Dying Grace is the provision of God where He gently takes the believer in fellowship out of this life and into the next. Believers who are under the sin unto death do not enjoy the benefits of Dying Grace. Unbelievers also are exempt from the benefits of Dying Grace. This provision, those of Living Grace, only applies to believers in fellowship at the point of physical death.
Dying Grace doesn't guarantee that the believer's death will not look violent. A mature believer may die in an exploding aircraft, a car wreck, a mine cave in, or in any number of seemingly violent ways. Dying Grace does guarantee that the believer, regardless of the manner of death undergone, will go to meet his Father with the minimum amount of pain and suffering that God can give him. A believer under Dying Grace will go to home with peace in his heart, not in frantic terror as the heathen do. His transition from earth to heaven will be easy and peaceful, greeted with joy by the believer.
Psalms 116:15 "Precious (YAQAR, costly, precious, valuable) in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. "
God regards His mature believers in the highest light. Because He so loves and respects these warriors who sought to do His will in life, He takes great pains to gently remove them from this life at the end of their "tour of duty". The death of a mature believer is precious or valuable to God. There's no better way to leave this life than through God's provision of Dying Grace.
Psalms 23:4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (TSALMAVETH, shade of death, shadow of the grave. Refers to impending death) , I will fear (YARE, be dreadful or in terror of) no evil (RA, wicked actions. By extension, no pain): for thou art with me; thy rod (SHEBET, a staff used for walking or punishing) and thy staff they comfort (NACHAM, take revenge or vengeance for, show compassion for) me. "
Dying Grace removes the overwhelming fear of death that is a normal response to death in society. It removes the YARE, the overwhelming terror that death may bring. The believer under Dying Grace knows that his death is just a transition, a temporary journey from one world to the next. He has an absolute knowledge that after he dies physically he'll be eternally in Heaven. There is no "unknown" for the person under Dying Grace. God replaces the fear of death with a perfect peace.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 "For I am now ready to be offered (SPENDO, to be poured out as a libation. Sense = The soul is willing to be poured out of the body as an offering to God), and the of my departure (ANALUSIS has five definitions used in the ancient texts: (1) to break camp, a military term; (2) to set sail; (3) to unhook the oxen so as to feed or reward them; (4) to unravel a mystery; (5) to release a prisoner) is at hand (EPHISTEMI, Perfect Active, has now arrived and must be met) . I have fought a good (KALOS, honorable, good) fight, I have finished my course (DROMOS. athletic course, runners race track) , I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. "
Since Dying Grace is only given to the mature believer in fellowship there's another benefit gained by this believer. All Christians have a part to play in the Plan of God. Some believers never fulfill their designated roles because of immaturity and excessive sin in their lives. The believer under Dying Grace can say, like Paul, that he has fulfilled his part in the Plan. Throughout his life he sought to glorify God in all that he did. When the mature believer goes to meet God there are no regrets, no bitterness over missed chances. When his soul is poured out of his body like an offering to God there's that inner satisfaction that he fought honorably for his Lord. He finished the DROMOS, the course that God gave him to run. Neither God nor the believer has any regrets when it's time to take the believer out of this life. The mature believer goes to meet God knowing that there are rewards waiting for him in heaven.
If all believers would only understand in their hearts that they have a limited life span, what a difference this would make in the Church! When we're born we're born physically alive but spiritually dead. As unbelievers we only had a potential place in the Plan of God. When we accepted Christ as Savior we were given a permanent place in that Plan, an important place that God wants us to fulfill
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. "
... in the Body of Christ. To help us "run the course" God wanted us to take He gave us all Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
.. but so few ever discover what they are. "There's always tomorrow" the procrastinating believer says. But what so few understand is that we only have a short time on this earth to work in God's Plan. Your time may end today, tomorrow, or a year from now. All believers have an opportunity to meet God under Dying Grace. We all have the opportunity to leave this life as mature believers with no regrets. Whether we do or not is up to each one of us. We can prepare for a peaceful death by growing as God desires. We can prepare ourselves and receive rewards in Heaven by growing now. Or we can procrastinate till the bitter end, leaving this life shamefully under the sin unto death.
Philippians 1:20-21 "According to (KATA, according to the norm or standard of) my earnest expectation (APOKARADOKIA, to watch with the head stretched forward in intense concentration, eagerly awaiting, excitedly anticipating) and my hope (ELPIS, hope, confidence) , that in nothing (EN + Locative Case OUDES, in the sphere of nothing) I shall be ashamed (Future Passive Indicative AISCHUNOMAI, shall not be disgraced or put to shame) , but that with all boldness, as always (HOS PANTOTE, as at all times) , so now also Christ shall be magnified (MEGALUNO, Future Passive Indicative, shall be exalted or glorified) in my body (SOMA, body. Here refers to the whole person, body-soul-spirit, according to Arnt and Gingrich) , whether it be by life (Dia + Genetive, ZOA, through my life) , or by death (DIA + Genetive THANATOS, through the process of my death) . For to me (Emphatic Position Proleptic Pronoun, for me!) to live (Present Active Infinitive ZAO, to keep on living) is Christ, and to die (Aorist Active Infinitive APOTHNESKO, to be about to die) is gain (KERDOS, have personal gain, more prosperous). "
The mature believer under Dying Grace death is a promotion, not a demotion. Each day of life is viewed as a gracious gift from God, each day an opportunity to glorify Christ. Death is viewed as much more prosperous than life, a promotion, because the mature believer stores up rewards in heaven daily. He lives his life for God so that when he dies he knows that he'll enjoy many rewards in Heaven. This believer has the assurance that his death, like his life, will glorify Christ. What better motivation do we need to grow in Christ?
