“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17
Most of us have probably heard the word Grace many times in different scenarios, but do we have a proper understanding of what it means? I am not the expert here, but I am going to give a shot at defining it according to Scripture.
Samuel Storms has a great quote on this, “Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit….Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit….Grace is treating a person…solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.” Meaning that Grace is only grace when it is undeserved. Being that we have all fallen short in sin (Romans 3:23), we are all undeserving so as God loves us and makes a way for us through Christ, He is showing us Grace.
Regardless of whoever we are, we all need grace. Whether we are the most hard working Christian out there, or the worst sinner we know, everyone needs and receives the same grace from God. The reason is that on our worst day or on our “best” day, we all still fall short from sinning and can’t have a right relationship with God without the finished work of Jesus on the Cross.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
What is fantastic about this is that we can’t earn it or lose it. If you feel like God owes you an answer to your prayers because of your good works or anything similar to that, you are missing the point. I would argue that you are living by works, and forgetting your first love (Jesus). On the flip side, if you are sulking in guilt because you are a sinner, you too are forgetting your first love and forgetting about Grace. That amazing part is no matter where you are at, God gives you Grace through Jesus at all times. You just have to determine whether or not you are going to trust that and live in that through faith or continue to try to “do enough” good works…which you’ll never be able to do.
“You are all partakers with me of grace.” – Philippians 1:7
I personally don’t really walk around thinking of how good I am, but rather am aware of just how sinful I am. I know for a fact that I am the biggest sinner I know, but I have a choice to respond to sin in two ways. I can sulk in the guilt and think I am not good enough for God (which is denying what Jesus did on the Cross), OR I can confess and repent to God, preaching the Gospel to myself and be reminded that Jesus died for all my past, present, and future sins. That I am forgiven and under God’s Grace.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.