Is Grace a Person?

grace_on_cross

People sometimes ask me, “Why do you say grace is another name for Jesus?” or “Why do you say grace is a Person?” They are referring to something I wrote in my book The Gospel in Twenty Questions:

Grace isn’t a bunch of rules for you to keep. And grace is not God’s lubricant for greasing the cogs of self effort. Grace is a Person living his life through you. Living under grace is like being married, only more so. It’s the adventure of life shared with Christ. (p.2)

Of course, I am not the only one who says grace is a Person. Many others have, including Joseph Prince:

Grace is not a theology. It is not a subject matter. It is not a doctrine. It is a person, and his name is Jesus. That’s the reason the Lord wants you to receive the abundance of grace, for to have the abundance of grace is to have the abundance of Jesus. (Destined to Reign, p.24)

Prince says that the law is impersonal and was given (suggesting an arms-length transaction), while grace is personal and came when Jesus came (John 1:17). That sounds good to me, but some people find this weird.

“You make it sound like there’s a fourth member of the Trinity called Grace.”

We’re simply saying that God gives us his grace through his Son. Jesus came full of grace from the One who sits on the throne of grace. He is the personification of the Father’s grace. No Jesus, no grace. Know Jesus, know grace.

“But isn’t it weird to say grace has a personality?”

Maybe, but it’s not without Biblical basis. In Romans Paul describes sin as having a personality. He says sin is a noun (not a verb) characterized by desires and an agenda. In fact, everything the Bible says about sin is true of Satan. Both sin and Satan seek to devour us (Gen 4:7, 1 Pet 5:8) and kill us (Rom 7:11, John 8:44), and both have been defeated by Jesus (Heb 9:26, John 12:31).

Jesus grace face

Just as sin is synonymous with Satan, grace is synonymous with Jesus. Here are eighteen reasons why.

Why is grace another name for Jesus?

  1. The gospel of grace is the gospel of Jesus (Acts 20:24, 2 Th 1:8).
  2. We are saved by grace (Eph 2:5); we are saved by Jesus (2 Tim 1:9).
  3. We are justified by grace (Rom 3:24); we are justified by Jesus (Rom 4:25).
  4. Grace helps us; Jesus helps us (Heb 4:16).
  5. God’s grace offers salvation to all (Tit 2:11); Jesus is the Savior of all (1 Tim 4:10).
  6. God is love and love that stoops (or comes down) is grace; Jesus is the Father’s love come down (John 16:28).
  7. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) and the Spirit of Grace (Heb 10:29).
  8. All the blessings of God come to us by grace alone and all of them are found in Jesus (Eph 1:3).
  9. Grace is a teacher (Tit 2:12); Jesus is a teacher (Matt 8:19).
  10. Grace reigns (Rom 5:21); Jesus reigns (1 Cor 15:25).
  11. When the Galatians cut themselves off from Christ, they cut themselves off from grace (Gal 5:4).
  12. In the same way that God is love, Jesus is grace (see 2 Cor 13:14).
  13. The Bible speaks of “the love of God” and “the grace of Jesus” ( 1Cor 16:23, Rev 22:21).
  14. God’s grace is given in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 1:4, Eph 1:6, 2 Tim 1:9, 2:1). Jesus is the embodiment of God’s grace.
  15. Here are two Biblical blessings that say the same thing: “The Lord be with you” and “grace be with you” (2 Tim 4:22, Phm 1:25).
  16. The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of Jesus and the coming of grace (1 Pet 1:10). These weren’t two separate events. Grace came when Jesus came (John 1:17).
  17. To the degree that we know Jesus, we enjoy God’s grace (2 Pet 1:2)
  18. Jesus is the word of God and the word of his grace which can build you up (Act 20:32)

Grace is Jesus

Why does it matter?

This matters a great deal because grace will not bear fruit in your life if you think it is merely a concept or a doctrine. As Judah Smith said recently:

We shudder at the term grace because it has been so maligned, so abused, so misrepresented. We see grace as the get out of jail free card. “Oh yeah, I love me some grace man. I get my jiggy on in the weekend then I come back on Sunday and get me my grace on.” No, that’s not grace. You’ve met a concept, not a Person.”

