Yes, God's ability is imparted to us in our weakness so that the strength we
experience may be of God and not of us.' He receives the credit, the glory
and the honor – we receive the blessing. Verse 10, 'For when I am weak,
then am I strong.'
The strength is not mine, it is His.
The following is an expanded understanding of Ephesians 2:8, which talks
of being saved by grace. 'For by grace (God's divine ability given to us to
believe) we have been saved through faith (trust in Him), and that ability
is not of ourselves, but was given by God Himself.'
Consider also verses 8-11 of chapter 3, 'to me grace (divine enablement)
was given to preach and open understanding of the mystery which is Christ
in you, the hope of glory, so the church can make the manifold (many faceted)
wisdom of God known to both spiritual entities and natural people according
to God's eternal plan.
Grace then, is that special presence of God Holy Spirit that is granted to
persons by favor, but not initated through worth, but rather from mercy.
This presence becomes the power inherent in a person to do the thing
that God has designated for him / her.
Let's establish this farther. In Ephesians 3:7, Paul said that he became a
minister through the gift of grace. God gave him the ability to fulfill the call
that He had given him.
Continuing in verse 8, 'this grace (divine enablement) was given to me that
I should preach. Again, we see an example of God's divine enablement.
Looking into chapter 4:11, we come to a statement that must be clarified.
Always remember that Scripture must be kept in context for true under-
standing to come forth.
Paul writes in this verse, 'and He (Christ) Himself gave some to be apostles,
some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers.
God does not give men to the church, men are the church.
Now, back to verse 7, so we can explain this thought.
'but to each of us, grace (divine enablement) was given according to the
measure of Christ's gift. So, He Himself gave some (men grace or divine
ability to be) apostles, some (men He gave divine ability to be) prophets,
some (men He gave divine ability to be) evangelists and some (men He
gave divine ability to be) pastors and teachers.
It is because of grace / divine ability, not one's human ability that qualifies
him to fill these ministry offices.
The writer of Hebrews (who I believe was Paul) was alluding to the fact
that we as believers are coming into heirship of the Kingdom of God so
he said, 'Let us have grace (that implies something given) by which we
may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear.' This speaks
of the ability to do something.
James comes along with this thought in chapter 4:6, 'God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble.' He is saying God will help and strengthen
you. The humble are those who know that if God does not enable them
they will have no strength for the task.
Hebrews 4:16, Tells us, at God's throne we can find Mercy (freedom from
punishment due) and grace (divine enablement) to help in time of need.
Someone put grace into an acronym in this way,
Grace is God's Riches at Christ's Expense.