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.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary h
God’s grace may be most difficult thing for our natural minds to really understand. We all understand the law. It’s pretty simple really it says “do this” and “don’t do that”. You don’t even need to be a Christian to understand the law and many ‘good, law abiding, unsaved people’ will tell you that. In fact they will often point to things that Christians do which are against the Mosaic Law and say I’m better than that. Everybody understands the law, but we can’t keep it. So when we say that we are saved by God’s grace through faith it takes more than the natural mind to understand it. We can’t understand, with our natural minds, why a righteous God would allow His Son, who was able to keep the entire law, to be punished in the place of those who can’t keep it.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Grace Is The Evidence of God’s Unconditional Love For Man
This is an excerpt from a devotional series I started when I decided to write this series on God’s grace. The devotions, “Grace? What’s That?” are from Time of Grace Ministry (http://www.timeofgrace.org/)
The Father wants you back
One of the aspects of God’s ways that people have trouble understanding and accepting is his unconditional love.
It’s because there is no parallel in human behavior. Our forgiveness toward each other is hesitant, grudging, fingers-crossed, partial, and often just part of a ploy to get something we want. Often it is not forgiveness at all, and we bring up old sins all over again to use for leverage with other sinners.
Guilt is a terrible slave master. It keeps us afraid, making excuses, bargaining frantically, and ultimately giving up in despair. But get this--God’s love for you is based not on your performance or accumulated merit. It is based on his decision to love you no matter what. Jesus told a splendid story of a father with an aching heart to illustrate the way God forgives: “But while he [the prodigal son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
This is the message of the gospel--that God loves sinners for Jesus’ sake and forgives them while still sinners, i.e., before they’ve been cleaned up. Let that unconditional love comfort your guilty heart. Let that unconditional love release worship from your heart and lips. Let that unconditional love fuel a new attitude and new life each day.
The Spiritual Gifts that believers have been given by the Holy Spirit are serving grace. In God’s Grace – Part One I wrote that the Greek word translated grace charis (pronounced cars) is the root of the word charisma which is the word Paul used for spiritual gifts.
Ephesians 4:7 (NKJV) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
1 Peter 4:10 (NKJV) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Grace given at special times of need, especially during adversity or suffering.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
God’s grace is manifested in a variety of ways. Grace seeks us and saves us; grace keeps us secure; grace enables us to serve and to endure the tests and trials of life. Grace will bring about our sanctification in this life and will ultimately bring us to glory. From beginning to end we are the object of divine grace.
Grace Takes Many Forms In The Bible
In my study of God’s grace I found that grace takes several forms.
The kindness or favor God gives to all mankind, believer or not.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Emphasis mine)
Acts 14:16-17 (NKJV)16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
God also grants grace in delaying judgement on mankind giving them a chance to accept His gift of eternal life.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The provision of salvation through Jesus
Romans 1:5 (HCSB) We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name,
Romans 3:24 (HCSB) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 5:2 (HCSB) We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:15-17 (HCSB)15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The favor of God by which the Christian's salvation is kept secure in spite of sin.
John 10:27-29 (NKJV)27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
I could go on and on but as I often write, you didn’t have anything to do with your salvation. You are saved by the grace of God by and through faith, so there is nothing you can do to “un-save” yourself. Salvation is obtained and maintained by grace alone.
Sanctifying grace works within the true believer causing them to grow and mature and progress becoming more Christ-like.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Do You Want This Grace?
Just because you are alive you have God’s “Common Grace”, but to receive His “Saving, “Securing”, “Sanctifying”, “Serving ”, and “Sustaining” Grace, there’s something that you must do. That thing is to accept the gift of this grace. By definition grace is 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 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
Romans 10:9-12 (NKJV) 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon 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
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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.