What is God’s grace?
That might seem like a simple question. Especially if you grew up going to church. It’s one of those words that you heard almost every Sunday. It’s a buzzword of sorts.
While we hear about it all the time, many miss how God’s grace meaning actually applies to their life.
We use the word so much I think we’ve forgotten what grace actually means. Worse, I think we’ve forgotten how beautiful and life changing God’s love and grace is. So what I want to do in this blog post is to help you discover, or rediscover the beauty. Let’s dive into what is God’s grace and how it applies to our life.
Biblical Definition Of Grace
Let’s start by looking briefly at the Biblical definition of the word grace.
The Greek word charis (χάρις) is what is often translated as grace in the New Testament. This word brings a picture of kindness, showing favor, often with a focus on a benefit being given.
Grace is what God does because he’s gracious. Grace is a gift of God. Not because we deserve it or did enough good works. But instead, because God is good. Grace is a result of the love of God. It’s the unmerited favor of God.
The word grace is rich. It’s meaning reaching far beyond the textbook answer. So what I want to look at is how we can better understand this grace that God gives us and what it does in our life.
What Is God’s Grace?
Confession… When I read blog posts I typically skip over the Bible verses… I know, I know. I’m a terrible Christian. Thank God for his grace.
If you are like me I would encourage you to not do that in this blog post. Actually read the verses and think about what they teach you about God’s grace.
With that in mind, let’s jump into 7 facets of God’s grace. What is God’s grace? Here’s what you need to know.
1. God’s Grace Is Forgiveness
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
This is probably what we think about most when we think of God’s grace. It’s forgiveness from our sins. The gift of salvation.
The Bible teaches us that grace is a gift of God. Our mistakes, our sin, condemn us and separate us from God. But God doesn’t leave us to the deal with the consequences of our sin. On the cross Jesus Christ displayed his great love for us by taking on what we deserved.
The grace of God gives us what we need instead of what we deserve. In our time of need God provides us with divine assistance. The act of grace is not what we deserve, but it’s what we are in desperate need of.
What is God’s grace? It allows us to live in freedom from our sin and enter back into relationship with God.
2. God’s Grace Is Undeserved (but he gives it anyway)
He 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. 2 Timothy 1:9
The beauty of God’s grace can only be fully understood when we realize how fallen, broken, and undeserving we are.
Simply put, we do not deserve grace. We deserve death. But again, God gives us what we need instead of what we deserve. We cannot do anything to earn it. The result of works will never earn God’s grace.
I think it’s important that we recognize this. I often find Christians feel entitled to grace. Like it was God’s pleasure to die for them. Jesus didn’t go to the cross because we are worthy, but because he is good.
We have done, and can do, nothing to earn God’s grace. Our own effort and good behavior will always fall short. The Bible makes clear that the results of works on our own amounts to nothing. It’s by the grace of God alone that we are saved.
3. God’s Grace Is New Everyday
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8
I don’t know about you, but I can’t go too long without making a mistake. I can’t seem to kick the habit of sinning. I’m in constant need of God’s grace. And thankful his grace is with me every morning when I wake up.
All our past sins, present sins, and future sins are covered when we put our faith in Jesus. That should not be an invitation to keep sinning. Rather a way out of the cycle of sinning. God’s grace is new every day and that allows us to be transformed into his image.
By the grace of God I’m not who I once was, but I’m not fully there yet. I’m in process. I’m being transformed. God’s grace allows me to continue in this transformation process. When I screw up again today I will wake up to new grace tomorrow.
Whatever you have done, are doing, or will do, God’s grace is new every day. Not so you can keep on sinning. But so you can once again step into freedom.
What is God’s grace? It’s new everyday.
4. God’s Grace Adopts Us Into His Family
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
Throughout the Bible you see God call his followers his children. Apostle Paul says we were adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15). God has shown his incredible love for us by bringing us into his family.
Think of the implications of that. To be a child of God. The one who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present is your father.
If we can keep our focus on this, how we live our lives would change. God cares about us and is guiding us. We need not worry. We are his children and he loves us.
What is God’s grace meaning? It means we are God’s children. Heirs to the throne.
