Growing up in America we are told, “There’s no free lunch” and “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” We are taught that education and hard work will bring about success in life. This mentality makes the concept of “grace” difficult for us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us even while we were dead in our sins. We didn’t do anything to deserve it, and there’s nothing we can do to earn it. Even though we responsively say, “We’re saved by grace;” we often don’t grasp the concept of grace. If people on the street were asked, “What do you have to do to go to heaven?” most would say things like, “be a good person,” and “do good things for others.” Even many Christians would respond in the same way, when, in fact, there is nothing anyone can do; God’s grace makes heaven accessible to all who receive Jesus Christ. Only in Christianity is the work of salvation already “Done.” Jesus finished it when he died on the cross and rose from the dead. All other religions have a “Do” philosophy. Obey the rules, perform the rituals, and abide by the regulations and “maybe” you’ll be good enough to attain the ultimate reward in the afterlife. There is never assurance that your eternity is secure. In Christ, by grace eternity is secure!
Scriptures – Ps 145:8; Is 30:18; Jn 1:17, 3:17; Ro 3:24, 4:16, 5:15, 6:23, 8:1, 10:13; Ga 2:21; Ep 2:8-9
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps 145:8) But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. (Ro 3:24) For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ep 2:8-9) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Ro 8:1)
What is grace? G – Grace is a Gift from God. Grace can’t be earned. It is a gift freely given. R – Grace is Received by faith when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. At that point, all sin, past, present and future, is covered by his blood. God’s grace is greater than all of our sins. Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but it is. A – Grace is Available to everyone. God doesn’t respect one person over another. There’s no special nationality, age group, financial status, or character reference needed. Everyone really means everyone. No sin is too great; no life is too messy for God’s grace. C – Grace comes through Christ. Christians in the Bible are referred to as “in Christ.” When you receive Christ, you are “in Christ” and there is no condemnation.(Ro 8:1) E – Grace is Experienced from the moment of our salvation through all eternity. Unfortunately, many Christians haven’t really comprehended it. Many live in fear of judgment, concerned they aren’t good enough. Others work, work, work in hopes of proving their righteousness by doing righteous deeds. Stop all the fretting and frenzy. We should all do good deeds because we can, because we love God’s children, but not to earn a place in heaven. If you are living in fear that your salvation isn’t real, you are being robbed. Satan is the accuser; he doesn’t want you to rest in your salvation. Grace brings your spirit into a place of rest and confidence. Get a hold on grace.
Do you have confidence that if you died this minute you’d go to heaven? Why? or Why not? Why is it easier to understand God’s forgiveness for past sins than for present and future sins? Does grace grant permission to sin? Is it hard to believe than absolutely everyone can receive God’s grace if they choose to do so? What’s the difference between mercy and grace? Can you show mercy without having grace? Why do we have such a hard time understanding a gift with no strings attached? Do you see salvation as a gift with no strings attached? Why? or Why not?
If you aren’t living in confidence about your salvation, talk to someone who has more experience and wisdom; ask them to pray with you and help you grasp grace. You won’t believe the difference it makes.
Dear God, thank you for the freedom you give through grace. Help me to extend your grace to those around me and allow my life to touch others for you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.