How do we define God’s grace? Why does every believer and every lost person need the grace of God?
A Definition of Grace
I have my own definition of grace; it is God’s unmerited, unwarranted favor. It is what we get that we do not deserve. That’s why it’s called grace. If it was earned or worked for then it wouldn’t be grace anymore since “if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace” Rom 11:6). If you received a birthday present, did you really earn it? Were you responsible for earning it? Could you have cause the reason for you to receive it? Of course not. A birthday gift is a gift that was never earned nor was it something that you worked for to gain. It was simply a gift. That is what grace is…it is given to those who did not earn it and really, don’t deserve it. That’s why it’s called grace. Here is an acronym for grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
The Bible on Grace
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
John 1:16-17 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Second 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 by his poverty might become rich.
Showing Grace to Others
Matthew 6:12 says we are to pray “forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors” which means that we should “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32). Even though Jesus was completely innocent, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (2 Pet 2:23). So we too should let our “speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Col 4:6) and so “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18).
Now that you know what grace is, the question is why do you need it? Have you ever received it? The reason that you need God’s grace is that everyone either has the wrath of God abiding on them or they have had that wrath placed on Christ on their behalf. Jesus said “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). Romans 14:10b-12 says “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Every knee means every knee and that includes believers who will also have to give an account but there is a huge difference. They bend the knee today, willingly. For the believer, they will be given rewards or lose rewards according to what they have done on earth for Christ. If it was done for their own glory then they have already received their reward, but if for Christ, then you will be given much responsibility. Most assuredly, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” and this includes both the saved and the lost (2 Cor 5:10). For those who are not born again, then they will have to pay for their own sins since they rejected the One Who died for them (Rev 20:11-15). That payment will take all eternity. Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
For many great readings about grace check out this blog: Darrell Creswell: A Study of Christian Grace
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.