This word “Grace” is one of the most misapplied and overused words in Christendom. So Naturally, TPM also has an issue with the misuse and overuse of this term. I often hear people saying like
- God gave me the grace to come to the meetings
- God gave me the grace to do the work
- God gave me the Grace to cook for the convention.
- God gave me Grace to Travel etc.
Below is a list of Graces as per Pastor Durai.
There are different kinds of love and different kinds of peace in the bible. But modern Christendom has invented a new kind of grace which should have been appropriately called Ability or Talent. But By such misapplication, the word Grace is no more understood in a biblical way. If you ask a TPM Guy to explain Grace, he might say that Grace is “Unmerited Favor” or “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Ask him to explain more to prove his thinking, he will show a blank face. Therefore I thought it good to explain for the benefit of all. It should also be noted that it is my understanding of Grace and I am open to any debate or corrections. As usual, it will be supported by scriptures. I acknowledge that there is a secular connotation to this word which has also been used in some places of the Old Testament. However, the Grace that we have in the New Testament is a totally different thing.
What Happens when a person is Born Again?
When a person is Born Again, his dead spirit received Life and a new creature starts its existence(2 Cor 5:17). The bible says that in the natural when we arrive, we are born in a state which has a dormant spirit. We are therefore predisposed to gravitate towards the Worldly way.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. Eph 2:1-3
As a result of our Born Again Experience, our Spirit Man comes into existence. And as soon as the Spirit Man comes into existence, he will be pushed into the battlefield with the Flesh(Soulish Man) which was ruling the earlier Man.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want. Gal 5:17
What is Grace?
Grace is that divine life from God that gives us the power to resist the Flesh for the new spirit that has been born. Our newborn Spirit feeds on Life from God and that is the growth hormone (so to say) for the spirit.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
To a sinner, who was dead in trespasses and sins gets a birth by the Life of Jesus(Grace to Save) and grows by the “Life in Full” from the Lord. This life is full is what Paul defines as Grace which continues with us throughout our life.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:8
To explain it a little more, let me cite an example.
Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: Romans 5:20
You can notice two balls of similar kind in the above picture. One is deflated and the other an inflated one. The inflated one has air pressured into it and that is the only difference. But that only difference is what makes the difference between a dead and a living one. Throw the inflated ball to the ground and it will bounce back with the same force it was thrown down. This is in perfect sync with Romans 5:20 that is quoted above. But in contrast, the deflated ball will be in the same place it was thrown. It does not have a life to bounce back. This is the same way Grace works. The inflated ball is the Grace equivalent and the deflated one is the dead one. Also, consider other scenarios. If the inflated ball is just having part air pressure, it will bounce back with lesser rebound whereas a fully inflated ball will bounce back with a complete rebound. When Sin Pushes you down, Grace bounces you back.
What is the bouncing back?
If you are truly born again, you will feel the pressures of the battle between the New Man (Spirit) and the Old Man(Flesh). You will be constantly bombarded with sinful and worldly enticements. These enticements will be agreed by your flesh which works against the spirit man. This spirit man needs the power to resist it and say NO to such wicked forces. This power is what Paul defines as Grace.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Titus 2:11:13
Grace is God’s power used in Spiritual warfare against Sin and Flesh. If you are able to resist Sin and Flesh, it is only possible because the Grace of God is poured into you. You were unable to resist such things in your previous state even though you might have had the knowledge that it is unpleasing to God. Only the Grace of God can do it for you.
The divine one who became human was filled with Grace and Truth (John 1:14). He had to say “NO” to such enticements when he was tempted.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Heb 4:15
When Grace abounds under tremendous temptation from Flesh/Devil/World, you will say NO just as Jesus said and will Not Sin. But unlike Jesus, most of us give in to the pressures of the enemy and fall for the enticements. It becomes like leakage in football. Such leakages are the cause for Frustrating the Grace within us (Gal 2:21). We are not expected to fall like reeds when strong winds attack us. If you are truly Born-Again, you have the Grace within you. Exercise your faith that he who called you is faithful. Pull your thumb out of the mouth and grow up. If you want to grow up spiritually, expect battles and also exercise the Grace that is bestowed upon you.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Heb 12:4
Though TPM keeps harping on Victorious life, they have no clue what is that. Some of them mistakenly think that victorious life is a state of abstaining from Sex and living a celibate life. But is that so? A victorious life is a state where you are completely filled with Grace and Truth and No Sin can cross over to your spirit because of the abundance of Grace. TPM’s Victorious life sounds more like the Jain or Buddhist or Catholic Version of it. Even though they keep singing of Grace in different hymns, they do not understand its application.
Grace is indeed God’s favour but it is not general favour as is used by many people. It is the favour of his life provided to a sinner for salvation. Applying it to a worldly or neutral setting is diluting its purpose. Grace is shone in a person when he is going through all kinds of opposition and UNFAVOURABLE circumstances but still holds on to salvation without wavering.
Consider the Apostles of Jesus. Do you think they thought Grace as “Unmerited Favor” as understood by many TPM clergy? Were they hunted down by the authorities of those days because of some Divine Favor? Do you think they were flogged and threatened because of the Divine Unmerited Favor? Do you think that they were killed as a mark of Unmerited Favor? Were the prison dungeons a sign of God’s Unmerited Favor? They hardly had any external signs of Favor except that the Grace which was bestowed upon them that took them till the very end VICTORIOUSLY.
33 With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all Acts 4:33
Unlike in Old Testament times, these folks never received any Favors in life. So before you use the word “Grace” for some worldly or material things, please think twice. Speaking in TPM language, They did not have the Grace to build faith homes, attend conventions and worker’s meetings, Grace to cook, Grace to preach, travel, fast, do ministry etc. Let us get the verbiage right. We should acknowledge God for giving us the ability to do certain things and also thank him. However, Grace is not that Ability or Talent. It is God’s Life that saves us from the enemy and helps us fight our spiritual battle.