I regularly encounter people who don’t know what grace is so they misuse it or they attack it. Just the other day someone wrote to tell me that too much preaching on grace leads to wrongdoing. That’s simply not possible when you have a proper understanding of grace. Grace no more leads to wrongdoing than love for your spouse will lead you to Ashley Madison.

The other day I happened to catch a prominent TV evangelist tearing my stuff to shreds on his program. (Watched by millions!) It’s nice to be noticed but I was saddened that he was using his platform to disparage the only thing that can empower people to live well.

I occasionally get asked by pastors to come and preach a sermon or run a seminar on grace because they recognize it as a hot topic. It makes me wonder what they’re preaching when they’re not preaching grace. Jesus is not a “hot topic” or a buzzword to be slotted into your teaching schedule. He’s the Lover of our souls and the Center of Everything!

What grace is not

Grace is not a doctrine or a podcast or a tweet. Grace is not a season to walk through or a midweek seminar. Grace is not one aspect of God’s character to be balanced against his other, less gracious aspects.

Grace is a Person who loves you, died for you, and now lives for you. The gospel of grace is the gospel of Jesus – there is no difference.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you!

___________

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67 Comments on Is Grace a Person?

  1. Thank you for your comments. Having grown up in “church” (religion) I don’t understand grace, which I guess means I don’t understand Jesus. When so much around me is performance based, like my job, it’s hard to wrap my brain around grace. I want to know Jesus intimately and really receive a revelation of grace.

  2. Thank You Pastor Paul. I’m blessed with this, but I want u to clear my doubt, we find in the Old Testament that Noah found grace and in fact in the book of Genesis, the word grace appear 11 times, Exodus 5 times, and Ruth also found grace. If grace is a person, does that means grace mentioned in d old Testament referring to Jesus? Thank u.

    • Man, I love the line, “Grace is Person living his life through you.” I was increasingly encouraged by your list of bible reference points, too. For a moment, my happy bubble was punctured to read that you were defamed–by one who claims to preach Jesus no less! I remembered 1 Sam 8, when Samuel was praying to God in distress about the Israelites preference for a king other than Yahweh. God said to him, “It is not you they are rejecting, but me.” It makes me sad with you, but luckily we both know that the one being rejected and misunderstood, Jesus and His gospel, are the ultimate victors, and that he works all of it together for our good. Also, you may be ahead of me on this, but it would probably hurt my feelings a lot if that happened to me. I just want you to know I eagerly look forward to your articles in my inbox because such pure (as in, unmixed) biblical commentaries are hard to come by. They are beautifully edifying and encouraging!

  3. Paul-
    I have tons of respect for you….Over the past 1.5 years I’ve been growing stronger and stronger in my relationship with Jesus as a result if grace teachings from teachers like you and Joseph. I’m forever grateful for those of you who step out in His grace and faith to preach the real good news, because I need to be reminded of it daily. This world wares me out. I think the only place I get stuck and find myself getting derailed off the truth of our Lord is when I’m being knocked down by life so much. I will never lose my faith in Him and His grace, but I go to Him in prayer like I have this weekbasking, pleading, trying figure out why I’m being struck with illnesses back to back for almost 3 weeks now.

    As a working single parent, my engines don’t have time to fully rest. And while I’m normally very healthy for the most part, I’ve been in the ER twice for a stomach virus that has given me issues for two weeks. Then yesterday my throat started hurting. I’ve been praying hard asking why he won’t heal me when I know with full assurance He has the power and authority and wants His children living in the health He died to give us? But no matter what, nothing will ever stop me from believing he is healing me every day.

    Lastly, to stay on topic to this post, with all my illness lately well meaning co-workers (I work for a Christian financial services organization) have said that God “has a way” of introducing sickness into our lives to sloe us down. I said I totally disagree. Why would a God of grace, love, faithfulness and love make His children sick to teach us a lesson? That makes no sense, but it begs tge question as to why I’m not healing up also. At any rate, sorry for the long post. Your post just triggered these thoughts and wanted to share them with you. God bless you Paul!

