins with one to affect situations of this world. When he seeks a species of creation called man, he makes one man called Adam. When he seeks a redemptive plan for lost humanity; he sends one man called Jesus. In Genesis 6:3; God’s frustration at man and his obsession with sin makes him resolve to destroy the earth and humankind, because “my spirit will not always strive with man”- Genesis 6:3. In verse 8 of Genesis 6, the narrative states that in the midst of the filth and chaos of sin he locates one man; Noah (rest). Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord- Genesis 6:8. Before then, it appears that all else worked by divine plan and appointment. Grace simply was now seen in God finding and approving a man. It became a mark of divine approval. When Grace is at work in your life there is forgiveness and divine exemption, acceptance and restoration of relationship with God, Freedom from sin and negative influences and divine enablement. When Grace finds you, you break existing laws and make the impossible situation possible Psalm 89:19-20, Zechariah 4:7. Grace also gives us exemptions from evil that would have otherwise destroyed us and restores order and alignment to that which is misaligned.
Without God's grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, impurities, and faults (i.e. carnality) humankind cannot overcome. Therefore, it is necessary to rely on God's grace for perfection, completeness, and flawlessness. Humankind is unable to evolve or be saved without God's grace. It is a prerequisite to salvation and we cannot exchange good deeds for it. Grace is a free gift from God. Thus, humankind is saved all by grace and not by some combination or blending of good works and divine grace. Were it achieved by works, one could take pride in their efforts towards holiness.
Grace is predicated on love; love that is pure and undefiled. It is the love that is in God; that love within the Holy Trinity of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2. The painful epiphany about grace, about agape—the love that gives even though there is nothing necessarily good in the beloved; even though the beloved does not understand it. It is the love that endures all things, the love that never fails.
As children of God we must also extend Grace to another; for to whom Grace has been extended, Grace is expected. God approves Grace and prayer allows Grace to be kept pure.
John the Baptist is an epitome of this grace. His birth and coming preceded the coming of Jesus Christ. Grace clothed in that deep prophetic intercessory anointing, paved the way and opened the door for the birth of the Messiah; Jesus Christ and the announcement of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the Earth. Prior to the birth of John the Baptist, his parents Zechariah (remembrance of God) and Elizabeth (oath of God)- both Godly and devout Levites were childless. Faithful, committed and dedicated to God, they had a major void in their lives. In Luke 1, Zechariah encounters and angel as he serves both God and the people in the temple. He’s promised a son to be called John i.e. the proof of God’s grace and when he expresses astonishment at the visitation, he is rendered mute for a season till his son is born. The angel announces that John will walk in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of sons to their fathers and vice versa; Malachi 4:5&6. When John is born Elizabeth confirms his name as John and when Zechariah still mute, writes down the same name; his muteness is removed at once. Grace is available to turn stories of pain even for believers into narratives of miraculous victories if the people involved can trust God; grace, the game changer will bring eternal transformation to their lives.