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A better understanding of God’s grace

It can be difficult to understand that when chastening of the Lord comes over our lives, it is grace from God.
A better understanding of God’s grace

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction. For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12

It can be difficult to understand that when chastening of the Lord comes over our lives, it is God’s grace. The fact that the Lord loves us, and that He takes care of us, and that He died in our stead on Calvary, and that He forgives us all our sins is easy to understand as a tremendous grace. But when chastening and scourging come over us, very few understand that. It’s written: “no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful.” Hebrews 12:11.

What Jesus came with

When we think about the fact that God cares for us, and about God’s goodness towards us, we don’t oppose that. We praise God for the grace that was given to us on the crossWhen the cross is mentioned in the Bible, it most often does not refer to a physical wooden cross, except when specifically describing Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary. “Taking up your cross” refers to the metaphorical cross that Jesus’ speaks about in Luke 9:23. “Taking up your cross” is the act of denying the sinful thoughts that come up in you... More of Calvary where Jesus died for our transgressions, so that we could receive the forgiveness of sins by faith. That’s an incredible grace. But that’s also something they could receive in the old covenant. That’s not what Jesus came with.

He came with a new life. That is the gospel! The gospel of the blessed God, God’s peace, God’s joy, God’s grace! After we’ve been convertedTo make a decision to turn away from sin and darkness, from the power of the devil to the living God. We repent from our former sins, cast off our old life – a life which enjoyed living in the passing pleasures of sin – and lay hold of a new mind – a mindset that is determined to resist... More and reconciled to Him, then the intention is that we also come to His righteousness. Then we get God’s peace. Then we have a good conscience. But we don’t yet have all the peace that is in God. What God now wants to form us to be, is a man of God, so that we can come to that life that is in God.

And if we are going to come to that, then we are going to need an education, or upbringing. Then the chastening comes, and He deals with us as with sons. As people we are so superficial, but God has a goal with our life. Through chastening our ear is opened so that we can hear His voice speaking to us, so that we come to the right place in our spirit, where God wants us to be. That is the whole intention behind this upbringing and education, this chastening. That we can come to a point where our senses have been exercised, so that we can discern between good and evil. So that we don’t remain children who don’t understand anything, but that we come to a mature life in God and have an understanding of what God wants, and His will in our lives.

Chastening is God’s grace!

God’s chastening, where He deals with us as with sons, that is God’s grace! And that’s why we are not to be surprised over the fire that comes to try us, as though it is something strange. That is God working with us! But then we have to be so humble to understand that. That is why it is written: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” 1 Peter 5:6. We can feel that in trialsTribulations or trials refer to any event or situation that comes your way that tempts you to sin; that gives opportunity for sinful thoughts and temptations to rise up in you. The tribulation or trial arises when your mind to serve God struggles against your lusts to sin. It also often refers to difficult situations that test your ability to... More, God’s hand is resting heavily upon us. But when we humble ourselves, then it becomes lighter. We become a little less in ourselves, and that pressure lessens.

Think about Jesus, His education, His training. He was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellow men. (Hebrews 1:9) That is really something to think about. In those situations where He was with Joseph, as the son of a carpenter, He was absolutely content and satisfied. Absolutely! Because He knew that He was in God’s will, and God was doing a work in Him. And that is the way it is with us too. When we think about the fact that God trains us, through chastening, to lay aside worldliness and all such things, that is God’s grace! (Titus 2:11-12) We can’t accomplish that without chastening.

True grace

If we believe that God  sees us through Jesus as if we had never sinned, what can true grace accomplish in us? We will remain the same people, living according to the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More. That is a false understanding of grace. Paul had a clear understanding of God’s grace, and he also exhorted that this grace not be in vain. We show ourselves as servants of the Lord, in the most difficult things we meet in life. When a trialTribulations or trials refer to any event or situation that comes your way that tempts you to sin; that gives opportunity for sinful thoughts and temptations to rise up in you. The tribulation or trial arises when your mind to serve God struggles against your lusts to sin. It also often refers to difficult situations that test your ability to... More comes our way, of course we want to appear to be a servant of the Lord, but if we become bitter in the trial, then we show that we are not a servant of the Lord.  That is what happens if we don’t have this correct understanding of grace.

True grace is a work of the Holy Spirit; it is God’s grace, a work of grace in Jesus Christ that we then partake of.


This article is inspired by a talk by Kaare J. Smith
on 8th June 2017.

You may be interested in reading more about God’s grace on our theme page about grace, or in the selected articles below:

Only by the grace of God!

Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. For what?

Key teachings

Explore how God’s Word challenges and empowers us to live 100% according to His will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory.

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The Grace that is in Christ Jesus

“When people think about grace, they usually think about the forgiveness of sins; and since we have all sinned, we all need grace.” Sigurd Bratlie opens this booklet about grace with these words. However, he goes on to describe in-depth that the grace that is in Christ Jesus means so much more than forgiveness. It also means truth and help. It teaches us not to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More, so that we can be completely free to live a life of victory that leads to perfection.

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