  4. I may be repeating something you said above, but I have found repetition useful sometimes: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…”(1Cor 15:10 – NIV). “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh, I live through faith from the Son of God, the One having loved me and having given up Himself for me.”(Gal 2:20 – Berean Literal Bible).
    My take: Christ lives in me; Grace has made me the new creation I am.

  5. I appreciate the work you’re doing to get some of us out of the darkness we’ve been living in. So exactly how does one pray and effective and fervent prayer? Than you and be blessed.

  6. It’s a wonderful & liberating fact that Grace and Jesus are inseparable, much like Truth is inseparable from Jesus. In John 1:14 He is called the Word, full of Grace & Truth. You can’t experience Jesus without experiencing these things He is “full” of.

  7. Thank You Paul! I love reading what you write. Don’t be discouraged by people who attack “your” teaching. You are in fact in good company, Paul had a lot of people coming against him as well. Scandal of grace, Jesus got what he didn’t deserve and became sin so u and i can have all of him which we don’t deserve and become the righteousness of God in him. What a trade!! Amen and thank you Jesus!! I have just started to understand a little bit of grace and slowly my eyes begin to see Jesus instead of my shortcomings. To be occupied with Jesus instead of do’s and don’t is very liberating.
    Keep it up, you are touching people lives more than you know and helping me and others to see what it’s all about. Christ in you, the hope of glory. It’s all about Jesus!!

    Blessings from Sweden!!

  8. another good one Paul, I have tried to show people there is a difference between the verbs and the noun, I remember someone telling me that in a discussion,about Romans,Billy Graham said,”you will never understand Romans if you dont know the difference between sin the verb,and sin the noun.”

  9. It isn’t much consolation but if you are setting people on fire enough for certain TV people to want to shred you on their show it means the truth is getting noticed. Diggers like myself will see that and go “Hey I want to investigate what that tv guy was tearing into for myself.” and guess what they will see the truth and be set free. So while it will confirm some naysayers and doubters it will also spur investigation by honest folk and more hearts will hear the truth.

  10. Christ in you the hope of glory.

  11. Hi Paul, its so sad to hear someone else has spoken out against you, especially on TV with an audience of millions. When Michael Brown attacked you in public you refuted what he said on your blog and wrote “The Hyper grace Gospel”. Are you going to refute what this person has said? I too have heard things being spoken on TV against grace preachers. I heard one guy say, “if you listen to anything these grace preachers are saying, you will split hell wide open!” I’m wondering if its the same person who attacked you? If you don’t want to say who it is on this blog, would you consider emailing me privately and let me know who it was?
    Maybe these Christian TV networks don’t realize that they are broadcasting “mixed gospels” all over the world. They have preachers like JP teaching grace and have others who speak out against it, all on the same channel! No wonder people are confused! I think it would benefit people to know who these false teachers are so their “wrong gospels” can be avoided! I have even thought of writing a letter to the president of one of the networks to let them know what confusion they’re spreading! Your thoughts?

    • No, I’m not going to respond. I normally don’t, but Michael was a special case. I am fairly certain the TV networks have no idea about the harm they are doing by broadcasting messages of fear and condemnation.

    • In defense of the networks, they aren’t purposely confusing people. They have tv time that needs to be sold. And there are countless Christians out there who have come to know Jesus Christ through many ministries that are quite the opposite of that of Joseph Prince. Its good that Christians get to see how different ministries are and how different their perspective is in terms of how they see the Gospel of Grace as they’ve come to understand it.

  12. Grace is an attribute, not the fullness, of Christ…Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Jesus is deeper than grace. He is the fulness of God. Through him we find grace, but we also find; God’s glory, his judgement, holiness, peace, justice, mercy…etc. Grace is not God or a person, but it is an attribute of God and persons. You walk a very dangerous line and quote part of scripture like its full truth, and then go on to quote other men as if they support your claims. When those pastors have you come and teach on grace they probably do that because its your focus, but when you aren’t there to save them from there wrongful teachings on this “HOT TOPIC”, they are probably teaching on all of the other hot topics of Jesus. He is kind of a big deal!

    • The Bible says “God is love” – love is not one attribute of the Lord but his entire character. Every other aspect of his personality is an expression of love. Grace is what love looks like to us. And yes, I agree, that Jesus is kind of a big deal!

