The Power of “And”

aWord clouds are fascinating to me. For example, copy and paste some text into and you’ll be able to create a visual image of the most repeated words in the text. Someone did this with the bible, and found the word “Lord” is the most repeated word in the bible. I’ve since found a renewed interest in bible study through asking such questions. For example, what is the most repeated command in the bible? Many have done this research and found the most repeated command to be: do not be afraid! “Fear not” is the Lord’s repeated command throughout Scripture.

The conjunction word, “and”

Normally, conjunction words such as “and” are dismissed when counting words in the bible. But in a true count, the word “and” ranks number one as the most often used word in Scripture. A couple years ago I happened to read some articles that emphasized the importance of understanding conjunctions when studying the bible (words such as “and”, “but”, “yet”, “for”, etc.).

I’ve since learned to overcome my fear of the word “if” in the bible with the power of understanding the word “and”. I often fall in to the false dichotomy trap, where I end up thinking only in binary terms of “either/or” statements. But the word “and” comes to me like a small savior! Jesus was full of grace and truth. The word “and” resolved numerous false dichotomies for me, and released me from seeing myself and people around me with an either/or litmus test.

“Grace and…”

One demonstration of the power of the word “and” is to look and how often “and” is combined with “grace”. In the NIV84, the phrase “grace and” appears 15 times. Can we consider the grand teachings of the Holy Scriptures about supplication, truth, power, apostleship, peace, guarantee, righteousness and knowledge without grace?

grace and supplication
grace and truth
grace and power
grace and apostleship
grace and peace
grace and guarantee
grace and righteousness
grace and knowledge

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Acts 6:8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.

Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring–not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

Romans 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Revelation 1:4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,


  1. Thanks, Brain. What springs to mind is that all good things comes through my favorite word “grace.” Yet our fallen sinful default, even as Christians, is to think and even believe that things are done through power, force, ranking, ability, skills, experience, law, directives, commands, etc. Sure, these elements come into play, at least initially. But in the final analysis it is love, mercy, weakness, vulnerability and grace that ultimately wins the day.

  2. Yes, and I’ll go ahead and say it even though many may cringe: Love wins.

    Call me a universalist, accuse me of being an antinomian, claim that I preach a license for sin: I don’t care; I think I am in good company given that some rather important Chrsitian figures were killed for the same labels. I will suffer these accusations and labels but I will not recant the gospel of grace. Love all. Serve all.

  3. I hear you, Brian. Over the last few years, I have also been accused of being an antinomian, because of my emphasis on grace (Acts 20:24), even if my accusers do not know what an antinomian is.

    This is actually quite a compliment, since the apostle Paul was also accused of being an antinomian (Rom 6:1, 15) by his legalistic compatriots.