BY GRACE ALONE (I)
Grace is undeserved favor -the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.
The word grace is derived from a Greek word “charis”
Mankind, as recorded in the Bible, is born in a state of sin because of the original sin of Adam and Eve. We are therefore not just sinners because we sin but instead, we sin because we are sinners by nature. While we may have freedom to choose our course of conduct, we still lack the freedom to fully avoid sin. Sin is inherent in each choice we make. It is only God’s choice to extend His grace to us that salvation is possible.
Romans 5:18-19 Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation of all men, so one man’s (Jesus) act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Grace cannot be earned in any way. Instead, God freely accepts people. He is not obliged to save anyone and neither can a man take himself as good enough to earn his way to Heaven on his own initiative. It is only by the redemption brought about by Christ’s sacrifice that one is saved.
Have you ever asked yourself what would have happened if God was only just and not merciful? Then probably everyone would have gone to Hell because Hell is what we all deserve. Even our best ever intentions are somehow tainted by our sinful nature and are therefore unworthy before God.
None of us can claim entitlement to God’s grace. It is only by God’s generosity that salvation is possible. (1 Timothy 1:8-9) It is only y God’s own initiative that He chose to make a path of salvation to men, irrespective of our actions, earned worth or even our goodness. (Titus 3:3-7)
Titus 3:3-7 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Grace is an attitude of God towards men, in which he provides a benefit to us all without consideration of merit. We receive it by just having faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:5-6; 1:17) Despite Paul being the worst of sinners, God still shows him His grace and even chooses to use him in spreading the Gospel. (1 Timothy 1:13-16). God still makes a plan for our salvation by giving Jesus Christ to die for us despite we humans being sinners. He made him who knew no sin to be sin so that we may get salvation. (Rom 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
The wages of sin are death as stated in Romans 6:23 but God chose not to give us that which we deserved but instead gave us a gift in His son Jesus Christ. The story of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15) and that of workers in a vineyard (Matthew 20) best illustrate grace-God not giving us the punishment we deserved.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Now that we didn’t work to earn Grace, can we boast of salvation? The answer is obviously NO. We also cannot take any praise for our salvation for all the praise belongs to God. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Rom 3:24-28)
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast
MORE ON GRACE COMING