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I promise I will return to a more inspirational dialogue with you.  But before I can, there are several terms I plan to give light to so that you and I will both know what I am talking about when I say it.

I grew up in the deep south.  When I was a young lad (A very long time ago), I watched my sister and other girls go through the agony of charm school.  The social graces were taken very seriously in the south.   Grace was taught as one of the “Christian Virtues”.

There are many Christian virtues.  Grace, Love, Hope, Mercy, Forgiveness, compassion, gifts, blessings.  All of which are one form or another of Grace.  We are to grow to be like Christ in all ways, including these graces.  It is not something we can do for ourselves, either.  It always begins with a submitted and wiling heart.  It calls for true discipleship, and commitment.  This is not something that comes naturally to people.

For example.  There are several phrases used by Southern ladies that, on the surface, sound very graceful.  One of them is “God Bless You!”  That sounds graceful, right?  You have to know “Southern Ladies Code (SLC)”.  SLC is an entirely different language, but it uses the exact same words as the Bible uses.  When I was a kid, if a Southern Woman was dealing with someone she thought was difficult to deal with, she would tell that person, “God Bless You.”  It would sound genuine, it would be given in a vocal inflection that you thought was genuine, too.  But behind all that acting, the Lady in question was actually saying, “Oh my GOd!  You are just too stupid to actually be alive!”, or some variation on that theme.  And when the other Ladies heard this, the recipient would see them smiling and nodding at you.  They were not blessing you either.  They were just agreeing with the Spokeswoman of that blessing.

This deviation was understood among “polite society”, but was, none the less, a hypocrisy of the phrase.  You were, in fact being judged and cursed, but ever so politely.  It was a mockery of what Jesus would have done had he actually been present.

The reason for this hypocrisy is that, unless the living God, in the form of the Holy Spirit builds Christ-like character in you, the very best you can hope for is a convincing act that imitates, but is not the same as, genuine Godly character.

Since we are relearning what it REALLY takes to be a Christian, and we want to see a huge revival in our land, and we need to understand what the difference between cheap grace and real grace is, I have left the rest of this page with as many definitions as I can find on this topic.

There will not be a test, not from me.  But the test of your faith will be received based on whether you are genuinely saved, or just playing church.  Genuine Christ-likeness calls for a total sacrifice of our wills, and desires, to be made in the image of Christ.

Source Materials: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/charis.html and http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?type=getTopic&topic=Grace

Grace:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by GRACE ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his GRACE in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

In Jam 4:6, “But He giveth more grace” (Greek, “a greater grace,” RV, marg.), the statement is to be taken in connection with the preceding verse, which contains two remonstrating, rhetorical questions, “Think ye that the Scripture speaketh in vain?” and “Doth the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) which He made to dwell in us long unto envying?” (see the RV). The implied answer to each is “it cannot be so.” Accordingly, if those who are acting so flagrantly, as if it were so, will listen to the Scripture instead of letting it speak in vain, and will act so that the Holy Spirit may have His way within, God will give even “a greater grace,” namely, all that follows from humbleness and from turning away from the world. 

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon

Strong’s Number:   5485

Original Word: cariß – from (5463)

Transliterated Word: Charis

Phonetic Spelling: khar’-ece

Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Definition: grace –

that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor.

of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.

what is due to grace

the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

the token or proof of grace, benefit

a gift of grace

benefit, bounty

thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

NAS Word Usage – Total: 156

blessing 1, concession 1, credit 3, favor 11, gift 1, grace 122, gracious 2, gracious work 3, gratitude 1, thank 3, thankfulness 2, thanks 6

Greek lexicon based on Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel and the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.” These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information

Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Charis”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999.
For an even more complex and lengthy definition of the Word Grace, see this reference:

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

1

Strong’s Number: g5485

Greek: charis

Grace:

has various uses,

(a) objective, that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard; it is applied, e.g., to beauty, or gracefulness of person,Luk 2:40; act, 2Cr 8:6, or speech, Luk 4:22, RV, “words of grace” (AV, “gracious words”); Col 4:6;

(b) subjective,

(1) on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally, e.g., Act 7:10; especially with reference to the Divine favor or “grace,” e.g., Act 14:26; in this respect there is stress on its freeness and universality, its spontaneous character, as in the case of God’s redemptive mercy, and the pleasure or joy He designs for the recipient; thus it is set in contrast with debt, Rom 4:4, 16, with works, Rom 11:6, and with law, Jhn 1:17; see also, e.g., Rom 6:14, 15; Gal 5:4;

(2) on the part of the receiver, a sense of the favor bestowed, a feeling of gratitude, e.g., Rom 6:17 (“thanks”); in this respect it sometimes signifies “to be thankful,” e.g., Luk 17:9 (“doth he thank the servant?” lit., “hath he thanks to”); 1Ti 1:12;

(c) in another objective sense, the effect of “grace,” the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise, whether

(1) a state of “grace,” e.g., Rom 5:2; 1Pe 5:12; 2Pe 3:18, or

(2) a proof thereof in practical effects, deeds of “grace,” e.g., 1Cr 16:3, RV, “bounty” (AV, “liberality”); 2Cr 8:6, 19 (in 2Cr 9:8 it means the sum of earthly blessings); the power and equipment for ministry, e.g.,Rom 1:5; 12:6; 15:15; 1Cr 3:10; Gal 2:9; Eph 3:2, 7.

To be in favor with is to find “grace” with, e.g., Act 2:47; hence it appears in this sense at the beginning and the end of several Epistles, where the writer desires “grace” from God for the readers, e.g., Rom 1:7; 1Cr 1:3; in this respect it is connected with the imperative mood of the word chairo, “to rejoice,” a mode of greeting among Greeks, e.g., Act 15:23; Jam 1:1 (marg.);2Jo 1:10, 11, RV, “greeting” (AV, “God speed”).

The fact that “grace” is received both from God the Father, 2Cr 1:12, and from Christ, Gal 1:6; Rom 5:15 (where both are mentioned), is a testimony to the deity of Christ. See also 2Th 1:12, where the phrase “according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” is to be taken with each of the preceding clauses, “in you,” “and ye in Him.”

In Jam 4:6, “But He giveth more grace” (Greek, “a greater grace,” RV, marg.), the statement is to be taken in connection with the preceding verse, which contains two remonstrating, rhetorical questions, “Think ye that the Scripture speaketh in vain?” and “Doth the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) which He made to dwell in us long unto envying?” (see the RV). The implied answer to each is “it cannot be so.” Accordingly, if those who are acting so flagrantly, as if it were so, will listen to the Scripture instead of letting it speak in vain, and will act so that the Holy Spirit may have His way within, God will give even “a greater grace,” namely, all that follows from humbleness and from turning away from the world.

See BENEFIT, BOUNTY, LIBERALITY, THANK.

Note: The corresponding verb charitoo, “to endue with Divine favor or grace,” is used in Luk 1:28, “highly favored” (marg., “endued with grace”) and Eph 1:6, AV, “hath made . . . accepted;” RV, “freely bestowed” (marg., “enduced.”).

For an even more comprehensive understanding of all the uses of Grace in the bible, see this link: http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?type=getTopic&topic=Grace