There are many illustrations of Dying Grace in the Bible. We've just seen how Paul, as a mature believer, expected to leave this life under Dying Grace. When Abraham died as a mature believer he went to meet God under this grace:
Genesis 25:7-8 "And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. "
Job described the believer under dying Grace as " laughing at death", and having the inner knowledge that he would go to be with God in Heaven:
Job 5:22-24 "At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. "
But all illustrations of dying have the same things in
common. Let's categorize these areas before we leave this section.
Eternal Grace shouldn't be confused with the act of glorification
or ultimate sanctification. Eternal Grace is God's Heavenly policy
that makes the act of glorification possible. You
are immediately entered into God's Eternal Grace policy if:
Ephesians 1:5-11 "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom (EN HOS, in him, Christ) we have (Present Active Indicative ECHO, we keep on having and holding) redemption (APOLUTROSIS, the purchase price) through his blood, the forgiveness (APHESIS, forgiveness, remission, pardon) of sins (PARAPTOMA, sins against the Godhead) , according to the riches of his grace (CHARIS, unmerited favor); Wherein (Ablative Singular Pronoun HOS, from which) he hath abounded (Aorist Active Indicative PERISSEUO, to have over and above, have abundantly more) toward us in all wisdom (SOPHIA, spiritual insight, divine wisdom) and prudence (PHRONESIS, objective thinking) ; Having made known unto us the mystery (MUSTERION, fraternal secret, a secret only known to a few on the inside of the fraternity) of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in (EIS + Accusative, with reference to the) the dispensation of the fulness of times (KAIROS, a period of time as measured in dispensations, an epic) he might gather together in one all things in Christ (EN + Instrumental CHRISTOS, by means of Christ), both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated (Aorist Passive Participle PROORIZO, having been marked out beforehand, pre-designed boundaries established) according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: "
When we accepted Christ as Saviour we received the APOLUTROSIS, the purchase price for our souls. Christ bought us back from the slave market of sin. We were brought from Satan's power, given the ability to grow in spiritual maturity under Living Grace. Because we are under God's provision of Saving Grace He predestined us to the provisions of Eternal Grace. When God's plan for the Church is completed all believers will reach that point of history called the fulness of times or literally, "the full measure of the dispensation". The Church Age will be closed at this time. All believers will be gathered together in one body "in Christ". The regathering of the Church is the action of God we call the Rapture. During the Rapture first the saints who have already physically died will receive their resurrection bodies:
1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: "
After this those believers still living on the earth will receive glorified bodies:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. "
The first action God's will take under Eternal Grace is to complete the Bride of Christ by giving each saved believer a glorified body. Only after we receive our glorified bodies will we be able to receive our inheritance in Heaven. Eternal Grace demands that God first glorify His Church, then give it the eternal inheritance:
Titus 3:7-8 "That being justified
(DIKAIOO, Aorist Passive
Participle, receiving justification, being declared righteous before
God) by his grace
(CHARIS, unmerited favor) , we
should be made heirs
(KLERONOMOS, an heir or inheritor by lot or division) according
to the hope (ELPIS,
hope, confidence) of eternal
life (AIONIOS ZOE, everlasting
or eternal life). This is a faithful
saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they
which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.
These things are good and profitable unto men. "
We're able to receive an eternal or everlasting inheritance because the glorification of our bodies will give us eternal life. Eternal Grace establishes the policy which guarantees our glorification, our eternal life, and our inheritance. Eternal Grace also guarantees that we will be accepted as the adopted sons of God in Heaven. We won't be second class citizens in Heaven, but will be given all the rights and privileges as the completed Bride.
1 Peter 5:10-11 "But the God of all grace (CHARIS, unmerited favor) , who hath called us unto his eternal glory (AIONIOS DOXA, everlasting state of glory) by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered (PASCHO, to suffer or experience the effects of evil) a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. "
We as believers do not come under the provisions of Eternal
Grace now for several reasons:
Summary of Grace
Whenever you study God's Grace you should keep
the big picture in mind. Grace is always the act of a
loving God to a sometimes thankless creation. Grace was given
by God to help man, not to hurt him. I pray you have discovered the
rich provisions of God's Grace in your life, that you have come to accept
Jesus Christ as Savior. God Bless you all!