5. God’s Grace Brings Us Closer To Our Father
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Many view God’s grace as a get out of hell free card or access to eternal life. But that misses the point. God’s desire isn’t to just spare you from pain. It’s to reunite you with him. He wants the relationship that sin severed to be restored.
The forgiveness of sins allows this to happen. It doesn’t just save us from hell, it reunites us with our heavenly father.
Grace allows us to come back. Sin cast us away. It created a chasm that kept us apart. Grace is the bridge that allows us to come back to the other side. It mends the wounds that sin caused. It forgives the mistakes that we made.
What is God’s grace meaning? Grace brings us back to the father.
6. God’s Grace Allows Us To Live In Freedom
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
We think freedom is doing whatever we want to do when we want to do it. That might appear to be freedom. But that kind of life doesn’t set you free, it enslaves you. Grace frees us and allows us to live as God intended.
When people look at the “rules” God gives his children many scoff. Any good parent gives their children rules. Not to hamper their fun or restrain their freedom. But to keep them safe and allow them to fully experience life.
Guardrails on the side of the road are there to protect you from the dangers of careening off the road. The holy spirit gives us guardrails to keep us on the path of freedom. Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is living as God designed.
What is God’s grace meaning? It means that we can live free from the shackles of sin.
7. God’s Grace Is Open To All
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. Titus 2:11
Followers of Jesus are often stingy with grace. But God is not, he gives it to anyone and everyone that wants it. That’s why songs like Amazing Grace exist, because it extends to even the worst of sinners.
Every single human being on this planet is loved by God and has the offer of grace extended to them. All they have to do is accept it.
Sadly this message is lost on the world because the church is much more selective with grace than Jesus was. Only those “deserving” should receive grace. The problem is not one person is deserving of what Christ Jesus did. Not one. We are all terribly broken and in need of grace.
Therefore, we should show grace generously because we’ve been given grace generously. God’s grace is for EVERYONE.
What is God’s grace meaning? It’s open to all people.
How To Receive God’s Grace
Hopefully now you have a deeper understanding of God’s grace meaning for your life. I want to end by looking at how we receive it.
We’ve already looked at how grace is a gift that we can do nothing to earn. However that doesn’t mean that we do nothing.
Just like if I were to hand you a present on your birthday you have to actually extend your hands to receive it and then open it to enjoy it. Similarly to receive God’s grace we have to posture ourselves to receive it.
As we have seen God’s grace has been extended to all. Not a single person is exempt. But God will not force this gift on anyone, it has to be accepted. Why? Because permission is sacred. God will not force human beings to follow him because what he wants is a relationship not subservience.
The first step to receiving God’s grace is to accept it.
Another way of saying this is to put your faith in God, the work of Jesus. When we place our hope in God’s only son we are accepting his gift of grace. It’s the act of holding out our hands to accept the gift he has for us.
When we accept God’s grace it means we have to turn away from the things our life used to be about. Why? Because you can’t go in two directions at the same time. Grace gives us a new life, therefore we have to leave the old behind.
Another word for this is repent. It often gets a bad rap, but that’s because we don’t really understand what it means. To repent means to rethink your life in light of what Jesus has done. To turn from our worldly passions and return to God. It means to accept that you are sinful but dearly loved. It means to accept God’s invitation to live in a better way.
In order to step into the abundant life God has for us we have to leave behind our old life. We have to turn away so that we can turn toward God.
You can learn more about repentance here: What Does It Mean To Repent? (3 Powerful Images To Help You Understand Repentance)
Remember And Pursue
I don’t know about you but I’m quick to forget and return to my old habits and way of life. I’m quick to forget about God’s grace. I need constant reminders of what God has done for me and to live in light of that.
We need to remember God’s grace and continually pursue it. That means you need to regularly spend time with God, study the Bible, find community, and seek counsel from other Christians.
I know that sounds cliche and something you’d expect a pastor to say. But I just don’t know another way. I’ve never seen anyone actually grow their faith apart from spending time in God’s word, connecting through prayer, and doing life in community. There’s simply not another way.
Receiving God’s grace isn’t a one-time affair. We need it daily. And because he’s a gracious God he will provide for us each day. We just need to remember and pursue God in our lives.
Don’t stop posturing yourself to receive God’s grace.
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