“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one should boast about it.” (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
Grace is one of the most important basic principles in the Bible. It is God’s unmerited favor toward those who clearly deserve His wrath.
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve (forgiveness and access to God) and not getting what you do deserve (eternal death). The gospel is all about God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
Christians live every day by the grace of God. We receive forgiveness according to the riches of God’s grace, and grace drives our sanctification. We stand before a Holy God in grace. The entire Christian life is driven by grace. Spiritual growth happens by grace:
“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 2:18) We live by the sufficiency of grace: “My grace is all you need, for my power is strongest when you are weak.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
People often confuse grace with mercy.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God that gives us access to God’s presence. Mercy is when we have sinned and deserve judgement, yet because of the blood of Jesus we don’t receive the punishment we should. Grace gives us favor to access the presence and power of God; mercy releases us from the judgement of God.
Grace is unmerited favor and that favor allows us to boldly stand before God.
“Let us boldly approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:16)
We are not saved by mercy, we are saved by grace. Without the grace and unmerited favor of God, we could never have access to the mercy of God.
God favored us while we were still sinners. This is an important fact. God first released His grace before He was able to extend to us His mercy. We didn’t deserve the favor of God, He offered it to us freely and unconditionally out of His eternal love for us.
With God’s grace and access to Him, we can now receive His mercy for all our sins. It is this access that comes to us undeserved and unearned. It is this access that has allowed us to be forgiven, cleansed and made justified forever in His eyes.
Additional References: 1 Peter 4:10, Romans 6:14, 1 Corinthians 15:10
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