The Operation of Grace

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. -Acts 4:33

Most believers know the common definition of the beautiful word “grace” as “the unmerited favor of God.” This is wonderfully true and clearly relates to our salvation apart from the works or energy of our flesh (Eph. 2:7–9).  

But “grace” as used in this text and texts such as Luke 2:40 and Acts 11:23, also refers to “operations of the power of God.” Just as God in mercy saves us by His grace, so also that grace is manifested in great dynamic where the Holy Spirit is at work in power. 

Zechariah 4:7 provides an Old Testament illustration of this truth. The prophet instructed Zerubbabel to speak “grace” to the mountain, the hindrance he faced in the trying task of rebuilding God’s temple. Speaking “grace” to obstacles we face is an action of faith, drawing on the operation of God’s great power. We only speak, the work is entirely His, by His gracious power and for His great glory. 

As we speak God’s grace in the face of our mountainous impossibilities, we can see “great power” and “great grace” manifest on our behalf today.