The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force.
In the comments of a previous post, the question arose of God's grace as something active, or powerful. I thought the topic important enough to merit its own post.
When I was in seminary I encountered many who equated grace with leniency. For example, "I know our papers were due today, but how about a little grace, prof?"
God being gracious to us only meant letting things slide with regard to our behavior.
But, God's unmerited favor is something far beyond that. It's the manner in which He works in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13) unto our sanctification. We are confident that He will complete the good work in us (Phil 1:6), but not because we deserve it, but because of His grace ... which is efficacious.
"I know that I would surely fall away, except for grace, by which I'm saved."Though not known as a theologian, and we are not lockstep in agreement across the board, I think Keith gets it. God's saving grace is a preserving grace, a sanctifying grace.
-Keith Green, "Grace by which I Stand"
Two texts immediately come to mind, where you see God's grace equated with His power.
- 1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
- 2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
"Grace doesn’t free a man to live as he will; instead, it empowers a man to live as he ought!" -Robert Lewis