      A quote from DL Moody comes to mind:

      If I could only make men understand the real meaning of the words of the Apostle John – “God is love,” I would take that single text, and go up and down the world proclaiming this glorious truth. If you can convince a man that you love him, you have won his heart. If we really make people believe that God loves them, how we should find them crowding into the kingdom of heaven! The trouble is that men think God hates them; and so they are all the time running away from him.

  13. Grace in a teaspoon. Does our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have an amazing sense of humor. Thank you Paul for your continued teaching and reminding of how simple and therefore amazing is the power of grace. Here is a simple “daily bread” from the Lord’s prayer. I try daily to take in my natural grown oat seed with yogurt as a kick off for the day. My mix goes in my little tub with me in the morning onto the farm, except this morning my teaspoon disappeared. Just gone, the little fairy people stole it. It got me so upset, cos eating yogurt and oats is not easy with your finger. It triggered an anger in me and got more and more hectic cos I was hungry. Then I stopped the truck to check out some of the olive trees, and as I got out of the truck, there on the ground was a perfectly good plastic teaspoon. It should not have been there in the grove, no reason it should have been there.
    I started laughing, celebrating our Lord, while I ate my oats. He does not let me win the Lotto, but He really knows my daily bread needs, along with a healthy dose of laughter and joy. Amen.

  14. KC and Michelle aka Pinky // September 4, 2015 at 7:16 am // Reply

    This is excellent! One lady keeps asking me a bunch of questions about grace she is curious but resisting , I do not have time to do the research you did it for me! The Lord bless you richly! -Pinky

  15. This is really good. So helpful.Thanks!

  16. I have gotten so much “flack” from the legalist minded who say they are just being “Scriptural” when they continually tell me that I am in error to say Jesus is grace. So glad you penned this excellent and informative study. I shared it on my Facebook wall. Paul, please come to America and conduct grace crusades in Texas. I know you won’t but I can hope lol. Blessings.

    • I also live in Texas. Since we can’t talk Paul into coming here, I thought I’d let you know that Joseph Prince will be in Dallas on Nov.15th. I saw him in person 2 yrs ago and it was really awesome.

  17. Very well explained Paul.

  18. E2R. Where it is still good news.

  19. “Grace no more leads to wrongdoing than love for your spouse will lead you to Ashley Madison” I love that line. As I’ve discovered more about the Gospel of Grace I’m struck by the strangeness that freedom actually draws me more into Christ. The desire to sin decreases because I know I’m free. It’s so opposite of the message of what I’ve heard all my life growing up in the church – that I’ll take grace as a license to do whatever I feel like and not give a care. The mixed message didn’t make sense to me but I never knew why. The mixed message contradicts itself. Most of my prayers consisted of begging God’s forgiveness because I was a terrible sinner – all the while knowing that I would be back at that altar repeating the same prayer and feeling like a piece of rubbish. A Christian life without grace is powerless and self driven. And now I’m learning new things and it’s just awesome. I feel like a rebel now. How great is it that we can be a part of the scandal of Grace!
    Paul I found your website a couple weeks back after reading God Without Religion. I gotta say, I’m rather new to this Grace message and your site has helped me out so much.

  20. Hi Angela, please be encouraged by these scriptures: Romans 5:1-5, 2 Thess. 1:3-5, James 1:2-4, 12, 1 Peter 1:3-9

  21. Sandra Atkins // September 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm // Reply

    Amazing post Paul:)

  22. “Grace is not a doctrine or a podcast or a tweet. Grace is not a season to walk through or a midweek seminar. Grace is not one aspect of God’s character to be balanced against his other, less gracious aspects.” This is so very true. Don’t you find it interesting when you start talking about grace and people look at you as if you’ve been taken by a fad or lately captivated by a preacher. If you’re not often excited NOW about God’s grace in your life (even if you have been saved for decades) then you don’t fully understand what Jesus has done for you. I’m sorry to say it but true unmixed Grace bounces off most Christians the same way that offered salvation bounces off most unbelievers. We are a remnant of a remnant. All praise to God only.

