God’s Grace in Peter’s Theology -- By: Frederic R. Howe

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 157:628 (Oct 2000)
Article: God’s Grace in Peter’s Theology
Author: Frederic R. Howe


God’s Grace in Peter’s Theologya

Frederic R. Howe b

The impact of Jesus’ life and ministry on Peter was significant. John included Peter in the circle of those referred to as believers (John 1:12) and firsthand recipients of God’s grace (1:16). In their close association with Christ in His incarnate ministry, Peter and the other disciples saw firsthand the grace of God in the Lord’s entire life, including His teaching and healing ministry and His compassion on the multitudes. One cannot help but notice a link between John 1:16, “of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace,” and 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” Thus what Peter and the others saw in Christ was indeed the grace of God.

Also Jesus’ teaching ministry emphasized grace. Luke 4:22 states, “And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.” The phrase “gracious words” (τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος) can be translated “words of grace.” In fact the American Standard Version translates the phrase “at the words of grace,” and the New English Bible has “words of such grace.” The meaning here is far more than a Lucan comment on the way Jesus delivered His teaching, or the manner of His teaching. Rather, it refers to the content of His teaching. As McDonald puts it:

Luke uses the phrase “the word of his grace” (Acts 14:3), as equivalent to the gospel (cf. 20:25). Something of this objective sense is to be read in the use of charis in Luke 4:22. This is strengthened by an examination of the context. The context is a quotation from Isaiah 61:2, and our Lord asserts its fulfillment in His coming. The allusion is made more gracious still by His omission of any reference to the divine vengeance which the original passage contained (cf. Isa 61:2;

Luke 4:22). Luke intends to convey that the people did not simply marvel at the charming way Jesus spoke, or at its fascinating effects. Jesus was indicating that His pres...

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