You may have heard several definitions for grace over the years. However, the one that sticks in my mind the most is:
The unmerited favor of God. Simply put, it means that God bestowed upon us His favor, when we didn’t deserve it at all.
Now to many believers, when they hear the word “grace,” all they know about is the saving grace of God. In fact, they immediately think of the words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV.
Now this is a powerful passage of Scripture! It helps us clearly understand that we are not saved based on anything we have done, for it is impossible for us to earn our salvation. If we could be saved by good works, then Christ would not have had to die for our sins. Since man was completely unable to save himself, Christ died on the cross so that God could graciously offer us eternal life through faith in Him. Grace is God freely giving to us what we don’t deserve. As you know, because of sin we deserved the punishment of Hell, but by grace we received the forgiveness of our sins instead. That is the unmerited favor of God!
Now to many that is all they understand about grace. However, let me share with you that EVERYTHING you receive from God is given to you by grace. It is His abundant favor freely given to you! In fact, you don’t deserve anything you receive from God. You cannot earn it, all you can do is receive it by faith. Simply put, everything you receive from God is by grace through faith – absolutely everything! Even your faith is a gift of grace.
Please understand that everything you have in Christ has been given to you by grace alone. You did not earn it and you don’t deserve it. You have it because it was freely given to you. If you fully understand this, then you will stop trying to earn anything you desire from God, and just learn to receive everything by faith. Jesus has paid for it all!
Now you may be able to understand the words of the Apostle Paul, when he wrote:
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?” Romans 8:32 NKJV (emphasis mine).
Now if you know that no good works could ever save you, and no works of righteousness could ever make you righteous, why would you ever believe that works of holiness could ever make you holy? You were saved by grace, you were made righteous by grace, and in the same way you were made holy by grace and grace alone. In other words, the reason you live a holy life is because you are holy, not to make yourself holy.
By now you should understand that we do not use the grace of God to continue in sin, but to keep free from sin. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2 NKJV.
No, God lavished His grace upon us so that we can live a holy life free from sin. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know? In fact, we can boldly come before His throne every day to receive the grace we need to help us live a holy life. The writer of Hebrews wrote:
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16NKJV.
Of course, this not only applies to holiness, but to every need you have throughout your day. As a result, let me encourage to pray this prayer at the beginning of each day:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask for and receive all the grace I need for this day. I thank You that this includes the grace to live a holy life and to keep myself free from sin. I believe that I am blessed and highly favored, because of the grace of God I have in Christ.”
Now believe that God has answered your prayer and thank Him for it! The more you draw on His grace and favor in your life, the more you will experience it. God gives His grace abundantly to you.
You are holy, dear saint!
This is Day Twenty-one of a 31 day devotional on The Life of the Saint.