A Kingdom of Grace
© 2021 Philip M Spence
The following is an excerpt from the book A Kingdom of Grace. To download your copy, go to Amazon.com or click the button below:
God’s grace is received from Him, perceived by others, and conceives things in our lives and service with Him. The fact that the grace of God is visible to others is a strategic key to establishing divine connections, helping leaders release people into the right function at the right time, and showing us who to receive ministry from in the various phases and situations of life and ministry.
Many people have asked me how to perceive the grace of God on another person’s life. My answer has been that if we are walking and living in the Spirit, and being led by the Holy Spirit, he will open our eyes to see what is not visible to our natural vision. The things of the Spirit are known to those who are spiritually minded, so the grace of God is visible to those who see others according to the spirit (Romans 8:5-11; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17).
Grace to Walk Worthy
In the first century church there came a time when believers were being sent from Jerusalem and relocating in other cities and towns because of increasing levels of persecution. When word came back about where these believers had ended up, the apostles sent Barnabas on a mission as far away as Antioch.
When he arrived and spent some time with these believers, he perceived the grace of God at work amongst them. They were functioning as an authentic expression of the Kingdom of God in their new location. He was encouraged, and he encouraged them to continue with their sense of mission, in the grace and purpose of God (Acts 11:22-24).
Grace to Fulfil the Call
The apostle Paul had an inglorious beginning to his ministry. The apostles at Jerusalem had to smuggle him out of town because the religious leaders were seeking to kill him for betraying them. Many years later, Barnabas invited him to travel with him to Antioch and it was from there that Paul was launched into his apostolic ministry.
Sometime later Paul and Barnabas returned to Jerusalem, and when they met with the apostles there, they recognised the grace of God that was upon him to fulfil His ministry to the gentiles. In contrast to this, the apostles in Jerusalem agreed that they were called to the Jews. The key to this agreement was the visible grace upon Paul and Barnabas (Galatians 2:9).
Grace to Meet Needs
Earlier in the development of the first century church, the Kingdom community, consumed by a generous spirit, shared their resources with one another and some people sold houses and land to help meet the needs of the community (Acts 4:32-35).
This level of sacrificial giving was possible because of great grace at work amongst them. Those who liquidated assets brought the proceeds to the apostles because they recognised that the apostles had a grace to distribute the resources wisely and effectively. This ensured that there was no lack in the Kingdom community of Jerusalem.
Grace for Miracles
As the original church developed and grew, the needs also increased exponentially. The apostles selected seven men to oversee this work of meeting all the needs of the community. One of the team, Stephen, became full of grace and power. Just like the other members of the team, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God caused him to do outstanding miracles (Acts 6:1-8).
Much later, in a city called Iconium, Paul and Barnabas preached boldly about Jesus and His Kingdom, and large numbers of people came into the Kingdom. They also performed signs and wonders as a result of the grace of God being upon them. The miracles attested to the word preached because of the grace of God (Acts 14:1-3).
Grace for Fruitfulness
On one of Paul’s apostolic journeys, he and his team preached in many cities and visited churches they had previously established. They encouraged, blessed, and strengthened the believers in these churches. While there, they assisted with the appointment of elders, fasted and prayed with them, and commended them to the King of the Kingdom.
Paul’s apostolic team continued their journey back to Antioch, preaching in town after town on their way. When they arrived at Antioch, they reported everything that had been done, and the outcomes. They had been sent to accomplish this work in the grace of God and they attested to the grace of God as the key to their success and fruitfulness (Acts 14:21-26).
Visible grace is like the glory of God upon a person. It is the evidence of what a person has been called and anointed to be and do by the King of this Kingdom. It is also what attracts people to us even if they do not know about the grace of God. This Kingdom of grace is filled with people carrying God’s grace and being fruitful to the glory of God.