True News 4 U — Bible Teachings — 03/14/2020
The Biblical Definition of “Grace”
(The True Meaning)
All Scriptures referenced throughout this teaching will be from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. All italicized dark gray words which were added by the translator of the KJV were done so to help the text read more smoothly. The word “Torah” is translated as “Law” in most Bibles. The word “Torah/Law” really means “YHWH’s Teachings and Instructions.” When we look at the Scriptures in this light, it should take on a whole new meaning when we come to the word “Law” in our Bibles.
Most people who sit down to read and/or study the Scriptures do not realize that the Bible is its own dictionary on different terms/words. There is great depth to the Written Word of Almighty YHWH IF we take the time to search these things out. One MUST want His Truths from His Absolute Written Set-Apart (Holy) Word to be able to understand His Divine Message He has given us. I encourage everyone to spend prayerful time every day reading and studying His Written Word. For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Let Him speak to you from His Written Word. His Written Word is Absolute. He changes not (Malachi 3:6).
In this teaching, we are going to do a study on the true Biblical and Scriptural meaning of “Grace.” We come across this word repeatedly in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Brit Chadashah (New Testament). This is one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly taught words in all of Christianity. It is being touted as the antithesis (direct opposite) to YHWH’s Torah/Law. If Christianity by and large is incorrectly teaching a different “grace” than what the Scriptures teach us, we must ask ourselves how do we reconcile the words of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) who prayed that we would be sanctified in the truth?
Yeshua (Jesus) said: “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.” (John 17:17, emphasis added.)
Now we will look at the word “truth” to reveal how it is used.
“43 And take not the Word of Truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Thy judgments. 44 So shall I Keep (Do/Obey) Thy Law (Torah-YHWH’s Teachings and Instructions) continually for ever and ever.” (Psalm 119:43-44, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Thy Righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy Law (Torah) is the Truth.” (Psalm 119:142, emphasis, and comment added.)
“Thou art near, O LORD (YHWH); and All Thy Commandments are Truth.” (Psalm 119:151, emphasis, and comment added.)
“Thy Word is True from the beginning: and every one of Thy Righteous Judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:160, emphasis added.)
“I will worship toward Thy Holy Temple, and praise Thy Name for Thy Lovingkindness and for Thy Truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.” (Psalm 138:2, emphasis added.)
“The Law (Torah) of Truth was in His (Yeshua/Jesus) mouth, and iniquity (Torahlessness/Lawlessness) was not found in His lips: He walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.” (Malachi 2:6, emphasis, and comments added.)
“And You (Yeshua/Jesus) came down on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them (the Israelites) from the heavens, and gave them straight right-rulings and Torah of Truth, good Laws and Commands.”(Nehemiah 9:13, emphasis added. In the above “Torah of Truths,” traditionally it is rendered as “laws of truth,” which we also read in Malachi 2:6. It is rendered in Romans 2:20 as the Truth in the Law.)
“3 And keep the charge of the LORD (YHWH) thy God (Elohim/Mighty One), to walk (keep/do/obey) in His Ways, to keep His Statutes, and His Commandments, and His Judgments, and His Testimonies, as it is written in the Law (Torah) of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4 That the LORD (YHWH) may continue His Word which He Spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk (keep/do/obey) before Me (YHWH) in Truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 2:3-4, emphasis, and comments added.)
We see from the above Scriptures that YHWH’s Truth is His Torah/Law. Thus, when we look at Yeshua’s prayer in John Chapter 17, it becomes very clear:
Yeshua said: “Sanctify (make Holy) them through (keeping/doing) Thy truth. Thy Word is Truth (Torah/Law).” (John 17:17, emphasis, and comments added.)
If the Father answered Yeshua’s request, then it means that we who choose to receive Yeshua as our Messiah will also receive the Torah/Law which in turn sanctifies (makes Holy) us and sets us apart in the world. And what is the “Torah/Law?” It is the written “Set-Apart (Holy) Written Word.” And what is the “Word?” It is “Truth.” And what is “Truth?” It is the “Torah/Law!” With this understanding the teachings of Yeshua/Jesus come alive:
“37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a King then? Jesus (Yeshua) answered, Thou sayest that I am a King. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth (Torah/Law). Every one that is of the Truth (Torah/Law) heareth My Voice. 38 Pilate saith unto Him (Yeshua), What is Truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in Him no fault at all.” (John 18:37-38, emphasis, and comments added.)
“31 Then said Jesus (Yeshua) to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32, emphasis, and comment added.)
Did you notice how Yeshua defined the word “free” in John 8:32 when He said “and the Truth (Torah/Law) shall make you free?” Since we know the Torah/Law is Truth, then we also know that the Torah/Law observance (keeping/doing/obeying) is True Freedom; anything else is bondage. This is the opposite of what is being taught in Christianity. This explains Paul’s terminology in Galatians 5:1 which is a teaching on John 8:31-32 and Psalm 119:32 and 45.
We must ask ourselves, is “grace” the antithesis (direct opposite) of the “Torah/Law?” If so, then the above passages are falsehoods. Rather, “grace” is synonymous (identical) with the “Torah/Law” which is YHWH’s Torah/Law which is YHWH’s Grace. As we look at the word “grace” based on Strong’s numbering system, it has two biblical expressions in Hebrew, and two in Greek as shown in the table below:
Now we will take a closer look at Chen, Chesed, Charis and Eleos.
First we will look at the word “Chen.” “Chen” carries with it meanings of, charm, beauty, loveliness, favor, and preciousness. In the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament), this appears 70 times. However, out of the 70 times in Hebrew that “Chen” appears, it is translated with the English word “grace” 39 times in the King James Version, 9 times in the NASB, 8 times in the NIV, 7 times in the RSV, and 12 times in the 1901 ASV. Now compare this to “Chen’s” Greek equivalent which is the word “Charis.” From “Charis,” we get the English word Charismatic. “Charis” also carries a similar meaning of charm, beauty, loveliness, favor, and preciousness. Regardless, look at the number of times “Chen” in Hebrew and “Charis” in Greek, are each translated to the English word “grace” in the Old Testament and the New Testament:
We can see from the table above how infrequent the word “grace” is used in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. Based on the above table, one can come to an easy conclusion that there is very little “grace” in the “Old Testament” and much more “grace” in the “New Testament.” Do you see a problem with this? I do. The meaning of the Hebrew “Chen” or the Greek “Charis” and its English rendering of “grace” is being understood in the wrong way! Remember now, “Chen” and “Charis” both mean charm, beauty, loveliness, favor, and preciousness, but not “grace” in the sense of being liberated through undeserved kindness or mercy. Now let’s look at some Scriptures to put this in its proper Hebraic perspective.
“But Noah found grace (Chen or preciousness) in the eyes of the LORD (YHWH).” (Genesis 6:8, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Favour (Chen or loveliness) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD (YHWH), she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, emphasis, and comments added.)
“And Jesus (Yeshua) increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour (Charis or preciousness) with God and man.” (Luke 2:52, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Praising God, and having favour (Charis or loveliness) with all the people. And the Lord added to the church (assembly) daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47, emphasis, and comments added.)
One who has received “Chen” or “Charis” from YHWH is also shown favor in the sense of YHWH saying to you, “You are precious and beautiful in My sight,” and it is in this sense that you receive His esteem (respect). But now, what we want to talk about is unmerited or undeserved favor in the sense of mercy and kindness when you do not deserve it. This is the true and accurate definition of “grace” but it should not be explained with the Hebrew “Chen” or the Greek “Charis.”
Now we will take a look at two more words. The Hebrew word “Chesed” and the Greek word “Eleos.”
The Hebrew word “Chesed” means undeserved or unmerited favor in the sense of “grace,” kindness, pity, and mercy according to Strong’s definition. The Hebrew “Chesed” appears in the Old Testament 251 times. This is roughly about five times as much as in the New Testament! “Chesed’s” equivalent in the Greek is the word “Eleos.” The Hebrew “Chesed” like the Greek “Eleos” carries similar meanings of unmerited favor, grace, kindness, pity, and mercy.
Because the Greek word “Eleos” is used so few times in the New Testament compared to “Chesed” in the Old Testament, we are given the understanding that there is a huge amount of “grace” in the “Old Testament” and very little “grace” in the “New Testament.” This is because we are using the proper definition for “grace” according to Hebrew and Greek.
Now, let’s compare the following table which will reveal the numeric use of the English word “grace,” representing Hebrew “Chen” and Greek “Charis” – words having the meaning of charm, beauty, favor, and preciousness:
The correct definition of “grace” in the Old Testament is being used incorrectly in the New Testament, again, giving us the impression that there is little “grace” in the “Old Testament” and a lot of “grace” in the “New Testament.” In truth, however, there is exceedingly more “grace” in the “Old Testament” than in the “New Testament.” Conversely, there is more “favor” and “preciousness” in the “New Testament” than in the “Old Testament.” We should ask ourselves WHY? Because Messiah Yeshua came and brought with Him the charm, beauty, favor, and preciousness of YHWH’s undeserved favor, mercy, and kindness.
For example, if you were going to be executed for a capital crime but someone with authority said, “I want to show you my charm, beauty, loveliness, favor, and preciousness,” would you think they were going to free you from your punishment? Maybe. But what if someone with authority definitely said, “I want to show you my unmerited favor, kindness, and mercy,” would you think they were going to free you from your punishment? I would think so. You can love someone yet not release them from punishment. This difference in word meanings explains what is happening with “Chen” in the Hebrew and “Charis” in the Greek. Both words are supposed to give the sense of love, and preciousness, not unmerited or undeserved favor through mercy.
To further help us, here are the words of David Bivin , Jerusalem Greek and Hebrew scholar:
What Christians think of when they read the word “grace” is something close to the sense that chesed carries, that is, God’s unmerited favor. What they usually do not have in mind when they read the English word “grace” in the Bible is its ordinary sense of “charm, beauty” … English versions of Scripture continued to render charis woodenly as “grace.” Therefore, the reader of the New Testament encounters a great deal of grace, and because the context usually dictates the sense of “mercy,” the Christian reader has come to see “grace” primarily in the sense of “mercy” rather than in its ordinary English sense of “charm, loveliness.” (Emphasis added.)
 Hebrew Perspective column in Dispatch From Jerusalem, published by Bridges For Peace, September-October, 1996.
Now let’s look at some passages which will correctly express unmerited favor or mercy using Hebrew and Greek:
“Surely goodness and mercy (Chesed or unmerited favor) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD (YHWH) for ever.” (Psalm 23:6, emphasis, and comments added.)
“18 And he (Moses) said, I beseech Thee, shew me Thy Glory. 19 And He (YHWH) said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the Name of the LORD (YHWH) before thee; and will be gracious (Chesed or show unmerited favor) to whom I will be gracious (Chesed or show unmerited favor), and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:18-19, emphasis, and comments added.)
“But let him that glorieth (boasts) glory (boast) in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD (YHWH) which exercise lovingkindness (Chesed or unmerited favor and mercy), judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (YHWH).” (Jeremiah 9:24, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Blessed are the merciful (linked to Eleos or undeserved favor): for they shall obtain mercy (Eleos or undeserved favor and grace).” (Matthew 5:7, emphasis, and comments added.)
Yeshua speaking about a Samaritan: “36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And He (Yeshua/Jesus) said, He that shewed mercy (Eleos or unmerited favor or grace) on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise (the same).” (Luke 10:36-37, emphasis, and comments added.)
“30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy (Eleos or unmerited favor) through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed (disobedient), that through your mercy (Eleos or unmerited favor) they also may obtain mercy.” (Romans 11:30-31, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Chesed” or “Eleos” is best expressed as the love and depth of compassion a mother has for a child of her womb:
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isaiah 49:15, emphasis added.)
In Hebrew it is said “HaRachaman,” the Compassionate One, which is linked to racham-Strong’s #H7355/H7356 and rechem-Strong’s #H7359. Oftentimes in the Old Testament, you will see “Racham” (compassion) and “Chesed” (mercy or undeserved favor) together:
“The LORD (YHWH) is gracious, and full of compassion (rachum-Strong’s #H7349); slow to anger, and of great mercy (chesed-Strong’s #H2617).” (Psalm 145:8, emphasis, and comments added.)
“But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion (rachum-Strong’s #H7349), and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy (chesed-Strong’s #H2617) and truth.” (Psalm 86:15, emphasis, and comments added.)
In every place of the New Testament where the English word “grace” appears (translated by Charis) it should be correctly understood as favor or preciousness according to “Chen’s” definition. Likewise, where we see the word “mercy” appear (translated by Eleos), it should be correctly understood as unmerited favor according to “Chesed’s” definition. In other words, “grace” in the “New Testament” is wrongly doing the work of “Chesed” or “undeserved favor.” Rather, it should be doing the work of “Chen” or “preciousness.” Look at the following table:
Now we will look at Torah/Law as Grace and Grace as Torah/Law.
Whether “Chesed” in Hebrew or “Eleos” in Greek, the meaning is unmerited or undeserved favor, mercy, and even lovingkindness. Now, watch how this meaning is connected to the Torah/Law, YHWH’s Torah/Law:
“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy (chesed or grace) toward them that fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11, emphasis, and comment added.)
“Let them now that fear the LORD (YHWH) say, that His mercy (chesed or grace) endureth for ever.” (Psalm 118:4, emphasis, comments added.)
“By mercy (chesed or grace) and truth iniquity (Torahlessness/Lawlessness) is purged: and by the fear of the LORD (YHWH) men depart from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6, emphasis, and comments added.)
YHWH shows us that “Chesed” (undeserved favor, mercy, lovingkindness) is connected to those who fear Him. So, naturally we should want to know what it means to fear YHWH. The answer is easily found in the “words” of YHWH:
“And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD (YHWH) his God, to keep all the words of this Law (Torah) and these statutes, to do them:” (Deuteronomy 17:19, emphasis, and comments added.)
“Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD (YHWH) your God, and observe (keep/do/obey) to do all the words of this Law (Torah):” (Deuteronomy 31:12, emphasis, and comments added.)
In the Old Testament, to fear YHWH is to keep His Commandments, and His Commandments are “Chesed,” or “grace” and “mercy” to us. Put another way, those who receive His “Chesed,” or “grace” and “mercy,” are those who accept YHWH’s Commandments and fear Him. To those who receive YHWH’s “Chesed,” these also receive His “Chen” which is favor, and preciousness. This concept explains what is written in John 1:17-18:
“17 For the Law (Torah) was given by Moses, but grace (Chen—loveliness, favor, preciousness) and Truth (Law) came by Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah). 18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He (Yeshua) hath declared Him (YHWH).” (Emphasis and comments added.)
The way most understand this passage is, “The Torah/Law was given through Moses but now we have grace and truth through Yeshua.” However, this is incorrect with our improper understanding of “grace” in the Hebrew and Greek. But, once we correctly translate “grace” as the precious and lovely words of the Torah/Law, it all falls into place! Now, we have John 1:17-18 saying something like this:
The Torah/Law was given through Moses and the Torah’s/Law’s beauty (Chen) – loveliness, charm [grace], and truth was realized through the Messiah!
This makes sense in light of the whole counsel of YHWH’s Word!
Now we are going to look at Getting Grace.
Yeshua who was the beauty, loveliness, charm, preciousness, and truth of Torah/Law, came to turn all of us back to YHWH as Peter said in 1 Peter 1:20-21:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (Emphasis added.)
Whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, “mercy” (undeserved kindness) and “grace” (the preciousness and favor of YHWH) is shown to us, so that we will return to YHWH and His divine instructions. In Hebrew, it is called tshuvah, or repentance; and repentance is always linked to returning to the Torah/Laws of YHWH:
“For if ye turn again unto the LORD (YHWH), your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD (YHWH) your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him.” (2 Chronicles 30:9, emphasis, and comments added.)
When we go back to YHWH, we always go back to the Torah/Law. So, it’s YHWH’s “Chesed” or undeserved favor, mercy, and lovingkindness that always leads us back to the Torah/Law which in turn directs us to fear Him which in turn leads us to listen to Yeshua who represents YHWH’s “Chen” (favor and loveliness) and “Chesed” (mercy and kindness), both which work in partnership with the Torah/Law.
I hope this study will make clear the “true” meaning of “Grace” as clearly defined by Scripture. Scripture is its own best dictionary for the words we read.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Credit for this teaching goes to Avi Ben Mordechai. This in large came from his out of print book “Messiah Volume 1 — Understanding His Life and Teaching In Hebraic Context.”