Gracious; the greatest characteristic of God. Without his Grace, we would be nothing.
What is Grace?
Simply put, unmerited favor. It is God showing kindness and being benevolent to anything undeserving of his kindness and benevolence. It can not be stressed enough that it is undeserved. We do not deserve or earn his favor. We do not deserve blessings; they are given without merit.
The extent of this perfect and amazing grace is fully revealed through Jesus (John 1:17). It is because of His grace we are even saved (Eph 2:8).
When Adam and Even sinned, God could have punished them and rightly so. Their just punishment would have been death to equal the offense of eternal sin. But instead, he showed mercy by withholding the just punishment; then grace by sacrificing something else to cover them (Gen 3:21). Their sins were not removed, but only covered. Because of this by the Grace of God, they had to be given something; the accredited righteousness (Gen 15:6) because nothing could remove the sin from them (Hebrews 10:4). Grace is God giving us something we do not deserve.
Lets not make the easy mistake to confuse Mercy and Grace. Mercy is simply God not giving us the punishment we deserve like a just fine for speeding and it being dismissed. Grace is giving us something that we did not earn like the state giving us a free oil change with a new car after dismissing our speeding ticket.
Grace is a Free Gift
Because we can not earn it and do not deserve; the only way for us to receive it is: if it is freely given to us out of the kindness of God. God is completely sovereign in his giving of Grace. Paul is who he is and does what he does by God’s Grace (1 Corinthians 15:10). It is literally a gift from God that only he can give (Ephesians 2:8). And it is because of his Grace that we are justified before him (Romans 3:24).
Grace Gifted for His Will and Glory
God gives graces to all kinds of people and creation but all of it is done to reveal his graciousness and glory (Matthew 5:45). God shows what is called ‘common grace’ to all creation (Psalm 145:9). Choosing to be ‘slow to anger’ is being gracious (Nahum 1:3). Out of his sovereign grace God can choose to also keep people from sinning (Genesis 20:6) or even hardens hearts himself (Exodus 4:21; Joshua 11:20; Isaiah 63:17). But in his grace he hands people over to what they want most. It is not gifted to you because you claimed it. God is not an ATM of blessings waiting for you to name it and claim it. But you may receive those kinds of blessings if it is the sin of covet or greed in your heart God is graciously handing you over to (Romans 1:28).
God graciously restrains the hearts of mankind in all the ways above or, if left completely unrestrained, mankind would have destroyed itself without the grace of God.
What are Christians given by His Grace?
After showing us mercy and not giving us our just punishment for sin; He then takes on the punishment himself on our behalf (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But he doesn’t stop there. Not only does he forgive us (Hebrews 8:12; Ephesians 1:7), but he then brings us back to him (Colossians 1:19-20), and lets us live free in this life and able to live it joyously (John 10:10). Then, eternally free and abundant in the next life (Luke 12:33). He still doesn’t stop there. He fills us with himself in this world to empower us to love and serve Him (Luke 11:13), and will allow us to be in his presence forever.
It is because of God’s amazing Grace that compels our hearts to love him more and hate our sin more. The better we know God the better we see our sin. The more we see our sin the more we appreciate God’s grace!
Receiving Saving Grace
After being given the Grace that leads to faith, it continues to be given to you! Because you already don’t deserve it, it is impossible to do something for God to take it back. In fact, in faith, Grace will always outweighs sin (Romans 5:20). God’s Grace is greater than your sin.
But the deepness and awesomeness of his Grace doesn’t end there. Not only do we receive all kinds of blessings in this world and in the next but we see that God hand picked us. He saw us for who we are and still chose us for himself (Ephesians 1:5–6)! He saw the sins of our past, present, and future, and still gave us the perfect gift of Grace! He makes us his own despite all that he saw in us (Romans 9:8–13). Why? because through his Grace he changes us.
Grace is not cheap. When we truly receive the saving gift of God’s Grace it compels us not only to profess Jesus as savior but it also compels our hearts to repent of our sin (Romans 10:9). Because we grow in the Grace of God we grow in obedience to God. We love God more and more and this will cause us to hate our sin (Romans 6:1-2). We will be transformed by the Grace of God. The life change and desire to obey God through faith in Jesus Christ goes with the confession of faith. Obedience and repentance (Matthew 4:17, Acts 2:38) is a natural result from receiving and believing in the Grace of God through Jesus Christ as savior and Lord God (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus even expects repentance from those who call him Lord (Luke 6:46). Saving faith in the Grace of God is more than words but will in fact cause a life change and an exercise of faith (James 2:14-26).
The Amazing Grace of God
So God gives blessings to the whole world by not letting it destroy itself. He blesses his enemies and those who hate him by feeding them and allowing them to hate him instead of destroying them. He blesses His chosen people to come to know him in faith through his son Jesus Christ despite their offenses against him. He blesses those who love in with everything they will ever need for this life and gives them eternal life and more in the next. All of these blessings are completely undeserved and unmerited. That is huge! That’s amazing! The belief in this should (and will) change your life! You and I do not deserve any of it! Nor could we ever work hard enough to earn it! The words of this article or in any human language could not adequately express the amazing power of the Grace of God over all creation and over you.
from Blogger http://ift.tt/1F9SkB8