God’s Grace

It is impossible to save ourselves.  Without God’s grace, none of us are saved.  Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”  You should worship and love Him for His amazing grace!  But perhaps you think that God’s grace only means his mercy towards you and the salvation He gives.  Grace has been described as the unmerited favor of God.  It is His friendly disposition, loving-kindness and goodwill towards us.  God’s grace certainly includes His mercy towards us, but it includes so much more.

God demonstrates his grace to us in multiple ways.  1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  Here, it is described as the “manifold grace of God” meaning that God’s grace is demonstrated in many ways.  In this case, I understand that God has given to each of us different gifts or abilities to serve one another.  These gifts are given by the manifold grace of God.

Look at how God’s grace is described beyond His mercy.  1 Corinthians 1:4-7 “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We are enriched in everything through God’s grace.  God, through His grace, not only gives us mercy but also helps us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  God’s grace makes us sufficient in all things and gives us everything we need to accomplish every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 

His grace is not just for the here and now.  Ephesians 2:6-7 “And (God) raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” In the future, in the ages to come, we will experience the exceeding riches of His grace.  I don’t know what all that will be, but I surely would like to find out.

You should want the grace of the God of the universe; in other words, you should want His loving-kindness and goodwill toward you.  How do you receive His grace?  You receive His grace when you humble yourself and submit to His will.  1 Peter 5:5b-7 “’God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” He gives His grace to us if we are humble and cast our care upon Him.  You certainly don’t want to fall short of the grace of God.  Hebrews 12:14-15 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”  Instead, Peter tells us to grow in His grace.  2 Peter 3:17-18 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”  Peter doesn’t tell us how to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  But we have the example of the first Christians after the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” I suggest that if we do as the early Christians did, we also will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

What should your response be to God’s grace?  Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” The grace of God that brings us salvation teaches us.  It teaches us to deny ourselves ungodliness and worldly lusts and instead live soberly, righteously, and godly, being zealous for good works.  That should be our natural response to the wonderful grace we have received from God.

Have you ever noticed how often the Apostle Paul in his writings gives a blessing of grace?  In virtually every one of his letters from Romans to Philemon he blesses his audience with God’s grace in both the opening and closing salutation.  For instance, see what he writes in Romans 1:7 “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  I think that is an excellent example for us; we can bless each other with God’s grace.  What greater blessing can there be than the blessing of the grace and peace from our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ?

I encourage you to thank and praise God for His wonderful grace toward you.  May God’s grace and peace be with you.

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