1:30 favour. The Greek word for “favor” is the word normally translated “grace,” and this is actually the first mention of grace in the New Testament. The first mention of grace in the Old Testament is Genesis 6:8, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” In both cases, a human believer was selected by God’s grace to bring, as it were, a new beginning into the world: Noah brought the post-Flood economy that would follow the judgment of the Flood on the worldwide sin of the world, and Mary brought forth the Savior, who through the judgment of the cross would carry away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Note also how these two first mentions of grace define the very word itself. Grace is not a reward that is earned from God, but a gift from God that is found. And it is found, not by working or searching but “through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Both Mary and Noah believed—and therefore obeyed—the word of God.
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