Ephesians 2:8-9 (HCSB)8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
Grace is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world. It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and embodied in Jesus Christ himself.
a. unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b. a virtue coming from God
c. a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
When we read grace in the New Testament it means that God chose to love unlovable mankind just because. In fact He chose to love us when we were still sinners and unworthy of His love. Grace means that God’s love for you is unlimited and unconditional.
Romans 9:15-16 (HCSB) 15 For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.
Romans 5:6-8 (HCSB) 6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
His Grace, Not My Virtue
We all like to be in control of our relationships. That includes, if we are really honest, our relationship with God. We don’t really want to feel any sense of obligation; we don’t want to feel powerless or needy; we hate to beg; and we want to collect on all the promises of God so we can relax, and then count on God whenever we need Him.
We think that we can get to that place and have that sense of security by doing all the religious things, giving our tithes and offerings, and obeying the rules. These things are great but, they are useless in solving the biggest problem--and that is that our sinful hearts make us unfit for a relationship with a holy God. All the good we do can’t erase even one of our bad deeds.
Romans 3:23 (HCSB) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
1 John 1:10 (HCSB) If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
So what’s the answer? What was God’s solution? Grace!!
From the beginning, even before mankind’s fall into sin, the God the Father lovingly designed the rescue he knew that only his Son could carry out. God’s grace was personified through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth as a man.
Romans 3:24 (HCSB) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
So, where does peace with God come from?
Don’t look at your works. Look at Christ’s work on the cross. There on the cross God punished every sin by punishing his Son. There God forgave every sin by punishing his Son. Your salvation and redemption was earned through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
I’ll end with these excerpts from “A Few Words About Grace” by William R. Newell
The Place of Man under Grace:
1. He has been accepted in Christ, who is his standing!
2. He is not "on probation."
3. As to his life past, it does not exist before God: he died at the Cross, and Christ is his life.
4. Grace, once bestowed, is not withdrawn: for God knew all the human exigencies (needs) beforehand: His action was independent of them, not dependent upon them.
5. The failure of devotion does not cause the withdrawal of bestowed grace.
The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace:
1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
2. To refuse to make "resolutions" and "vows"; for that, is to trust in the flesh.
3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
4. To testify of God's goodness, at all times.
5. To be certain of God's future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
6. To rely on God's chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
7. A man under grace has no burden regarding himself; but many about others.
Things Which Gracious Souls Discover:
1. To "hope to be better" is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.
2. To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
3. To be discouraged is unbelief, -- as to God's purpose and plan of blessing for you.
4. To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.
6. Real devotion to God arises, not from man's will to show it; but from the discovery that blessing has been received from God while we were yet unworthy and undevoted.
7. To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to reverse God's order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man's blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so, -- in proper measure.
Do You Want This Grace?
This grace that I have written about in this post is available to everybody. By definition it’s unmerited so you can’t work to earn it. It’s a gift from God and it can only come through Jesus.
John 6:29 (NLT) Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
Romans 10:9-12 (NLT) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
If you want to receive God’s grace all the benefits that God has promised to His children then pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.