THE EFFECTS OF GRACE ;
Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord (Acts 11:23).
Barnabas and Paul went to visit the brethren, and they saw the grace of God. What does it mean to “See the grace of God?” “Grace” is from the Greek word “charis”; it refers to the divine influence on the heart reflected in the life of a man. It’s the outward expression, or the outworking of an inward divine influence in your heart. Simply put, it’s the inner working of the glory and the power of God in your life that radiates, shines, and reflects on the outside.
So, what these Apostles saw was an outer reflection of the inner working of the power, and life, and nature of God in them—they saw the effects of that grace. You only see the outworking of the grace of God. It’s like saying “We saw the winds blowing.” You really don’t see the wind; what you see are the effects of the wind.
The effects could be moving objects, or the branches of a tree moving to and fro; then you can immediately decipher that it’s a strong wind. You don’t see the wind; what you see are the effects! It’s the same way with the description in the opening verse. The grace of God on its own can’t be seen until you see what it produces. So, the Lord impresses on your heart, through His Word and the Holy Spirit, and whatever is deposited by that influence, is seen on the outside; it shows or reveals itself on the outside.
Then we can say, just like the early Church, “We saw the grace of God on them.” That’s why it’s important to grow in grace. 2 Peter 3:18 tells us, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ….” The word “grow” is taken from the Greek word “auxano”; it means “to give increase to.” To grow in grace is to increase in the workings of the power of God in your life.
And as you grow in grace, more of the glory of God shines, radiates, and is seen through you. Halleluiah!
2 Peter 1:2;