Chapter Nine - Grace
All of God's dealings with us at the present time are based on His grace. This means that He shows us favor which we do not deserve. The Bible uses the word "grace" more than 160 times. The New Testament mentions it 128 times. It speaks of God as "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10). It describes Christ as being "full of grace" (John 1:14). It calls the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29). So the three persons of the Godhead are closely linked with grace.
The word "grace" as it is used in the Old Testament means to stoop down in kindness to someone who is inferior." In the New Testament the word "grace" means "favor or lovingkindness." The following definitions will help us to understand it more:
Grace is love that is given to those who are not worthy. When God gives love to sinners who are guilty, unclean and rebellious, then it is grace.
Grace is God showing nothing but love and mercy when we deserved nothing but anger and judgment. It is God bending toward us in infinite love.
Grace was seen when God gave heaven's best to save earth's worst.
Do not mix up grace with works. If we could get salvation by doing good works, then salvation would simply be our wages (Romans 4:4,5; 11:6). God does not owe us anything. Salvation is a free gift.
Do not mix up grace with law. We are not saved by keeping the law. We are saved by grace.
Law gives us a work to do. Grace tells us that a work has been finished.
Law says, "Do this and you will live." Grace says, "Live and you will do."
Law says, "You shall love the Lord your God." Grace says, "God so loved the world" (John 3:16), and "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
Law condemns the best of us (Romans 3:19). Grace saves the worst of us (Romans 3:24; 1 Timothy 1:15,16).
Law makes us see our sin (Romans 3:20). Grace shows us salvation (Titus 2:11-13).
THE NEED FOR GRACE
We are sinful. We have disobeyed God's holy law (Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21). We stand guilty before the judgment bar of God because we have broken God's holy law (Romans 3:19; James 2:10) and so we are under the curse of God (Galatians 3:10). Because men rejected and murdered God's Son, we do not have any claim on God at all (John 12:31-33; 3:18).
SALVATION BY GRACE
If we are going to be saved, it must be by God's grace. But God is holy. He will not overlook sin. Sin must be punished. The gospel tells us how God can save sinners and how He can still be holy when He does it. Christ suffered the anger and judgment of God against sin. Because of what Christ did, God can forgive the sins of those who trust the Lord Jesus. Christ has finished the work. Grace demands only faith from the sinner who seeks salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9).
BLESSINGS THROUGH GRACE
Grace brings many wonderful results to sinners. The following are three of the greatest of these results.
Salvation (Titus 2:11-13). This means that the believer has eternal life.
Justification (Romans 3:24-26). This means that God counts the sinner who believes in Jesus as being without blame.
Access to God (Romans 5:2). This means that true believers are no longer separated from God by our sins.
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