Bible Studies/Favor with God
In doing my research I cant help but notice that in the koine Greek words for both forgiveness and grace that "Favor" is always mentioned. Im not asking if God favors me above other people but rather if God "Favors" me in general as far as being "On my side" "Rooting for me" etc.
The answer to your question is: "Absolutely !".
The Greek word, as it is commonly used in the Bible, means: (not only Favor, but) "unmerited favor". The grace God has for man was shown in the Creation account in the first chapters of Genesis. There, God creates everything "good" and then gives it all to Adam and Eve (man). The only exception is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God didn't want each person to decide what they thought was good or evil because, as we see throughout man's history, when each person does what is "right in their own eyes" it is usually at the expense/harm of others.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone"did what was right in his own eyes".
1 Kings 14:7-10
Thus says the Lord God of Israel: "Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you; and yet you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and "who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes"; 9 but you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back —
But God's attitude towards people did not change. He saw that man was unable to see Him as He is and unable to trust in Him to love and provide for each person. So, even though Adam and Eve believed the lies of the devil and turned their backs on their loving creator, He set in motion a plan to bring us back to Him and know Him as He really is. He sent His only Son into the world to take away every sin man has (or will in the future) commit and Jesus took all the judgement for everyone's sin on Himself; giving us His righteousness to replace our sin nature so we could walk with God in joy instead of being afraid and hiding. All this is available to everyone who will trust (have faith in)Him.
The problem is that most people don't believe that God is "Gracious", that He is a perfectly loving and giving Being. Most reject that such a Being exists and are stuck in believing that God is in OUR IMAGE (acts and thinks as we do) and not that man was in His image before the "Fall".
When we come to know His unmerited favor, His being on our side, His working for what is best for us, even making our mistakes work for our good..then we can really enjoy being children of His and seeking His presence throughout our days.
One of the best passages from God's Word explaining His grace for each of us is the following. I used the Amplified Bible since it usually does a good job explaining what the original Greek text is saying. You may want to look these verses up in your own versions too.
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.
20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].
21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,
22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.
24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and GRATUITOUSLY BY HIS GRACE (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith.
28 For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.] AMP
Pete, this is the most important information that God give us: to know that He loves each one of us as an individual child of His. Jn 3:16ff tells us how much He loves us.