I discovered a new name for Christ. One of the names I have been using of late, is Living Grace, Etha’nan which is similar, but not quite.
I started unconsciously, at first, but now that I am aware, finding descriptive names for Christ has been beneficial and good. I needed a way to identify his true character, his nature, his essence, and attributes. Even unconsciously, I knew being puny, weak, flawed and with a pretty messed up image of what and who an earthly Father would, should, or could be, I wanted to differentiate God from the ‘truthiness’ of the world and that of my own mind. Truthiness is defined as the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true rather than concepts or facts known to be true.
Before I knew Christ, I like other humans, who were also weak and flawed superimposed many ideas, descriptions, or concepts onto God that were not true i.e. truthiness. These beliefs were ones that I chose because it was convenient, comfortable, without conflict. I think I have mentioned before in my writings, that I had no idea who Christ was. In fact, I only heard his name-Jesus- growing up when I was in trouble. Moreover, when I was really in trouble, his last name-Christ- was used. Nature abhors a vacuum, so… I embellished.
Since then, I have found that Christ, Messiah, Savior, Emanuel, the ‘Word’, is revealed in the bible. There is another scripture that tells us that Christ is, Grace for grace. What a lovely name for our lovely God. (I heard a former Muslim, turned Follower once call Christ, Lovely-“What a Lovely God”, he said. I have never forgotten it. It touched my heart, to no end… because, He is.)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) “And from his fullness we have all received, grace for grace”.
As Followers of Christ, we have received Christ, who is ‘Grace for Grace’.
But, what does ‘received’ mean? I think the best description I have seen for ‘receiving’ Christ, was given in the book, “Follow Me”, written by David Platt. He defines to receive Christ in this way, “As we turn to Jesus, he transforms us. As we die to ourselves, we live to him. He gives us a new heart-cleansed of sin and filled with his Spirit. He gives us a new mind-an entirely new way of thinking. He gives us new desires-entirely new senses of longing. And he gives us a new will- an entirely new way of living” (Platt, 2013). Christ’s name is ‘Living Grace’. Christ who is the living and eternal God, offers this grace to all (Titus 2:11). We don’t deserve it, haven’t earned it, and can’t work enough for it (Ephesians 2: 8-9). But, grace is what we need.
For those who choose unmerited favor, (Romans 5: 15-16) God’s gift who is Christ, Living Grace; Etha’nan, grace is received; Grace for grace. Receiving grace by Grace is what the bible calls the gospel or the Good News and it is! For we have received under the gospel, a better grace ‘instead of’ the grace that was granted under the law; for grace and truth were clearly present in the law (Exodus 34:6), but the ultimate expression would come in the Word/law enfleshed; Christ; Grace for grace. After all, Moses could see only part of God’s glory (Exodus 33:20), but in the personage of Christ, God’s whole heart is fleshed out for the world to see.
But grace doesn’t stop there. Grace was given, the good will of God towards us for a purpose. Grace for grace also means grace is given for the promoting and advancing of grace. Grace is to be exercised; Grace to be given freely; we are called to love grace (Micah 6:8). The apostles received grace for grace (Romans 1:5; Ephesians 3:8). And we also have ‘received’ and are ministers of grace, for grace (1 Peter 4:10) It is grace; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us . God’s good will works the good work, and then the good work draws us to further tokens of his good will. Grace for grace. As a water pitcher receives water from the fullness of a fountain, the water pitcher then pours out the water freely. We receive grace from the fullness of Christ to give grace. And by this, Followers are changed into His divine image, from glory to glory, from one degree of glorious grace to another, (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is because of Christ, who is Living Grace; Grace for Grace, that we like John cry, “He is, Grace for grace”! Indeed, what a lovely name, what a lovely God.
I am praying for you, my friend. I am praying that Grace will sing grace over you. Don’t hinder him. Let his lovely grace wash over you as you reach out to him and receive Grace for grace