Grace is foundational to our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was full of grace and truth, and of course, both of these concepts are important. Grace without truth will lead to moral decline and truth without grace will lead to legalism. So what is Grace?
Grace is God doing things for us that we can’t do for ourselves.
How do we receive grace? We receive grace by faith so just ask and He will hear. Romans 5:1-2. However, we often only find God’s grace when we come to the end of trusting in ourselves and our own ability. It can be those trials in life that help us come to this point and this is one reason James 1:2-4 tells us to count it all joy when we meet various trials.
Grace for salvation
Firstly we learn that grace is a gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8) and it is offered to everyone.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
If you have trouble believing that you are forgiven, then learn that God’s grace is there for you, no matter what you have done. It’s a free gift of full forgiveness.
Legalism keeps lists of sins and things to do to earn forgiveness and salvation. In grace, there are no lists, so if you have lists, take them to the Lord. He is full of grace which He gives freely.
If you understand the depth of your sin which He has forgiven then you can also understand the depth of His grace and love toward you. The women in Luke 7:47 “loved much because she knew she had been “forgiven much”. So if you know that you are a sinner, then know also that the Grace of God reaches deeper to cleanse you of that sin and to make you righteous.
More than salvation
Grace goes beyond salvation. It carries with it a full sense of favour, gift joy, kindness coming from God to us in all areas of our life.
The nearest Old Testament word to Grace is the Hebrew word “Chesed” which is often translated as “steadfast love” or “loving kindness” or even faithfulness and it also carries with it a whole sense of well-being. (Exodus 34:6-7) Grace is embodied in “Chesed” The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament.
Grace for our needs
We can always approach God and He is always ready to give us grace for our needs. Often these needs may be a need for help to overcome or live with difficulties in life or a temptation to sin. God’s grace starts where our strength finishes.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Grace helps us live righteous lives
It is God’s grace that we need to rely on to help us to say no to sin and then when we do sin, it is God’s grace that forgives us so we can keep moving forward.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age…..
If you are struggling with temptation and sin then visit the page struggling with temptation.
Grace strengthens our hearts
9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace
Jesus taught how it is out of our hearts that sin often comes (Matthew 15:19) and so we need Him to change our hearts from within.
A strengthened heart will be a courageous heart just as the Apostle Peter’s was in Acts 2. If you are feeling down, don’t look elsewhere for your strength and needs to be met, rather look to God who gives graciously to all.
Spiritual gifts by Grace
God gives spiritual gift(s) to every one of us, enabling us to serve. (Romans 12:3–8) This is an act of grace:
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift….. and he gave gifts to men.”
Fullness of Grace to be revealed
We have much to look forward to when Jesus returns. Then we will have a much more complete view of the wonder of God’s grace toward us.
1 Peter 1:13b
13..set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- Seek to learn more about God’s grace. There is a depth to learn that cannot be conveyed in this short post
- Seek ways to express grace to others. The apostle Paul calls us to express grace by giving to others but there are many ways
2 Corinthians 8:7
7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.