John, means of grace in the RC sense is merit imputed unto one's account by a means of a rite, mass, penance, practice, pilgrimage, or relic, to gain favour against one's condemnation.
What you are talking about is the dispensing of God's unmerited favour out of his kindness towards our sanctification or redemption.
The angle differs
'Obtaning grace' is the biblical phrase for what you describe, 'means of grace' is the semi magical/mystical merit of RC man centered strategies.
'Obtaining grace' is God's centered, 'means of grace' is man-made devices or fabrications to 'benefit' from God
Some reformers wrongly carried on the phrase means of grace into a mix pudding of infant baptism and the Lord's table which they continued calling sacraments as Rome had called them, as if there was something mystical attached to their performance.
See samples of what you talk about in Scriptures:
" Noah *found* (obtained) grace in the eyes of the LORD" and its NT counterpart,
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain"
Rom 4:4 spells out the difference of the two unreconciling lines "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt"
Adriel wrote: Depends who is doing the reading. For Example....... â€śQ167: How is our Baptism to be improved by us? A167: The needful but much neglected duty of improving our Baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others; by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements; by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace; and by endeavoring to live by faith, to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness,........ (Larger Catechism)
It is obvious we are talking of two different kind of baptism, the infant and the believer's baptism. When adhering to the first you will need all that jargon above. The believer's baptism does not.
However Ephesians 3:24 brings a different Greek word for grace, than Ephesians 2:8.
The word in Ephesians 3:24 is khÄ«'-rĹŤ, used as a salutation like cheers, or good speed, farewell, rejoice, or hail, ... conveying graciousness in mannerism that imparts good; a greeting word wishing the hearer well.
On the other hand the word for divine grace as in Ephesians 2:8 is khĂ¤'-rÄ“s, indicating bestowed favour or influence.
As for the preaching of the gospel being a *means of grace* is another misconception rooted from the same cistern of Rome.
God effects grace in whatever time, setting or way he wishes, often using mediums as literature, or preaching, though at other times he might use none precisely, as with Saul in his way to Damascus, but he is never exclusively binded to any as a must.
For instance the Lord opened the heard of Lydia as she heard the word. The main act of grace in action was the opening of the understanding, the lesser was the preaching, as the later without the first would had proved nonsuccesful grace.
Say preaching can be void of his grace when done in the energy of the flesh, while saying a fitting personal word in season can fulfil the purpose of his favour and kindness towards a person.
Adriel wrote: â€śChristians believe baptism is a means of grace for the one being baptized. What some do not realize is that baptism is also a means of grace for believers as they observe the baptism of others. The Westminster Larger Catechism says observing the baptism of others gives us an opportunity to practice â€śthe needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptismâ€ť (Q&A 167). We improve our baptism by seeking to experience its meaning in deeper and more powerful ways and by living out its implications. While we can think about the meaning of baptism any time, we can do this in a unique way when we observe a baptism.â€ś (Ligonier Ministries)
Sorry, Adriel, this comes near heresy. We do not need to "improve" our baptism; this sounds as sanctification by works. We rejoice in truth: the truth standing behind what baptism represents, but the rite by itself has no mystical significance. This is not taught in Scripture.
The phrase "Means of grace" is totally anchored in RC theology. The Bible does not know a thing about this concept. Grace is grace, the source is God's kindness towards us. Run the Strong concordance for the word grace and you will see this. The only 'means' is God's hand delivering it to whom he will. May cont.
John for JESUS wrote: John UK, Thanks for proving my point about Calvinism! You ask how can a man who is not righteous believe and be saved? The answer, of course, is that God must make the person righteous so that they will do the right thing and believe. They are saved because of what they do as a result of what God has made them.
This is becoming as the endless argument of who came first, the egg or the hen. Of course you can endlessly go on debating about that, till the ruling ending fact comes in, God created the hen.
1 Pe 3:21 brings figurative speech as antitype of Noah's salvation, not be to taken literally as that the waters of baptism save.
The like *figure* (literally meaning antitype) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
*Figure* is the same word as in,
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the *figures* of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
The word sacrament is not in Scriptures, neither its connotation is biblical. It is a relic of the RC system some reformers clinged to and 'sanitized' to suit their take. Baptism or the Lord's table are ordinances, conferring no mystical favour.
Grace is manifested to man by deeds, not through rites.
See " .. *the grace of God* that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
Sacramentum comes from the sacred oath Roman soldiers took binding them to the Ceaser
John, thanks for your answer, but you seem all over the place over extreme situations and out of shape personal experiences and concepts.
Two or three pointers here,
1. An OT passage on evangelism, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for you know not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap. As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."
2. Seeking justice is never barred as unlawful in Scripture. E.g. Mordecai used the only means he had to seek such in his predicament when all the other routes were non existent. Yet by God's mercy a positive outcome came to pass
John UK wrote: ... for preventing their evangelising in a public park. What I'm looking for is a biblical precedent for this, and there is none. If they had not had a DIY method of evangelism, they would have heard the Holy Spirit speaking in their ear what they ought to do, and it wasn't to keep winding up the park authorities.
1. John, in an gospel-adverse society liberties are lost if not fought for, given that means in place allow, which means come God granted and always subject to his kind mercy and sovereignty. The dismantling of God given freedoms is on.
Megaphone wrote: Pure speculation. You don't know what the apostles would have done if they had rights guaranteed by law to freedom of speech, it didn't exist in their day. You cannot say with any authority that Wheaton college students did was unbiblical because you have nothing upon which to base it, it wasn't an option for the early Christians.
Paul used his Roman citizenship to avoid an unfair trial that was getting him into the hands of unfair Jews. Pursuing lawful means of justice is not forbidden in Scriptures.
What can be said of this passage?
" ...when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
... the keeper of the prison told ... Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city."
Chris G P wrote: Well, as I have said before on this subject, I am sure that N Ireland is being buttered up for reunion with the Republic of Ireland, which, by popular vote, threw off its Catholic past, and adopted both â€śgay marriageâ€ť and even more extreme laws for abortion than mainland Britain. With all the Brexit uncertainty, I do not know how it will eventually work out, but I am sure that N Ireland is about to be betrayed.
God is still on the throne and whatever he wills he will bring to pass. Out of the darkest hour still God may surprise us, not by politics, but by his power bringing many to himself in the land.
Vital teaching In a day of eroding definitions, the phrase 'sexual immorality' requires specific conceptual boundries to govern aright the God-given instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate contact between opposite genders.
Good Surely, the Sabbath was purposely made for man from the beginning, and significantly the Son of man when on earth took it that way, he being Lord of the Sabbath. Thanks for addressing the derogation of this topic.
Adriel wrote: I take your point BM. But will our modern counterparts understand terms such as 'fornication' etc. ? Will they read the KJV?
Certainly such terms are foreign to a deceived and deluded culture, but they do pertain to modern dictionaries; they are still there, they are not obsolete by no means.
It is the concepts our culture tries to make obsolete, but the words and their meaning, say the precise acts, remain.
In our 'educated' society ignorance and iliteracy willingly abound by choice. See, all goes, so why focus on meaning and detail ...
However, preachers should not contribute to this out of pragmatism, hiding behind modern versions to 'make the message clear'. They only need the right words explained.
People touched by the Spirit will certainly understand AV texts and concepts when presented, because these people will be the seekers, as only those that seek will find. This is the golden rule of biblical evangelism, not of modern/man-centered evangelism.
See, "If ye seek him, he will be found of you" And "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
The rationale for the need to use modern versions rests on man-centered evengelism.