The word grace means favor or good will, mercy, clemency, or pardon. A second definition is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. Another meaning is a virtue or excellence of divine nature.

We read in Ephesians 2:8-9,"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. " Grace is attainable to the sinner and to those redeemed by the Lord.

Years ago, many people collected Gold Bond and S&H green stamps. After collecting a certain amount, you could go to a store location and trade or redeem them in for an item. Redeemed means to have been bought back.

"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10

Grace is a favor that is freely done without anticipating anything in return. We easily can do a favor for a friend, but for an enemy - it is not as easily done.

Jesus Christ on the cross, God's saving grace, was intended not only for his enemies, but for all mankind.

"But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20-21

We read in the book of Hebrews," But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. "Hebrews 2:9

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Romans 5:15 (NKJV)

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 (NKJV)

...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen
II Peter 3:18 (NKJV)

But as you abound in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us, see that you abound in this grace also.
II Corinthians 8:7 (NKJV)

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,... who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
II Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)

People are unable to save themselves, grace is the all-important foundation and motivation that conveys the actuality of salvation to them. The scriptures tell us to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord. That cannot be done without study. We read where grace is our source of power. With this power we can overcome wrongs we may have committed.

This acrostic speaks volumes.

             · God's
             · Righteousness
             · At
             · Christ's
             · Expenditure

" You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." II Timothy 2:1

Paul in writing to Timothy states,".. although I was a formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." I Timothy 1:13

In the movie, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Tom Hanks is an Army Ranger. The Army Ranger motto is "Sua Sponte"(of their own accord). Tom Hanks character dies in the movie, as Private Ryan bends down, Tom Hanks says," Earn this". If Hanks were an actual Ranger he would have said ," Sua sponte", meaning," I chose this. It's free. You don't have anything to pay. My job is to give up my life for you." When we look at Jesus hanging on the cross you don't hear," Earn this". He says," I want to do this for you. There is no cost at all for anyone. "

Have you ever witnessed love and/or kindness being shown to a person who is undeserving? God shows and gives His forgiveness. Sin is a transgression of God's will. But, we aren't deserving of His grace because we transgress God's law. It is the grace of God that permits us to become members of God's family. The grace of God is the sending of His Son to die for all of mankind.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," Romans 2:8

"For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23 And again in Ephesians 2:4-5," But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

If God gave salvation on the foundation of what someone has done, then salvation from God would be as the payment of a debt. When grace is accepted by a person, it is a totally marvelously free gift of God. " For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." II Corinthians 9:8

Then we see in Romans 1:5," Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name."

Discussion and study questions:
(1) Is it necessary for us to "earn " God's grace?
(2) What did Jesus do so that we may have salvation?
(3) What is needed for us to grow in the grace of God?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence