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This fascinating phrase, “the word of his grace”, appears twice in the book of Acts and nowhere else. I came across it again recently.

Here are the two occurrences: “Therefore they stayed there

[at Iconium] a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3 NKJV). “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Verse 24 speaks of “the gospel of the grace of God” which gives the key to what is “the word of his grace.” It goes beyond being simply “a gracious word” and tells us that the good news about Christ is all about the grace, favor, gift of God.

In the first usage, Paul and Barnabas had been shown the door in Antioch, so they moved on to Iconium, where the Lord “was bearing witness to the word of his grace” and the witness was in “signs and wonders to be done by their [the apostle’s] hands.” This verse is an inconvenience to churches who preach grace but deny signs and wonders. Where grace is taught, God backs it up and good things occur in people’s lives. The results were called signs to show that God wanted everyone to know He approved of what was being taught, and wonders because the healings and deliverances were outside of the normal human experience.

The second usage in Acts 20:32 is powerful, as it shows that grace, when believed, has power “to build up” the believer. To build up here means to establish, to make firm, to confirm to the believer. We can never hear too much teaching on grace. Those who have seen the greatness of His favor and enjoy the benefits delight to hear the teaching time and time again. Grace also emphasizes and solidifies in our minds the inheritance that belongs to all who are set apart unto God. “And give the enjoyment of an allotment among all who have been hallowed” (Concordant).

“The word of his grace” is “the gospel of the grace of God” and I am thankful for the health and strength to share it around the world for His glory.