  23. wow the goodness of grace the goodness of Jesus \o/

  24. Hi Paul been following you for over a year now. A friend who goes to the same church with me started falling off then stopped. (This church preaches the law, a little of grace, love, then more of sin and holiness. Really really condemning every time. And they slam us with ‘being convicted by the Holy Spirit’ and we should repent regularly.) Then he told me he’s been going to a grace church. He gave me Joseph Prince DVDs. Got hooked into it. Devoured more of JP sermons on Youtube. Then I discovered Andrew Wommack too. Now I am fully persuaded I have boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus! Been sharing my journey with my wife and kids. They will soon realize its very freeing. I’m still going to the same church but slowly standing up for the truth. As Andrew Wommack said – ‘Don’t worry about leaving, once you start standing for the truth, they will kick you out!’ Haha! Thank you for continuing to reach out to those who are bondaged by legalistic preachers. I really appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you so much!

  25. I really enjoyed your post.
    I thought of one more argument that grace is a person; Jesus is grace.
    John 1:17 – “the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Some have argued with me that “truth” is about human efforts/Biblical truths that “balance” grace. I respond that grace and truth are synonymous. I see it as Law and grace/truth. Then in John 14:6, Jesus says that he is the truth. Therefore, I think he is also identifying that he is grace.

    (I will pm you with the definition of grace that I wrote in my book last year.)

    Thanks, Paul for your very significant teachings.

    • Thanks Joe, that’s good. I’m often puzzled when people talk about grace and truth as though they were apples and oranges. In Christ, they are indeed synonymous.

  26. Paul, I hope you are encouraged by, and aware that the impact of the work being done through your writings is nothing short of miraculous. You are infecting the belief systems of so many with the notion that God loves us. That He always has. And it’s not because we earned it. And that simply changes everything. Your words help make clear what the life, death, and words of Jesus teach – That God has fully extended His Grace to us, and He goes by the name Jesus Christ.
    Thank you Paul!

  27. To buttress your point further:
    may THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the love of God and the fellowship of the holy spirit be with you.
    Grace is associated with Jesus, Love with God and Fellowship with the holy spirit.

  28. This is so beautifully written, thank you! The Lord bless you and your family!

  29. Amen..thank you for this words, i am blessed!

  30. thank you ptr Paul, this post really ministered to me, i am new to this revelation of grace.
    Jesus is grace

  31. the people who reject the gospel of grace, have really rejected Christ.

  32. Paul, I just found your blog/webpage/whachamacallit 45 minutes ago. What a delight to to find other gospel of grace believers. Your posts are excellent. I found your website after I goggled “how do I find a church that teaches the gospel of grace). I live in California’s central valley and do not have a home church. I’ve searched for one physically by visiting and now on the web by visiting web pages and reading the “what we believe” and “mission statements” but it is time consuming. Can anyone out there share any leads?

  33. Thanks for sharing this. In my country Indonesia, grace has been missed interpreted by some church leaders, because of Michael Brown hyper grace book. How sad to see this in my country.

  34. As for preachers on TV, I find most of them are speaking out of both sides of their mouth. While they claim to teach the grace of God in one breath, they “balance” that with works based, performance based teaching in the next breath. I don’t believe they are trying to deceive but I think they just don’t get it and cannot reconcile the verses which speak about behavior as opposed to the scriptures that teach about the once for all and total forgiveness/acceptance of Christ.
    I was in the same boar for many years until recently so I understand that they just do not have the understanding yet. This knowledge can only come from the Holy Spirit and I believe the time has come as God is unleashing this truth to us all.
    It’s amazing how easily I can spot error filled teaching almost immediately. These are some teachers we should use careful discernment when listening to. I am not disparaging these people, not everything they say is wrong, just giving a heads up to all those who may listen to them.

    Chuck Swindoll
    Joyce Meyer
    Charles Stanley
    James MacDonald
    Bible answer man
    Alester Drebeg
    John MacArthur

    To those that are new to the gospel of grace message I highly recommend Andrew Farley. He is excellent !

    Naz

  35. Thank you sir I’m searching for strong evidence to that prove grace is Jesus but now I got full confidence thank you Jesus

  36. This is so good and so helpful. Thank you!

  37. Thank you, thank you! Sound words nourishing my soul!

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