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Seeing the Grace of God

Posted by Luke Lundell on

 

Acts 11:23­ “When he (Barnabas) came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all (the believers in Antioch) to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose,” 

I know you can see the glory of God, as He shows us in creation... Romans 1:19­-20­ “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”... Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

But the grace of God? How does one see that? 

The context of verse 23 in Acts ch. 11 is that the believers were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen (Acts 7). They traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, only speaking the word to the Jews. However some of them who came to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. (A Hellenist, or Grecian from the KJV, is a Jew born in a foreign land who spoke Greek. They combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture.) 

In Acts we see two parties of Hellenists. In Acts 6:1 we see Greek­speaking Jewish Christians (true believers), and in Acts 9:29 we see Greek­ speaking Jews, who, when Saul spoke and disputed against them, wanted to kill him. So the Hellenists in Acts 11 were that of the latter (not believers of Christ).

There was enough commotion going on in Antioch that the church in Jerusalem felt the need to send Barnabas there. V.23a “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad”. Seeing a great number of people turn to the Lord is the grace Barnabas visibly saw. 

Sometimes I don't think we know what we see, or what actually happened until it's explained to us... Romans 3:23­ “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and Romans 6:23­ “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Until our eyes are opened out of the darkness (Acts 26:18) and the veil is lifted from our minds so that we can see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4­6), we don't see or understand our desperate need for a savior...we are blind.

But to be enlightened is all God's doing. Romans 5:8­ “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We can do nothing to earn salvation. Ephesians 2:8­9­ “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, v.9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” It's all Him.

God chooses us, we do not choose Him. Romans 8:30­ “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

That is seeing the grace of God. Personally when we see it for ourselves, and outwardly when we see others God calls upon who have chosen to believe and turn to the Lord. So if you haven't personally experienced seeing this grace for yourself, please get on your knees and beg God to reveal Himself to you. Ask that your mind be opened to seeing the glory of Christ. God is faithful, and he will give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).

If you have experienced God's unbelievable grace and mercy personally, let us spread the Good News with others. Lord willing, He will lift the veil from their eyes to see His Glory! Then we will be able to have a Barnabas experience like Acts 11. Let the grace of God in our lives be visible to everyone who comes in contact with us. And let's keep our eyes open to see the grace of God!

All for His Glory!

 

 

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