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Ruth: 2:12-17; Grace under God’s refuge, part 2.

length: 56:20 - taught on Feb, 2 2018
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Class Outline:

Title: Ruth: 2:12-17; Grace under God’s refuge, part 2.



We have begun a study on the word charis or grace stemming from our study of Ruth’s overwhelming blessings that were given to her by Boaz. God has blessed every believer with things that are beyond imagination.


The NT retains the classical usage of charis: beauty, thankfulness, gifts beyond expectation, no thought of reward. However, in the NT God gave charis to His enemies and so do His children.


EPH 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,


EPH 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,


EPH 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;


EPH 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,


EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,


EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.


EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,


EPH 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.


No one exactly knows what Paul means by breadth, length, height, and depth. To me it would simply mean all that God has given to us including the revelation of Him and life with Him. It is pictured as an endless space filled with the things of God, and incredibly enough, by means of grace, we can comprehend them.


Christ gave us the burden of life and freedom, which He said, with Him, it would be easy and light. Such life and freedom present to us a stewardship or plan of predestination that is a compulsion pressing down upon us, as Paul described it in 1CO 9:16. It is a stewardship that is dedicated to the Lord, our Master who for the time is away. We were not given stewardships designed to improve the conditions of the earth, but rather the condition of men’s souls if they will believe the gospel and the truth.


Jesus rejected Satan’s offer of solve world hunger, provide constant wonder as well as paradise on earth. Jesus flung those ideas right into the trash and instead gave man life and freedom, when man was his mortal enemy, when man would plot to torture and kill Him and succeed. Jesus would give the world grace in a way it had never comprehended or could see.


The grace of God is so foreign to man and world that it needs God Himself to reveal it to each man. God the Holy Spirit does this work.  


Quite soon after the Lord’s death and resurrection His church accepted the devil’s offer, and in place of freedom provided wealth, the marvels of science, and an all-powerful state like government - all to the betterment of the human condition on earth, but having nothing to do with the spiritual or the heavenly.


If Christ returned to earth in the same capacity as He did in the first advent, the world leaders and almost all of its religious people would demand His death as they did the first time. But, He will not return this way.


In the NT, charis comes to mean magnificent gifts bestowed without thought of return - to an enemy just as much as a loved one.


In other places in the NT, charis is used for an act that goes beyond what would normally be expected. It is used for what the teaching of the word of God does for us. It goes above and beyond what we would expect instruction to be. Financial gifts are called gracious or charis. In these cases it is loved one giving to loved one, and for this the classical Greeks would certainly use charis.



Nothing in the purely classical use of the word could describe what took place on Calvary. He did more than expected, but for His enemies.


While it is true that Jesus did more than expected, and that He gave without thought of return, and that would match the classical use of charis, but what had been foreign to the word was that He did it for His enemies.


To the Greeks, dying to protect your family, a fellow soldier on the battlefield, your lover, etc. was exceedingly beautiful and commendable, but no one ever thought of doing such a thing for an enemy. To them, a sinner could only expect the wrath of a holy God and eternal banishment from His presence.


So, it is not all the truth to see yourself as one blessed beyond your dreams.


The total truth is that you were an enemy of God, whom God blessed beyond your wildest dreams.


Holy God stepped down from His judgment seat and took upon Himself at Calvary’s Cross, the guilt and penalty of human sin, thus satisfying His justice and making possible the bestowal of His mercy. And this He did, not for those who were His friends, but His bitter enemies, unlovely creatures saturated with sin. 


Charis leaps forward an infinite distance, for the Lord Jesus, the righteous, died for His enemies, a thing un­heard of in the human race.


ROM 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for [huper: preposition - in behalf of, substitution] the ungodly.


ROM 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.


Understanding verse 7 depends on Paul’s use of righteous and good. He is not speaking of these terms as they would be known from God, but from men. The distinctions of righteous and good are as they are known from classic literature.  


“a righteous man” - upright man of character who is just. (not died for). “the good man” - excellent, noble man, benefactor of society (rarely died for). This reveals the extent of man’s love.


It is significant that “righteous man” doesn’t have a definite article and “good man” does. It is “a righteous man” and “the good man.” No man will die for a righteous man, a man who is of excellent character, who is just, and upright. However, there might rarely be a man who would die for an exceptional man of goodness, who greatly benefits society, and is of the highest nobility. In other words, if you were the person on earth who contained the greatest good, maybe, just maybe someone might die for you. And if someone did, the Greeks would call it charis, and any thankfulness for their act would be called charis. This is the love of man. Beyond this, then, men's love for men, even in the rarest cases, will not go. Behold, now, the contrast between this and God's love to us in the gift of His Son.


ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


ROM 5:10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


“While we were enemies” - the grace of God.


1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.


“How great” is a poor translation of this Greek word. It misses the root meaning of it.


“how great” - potapo,j[potapos] = from what country, or what foreign kind? The love of God shown on the cross is foreign to the human race, and therefore, so is biblical grace.


“See how foreign or otherworldly a love the Father has bestowed upon us.”


It is foreign because man simply does not act that way. That is why God’s action at the Cross in dying for lost humanity is an action beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected, and is therefore commendable, but that He does it for His enemies makes it extraordinary.


If Christ only died for the best of us, then it might be considered grace in the Greek sense, but that He died for all of us, all enemies of God, Christ’s death becomes grace in the heavenly sense.


ISA 55:8-9

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways [grace] higher than your ways [grace],

And My thoughts than your thoughts.


Here is one of the strongest proofs of the divine source of the Bible. The substitutionary atonement never came from the philosophies of man but from the heart of God.


Thus, the word charis comes to its highest and most ex­alted content of meaning in the New Testament.


Grace refers to God’s offer of salvation with all that New Covenant implies. We are heirs of God who have been given a superabundance of divine, beautiful, unfading things.


ROM 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.


ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


ROM 5:10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


ROM 5:11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.


ROM 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — 


ROM 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.


ROM 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.


ROM 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.


ROM 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.


ROM 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.


ROM 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.


ROM 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


ROM 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded [with the prefix: superabounded] all the more,


ROM 5:21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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