God shows us what grace is through Jesus Christ– Grace is God’s unmerited favor (undeserved favor) that He gives to all humans, if they will accept it. From the beginning, God has impressed us by coming to earth as a man in Jesus Christ to show His incredible love and provide a way for us to have eternal salvation.
Whereas, all world religions are predicated on humans trying to improve themselves to impress God with their goodness or righteousness. In Peter’s sermon at the first church conference, he stated that, “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved!” It’s not about rituals and following tradition! Acts 15:11 If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all-how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31 In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
The Christian knows that in themselves, there is none righteous, no not one. There is always a tendency toward rebellion in our hearts. (Romans 3:10-12) Paul quotes these verses in Romans with his knowledge of King David who said basically the same thing in Psalm 53:2-3. To drive the point through, David’s son King Solomon, the wisest person ever, reiterated the fact in Ecclesiastes 7:20, and Proverbs 20:9. Later, the prophet Isaiah said the same thing in Isaiah 64:6, and even later in in 650 BC, Jeremiah said in 17:9, “The heart of man is deceitfully wicked, who can understand it but God.”
Stated simply, the believer knows that he or she needs grace in order to have eternal life with the Lord! It is the work of the Holy Spirit that performs this miracle in us. That’s one of the beatitudes that Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:3 (“Blessed are the poor in spirit..”).
Look at this:
It is grace that saves us for eternity– We were dead in our sins, but because of God’s great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ- it is by grace you have been saved. This is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:4-10 But join with me (the apostle Paul) in suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
We have justification before our Almighty God– For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. Romans 3:23-24
Remember, justified means “made not guilty” before God at our judgement, when our appointed time comes.
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Believers are not to abuse the gift of grace– Don’t take grace for granted! That cheapens it. Some may think they don’t have to worry about sin because: 1) It’s God’s job to forgive me, and He will; 2) God is so loving that He won’t judge me; 3) Sin isn’t so bad- it teaches us valuable lessons, what? or 4) We need to stay in touch with the culture around us. Remember, God cannot overlook sin! Having faith doesn’t release us from moral law. Romans 3:5-8 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! When we became a Christian, we died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:1-2 Paul urged the Corinthian church (and us) not to receive God’s grace in vain. Now is the day of salvation! Don’t put it off. Be responsible to what you hear. 2 Corinthians 6:1
The Holy Spirit living in our hearts enables to live the Christian life the way life is intended. We should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a)
See the e-book “Principles for the Christian Life” here.