I recently learned that grace should make us happy. Really. Isn’t that cool? The meaning is hidden in the ancient Greek word.
I have been fascinated with “grace” for a long time. One year I prayed for all aspects of grace as we define it. Graceful . . . gracious . . . poised. . . hospitable . . . those are all the words I think of when I think of grace.
But you know I like to dig into the ancient language, and after doing some digging this week, I am more and more convinced that we MUST study this way to really get the Bible.
Did you know that there are three Greek words that we translate as “grace?”
Just like there are four Greek words for our one word “love.” Most of us are more familiar with that concept. Agape, Eros, Philo, and Storge. But this is not a post on “love,” so, if you want to know more about those, we’ll have to do that later–leave a comment. :)
Here are the three words for “grace”:
Charis- “comes from a root word that means ‘that which causes joy, pleasure, delight, thankfulness. Thankfulness for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, favor or gift, acceptance, approval, generosity, open heartedness.” (Complete Word Study and Key Word)
Charisma– “ma” indicates the results of grace. Gifts and grace imparted from God, deliverance from peril, the gift of self-control, gifts of Christian knowledge, consolation, confidence, redemption, salvation through Christ. Specifically gifts imparted to the early Christians. Gifts of the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit. (Key Word)
Charitoo- Honor and favor-grace that changes the recipient.
Okay, I know I’m a word nerd, but isn’t that crazy! They have different meanings, yet we always translate them as grace because that’s the closest word we have in our English language. Let’s plug in the definition to a scripture to see how it affects the meaning.
One of our bites this week is Hebrews 4:16, and this is what is says, “Let us approach the throne of grace (charis) with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace (charis) to help us in our time of need.Did you realize that the throne of grace is a happy place? A place of thanksgiving and joy. Click To Tweet
I know many Christians who have said the prayer to accept Jesus, but they have not accepted His charis. How do I know? They walk around still burdened trying to be good enough, doubting God’s love and goodness. Oh, for revelation of Jesus’s charis to go from our head to our hearts!
I’m always teaching that God does not condemn. His discipline or conviction doesn’t burden. It’s not heavy or oppressive but freeing. I’ve experienced the difference in my own life. I know the oppression and burden of condemnation and the freedom and joy God’s conviction.
One night when I was burdened by a word from a friend, He showed me idols in my life, people who I’ve trusted over the Holy Spirit. When he showed me this, I was jumping up and down in my kitchen! I was filled with joy. I was free. Because that is what God’s charis grace does.
We can approach the throne of charis (a happy place) with confidence! But it’s more than confidence. Look at the definitions of this Greek word.
Paressia- “freedom in speaking all that one thinks” (Key Word)
We can go to the throne of joy free to say all we need to say. Everything. No holding back.
. . . so that we can receive mercy and find charis to help us in our time of need.
It’s more than mercy my friends. It’s not just freedom from punishment, but eleos which means action taken out of compassion.
Oh how much He loves us! The context of this verse is Jesus as our high priest who has walked in our skin. He knows what it’s like to be a human, and therefore, He gives eleos. He acts on His compassion for us helping us (that Greek word is specifically a rope or chain.) So, He pulls us up. See the rope? His help is like a rope pulling us up out of our pits. At just the right time.
Does that bring you joy? Do you have a smile on your face yet?
After you read this, close our eyes and picture the throne of charis. Walk to it. In your mind you may bow own or sit on Jesus’s lap. I don’t know, but just talk to Him there. You can say anything you want. Let Him respond. He always has good things to say.
And I pray that after that time with Him you will find a new understanding of grace. One that makes you smile. One that makes you happy. All we need to do is believe because He has done it.
Your turn: Does grace make you smile or do you struggle accepting it? Leave a comment. (That will make me smile.) :)
Living in Daily Grace,
P.S. If you want to watch the Periscope teaching on this bite, click here.