For it is by grace 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. – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
What comes to mind when I say the word grace? Most people only believe in God’s grace when it comes to redeeming them from their sins and saving them from Hell. However God’s grace is so much more than that.
Let’s start with a working definition of God’s grace, so that we can all be on the same page.
Some define God’s grace as unmerited favor. It is, but it is more than just favor. Others define it as God working through us to do what we cannot do through ourselves.
This is a better definition, but it is still not clear enough. An even better definition is that grace is God giving us the good things that we don’t deserve.
What is the difference between grace and mercy?
Grace, as we defined, is God giving us the good things that we don’t deserve. Mercy is God not giving us the bad things that we do deserve. These definitions will become very important to us as we learn more about what God’s grace entails and entitles us to.
Grace is the Person of Jesus Christ. He, the sinless, blameless One, who came to Earth, to die for our sins– past, present and future. He took the full wrath and punishment of God on Himself for every sin we would ever commit.
In the Old Testament, we find that in order to be forgiven of sins, the person had to bring a spotless, non-defective animal to the priest. The person’s sins would be transferred into the animal and the animal’s rightness would be transmitted into the person.
This had to be done over and over again. God had a better idea, though. He sent His sinless, blameless Son, to be our Sacrifice. Once and for all. Only Jesus could have done this for us because He is the only One.
At the Cross, He took our sins and gave us His righteousness. Now we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Now we are in right-standing with God. Now we are able to tap into His grace and mercy through the mere act of accepting Christ.
And His grace qualifies us for every blessing that God promised us in His Word. Not in Heaven. Here on this Earth.
Note: This is an excerpt from my e-book How To Overcome In Life.