As Christians, oftentimes, we hear the word “blessed” used in a variety of ways. One of the most common greetings, frequently used daily is, “Good morning, how are you?” The casual response is, “I’m blessed; how are you?”
The phrase “I’m blessed” seems to rolls off of our tongues so easily that we don’t even think about the words. We could be having an odd and unusual day, but the general consensus of the church community when asked, “How are you?” responds, “I’m blessed.” Is it by habit or just good old Christian lingo?
Well, what exactly does “blessed“ mean? What is the difference between being blessed and not being blessed? How does having the favor of God or the grace of God differ?”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” ; (Eph. 2:8 KJV).
I came across a post on Instagram, and the writer used the word “favor” in place of the word “grace” in the above passage. I was curious to know why. Was a different translation used? After searching I discovered that the Amplified Bible reads, “For it is by free grace, (God’s unmerited favor), that you are saved.” Mystery solved!
I feel that it is essential that every believer, whether a babe in Christ or a seasoned Christian, should fully understand the meaning of a passage. Looking deeper into various translations will help the reader to fully understand how different references use words that seem to contradict other translations. The word may be different, however, the meaning is justifiable. Let’s elaborate further using these three words, “Blessed, Favor, and Grace.“
What is a blessing? A blessing is “the act or words of one that blesses,” or “a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.” The Bible describes blessed as being happy, fortunate, as in well-doing. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God made a promise to Abraham that through his seed, all of his descendants will be blessed. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the seed of Abraham; (Gen. 12:7; Gen. 3:16, 29).
As followers of Jesus, Christians are adopted into the family of God. We are God’s chosen possessions, His peculiar treasures. One of the most valuable blessings that God has given us is forgiveness and new life through faith in Jesus Christ. The material blessings that we enjoy are temporary, but the spiritual blessings available to us in Christ encompass time and eternity.
I’ve also talked with believers who use the phrase, “Good luck.” It pleased me to inform them that having a blood covenant with Christ ensures us of blessings. I don’t depend on luck because I know that I am blessed. There is a difference between “Luck” and being “Blessed.” Having luck happens by chance. People play the lottery, hoping to get lucky and win big. But, wishing someone good luck does not guarantee anything.
A Christian does not need luck because we have the promises of God. The Bible is filled with promises, and you can be sure that when God makes a promise, He keeps it. He actually watches over it until it comes to pass; (Jere. 1:12). God loves to bless His children, and He promised to bless us, whether the situation is good or bad; (Rom. 8:28).
What is favor? Favor is described as “Tangible evidence of God’s approval. Favor is God’s demonstrated delight.” God’s favor gives us good things that we do not deserve. With this definition in mind, let’s go back to my previous conversation regarding the Instagram writer who used the word “favor” in place of “grace.”
Isaiah 49:8 says that in the acceptable season, God found favor to save us. It was in the time of grace that God chose to save us. Yes, God indeed demonstrated delight, but it is clear that it is by God’s grace that we are saved because of God’s goodwill. As Paul advised Timothy, I advise you to search out the truth, study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God; (2nd Tim. 2:15).
Also, we must not confuse having the favor of God with being God’s favorite. God found favor with Mary, the beloved mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. He favored her greatly; therefore, she was chosen to give birth to our Savior; in doing so, Mary was going to suffer great sorrow; (Luke 1:28; 2:35).
I am not saying that God favors one person above another; God is no respecter of persons. Although, there are times when God chooses to use those whom He has gifted in a particular work. He does not limit His favor, nor does He rank us in order of importance. Every child of God who comes to Him through faith in Jesus Christ has the favor of God; (Ps. 5:12). Those who are favored by God know that He is with them and that nothing can happen to them apart from His permissive will.
What is grace? Throughout the Bible, grace is a constant theme. In Christianity, grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. Grace is God’s benevolence to the undeserving. As Christians, we benefit from God’s grace through our positions in Christ by faith. Instead of judgment, we receive grace, salvation, the forgiveness of sins, abundant life, and an eternity in Heaven; (John 10:10; Rev. 21-22).
Currently, we are living under the Dispensation of Grace. The only way we can enter into a relationship with God is by His grace. Now is the acceptable time to receive the free gift of salvation; (Eph. 2:5, 8-9) through the life-giving Holy Spirit who lives in all believers; (Rom. 8:9-11). We can now share in the inheritance of Christ and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God.
Just when we were dead in our trespasses and without any help or hope, God saw fit to send His only begotten Son to die for us. Salvation is a free gift, extended to all who chose to believe in the Holy Lamb’s sacrificial blood, Jesus Christ. Through His sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, and by the grace of God, you can be saved. If you haven’t confessed Jesus Christ as your Savior, Romans 10:9 tells you how to receive salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. Seek Him today!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all; (2nd Cor. 13:14). God Bless You.
*Please note: None of the photos used belong to Jeanie Shepard Ministries.