God and His Grace
March 18th 2017
God’s grace (Gr: charis (χάρις), Stong’s G5485) is His active favor, bestowing His greatest gift upon those who deserve His greatest punishment.
Grace is the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
Biblically, grace is unmerited favor. It is God's free action for the benefit of His people. It is different from justice and mercy.
- Justice is getting what we deserve.
- Mercy is not getting what we deserve.
- Grace is getting what we do not deserve.
In grace we get eternal life, something that we do not deserve. But because of God's love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption.
Grace rules out all human merit –
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. [Rom 11:6]
It is the product of God that is given by God because of who He is and not because of who we are. It is the means of our salvation -
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. [Eph 2:8-9]
We are no longer under the Law but under grace –
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. [Rom 6:14]
(See also: 1 Cor 15:10, Rom 5:2,15-21, 2 Cor 12:9, 2 Cor 9:8)
The Bible repeatedly calls grace a “gift”. This is an important analogy because it teaches us certain truths about grace.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. [Eph 4:7]
First, anyone who has ever received a gift understands that a gift is much different from a loan. A loan requires repayment or the returning of the item by the one who receives the gift. The fact that grace is a gift means that nothing is owed in return.
Second, there is no cost to the person who receives the gift. A gift is free to the recipient, although it is not free to the giver, who bears the expense. The gift of salvation costs the sinner nothing. But the price of such an extravagant gift came at a great cost for our Lord Jesus Christ, who died a tortuous death in our place.
Third, once a gift has been given, ownership of the gift has transferred and it is now ours to keep. When a gift changes hands, the giver permanently relinquishes all rights to renege or take back the gift in the future. Because of that, we say that God’s grace is ours forever.
Fourth, in the giving of a gift, the giver voluntarily forfeits something he owns; He willingly loses something that belongs to him so that the recipient will profit from it. The giver becomes poorer so that the recipient becomes richer. This generous and voluntary exchange from the giver to the recipient can be seen in 2 Corinthians 8:9:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
Fifth and finally, the Bible teaches that grace is completely unmerited. The gift and the act of giving have nothing at all to do with the sinner’s merit or innate quality (Rom 4:4, 11:5-6; 2 Tim 1:9-10). In fact, the Bible states quite clearly that we don’t deserve God’s salvation. Romans 5:8-10 tells us:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
As Christians, we must STAND IN GOD'S GRACE! Let us rejoice in the understanding of why it is that "grace appeared":
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. [Tit 2:11-14]