What is grace?There are many questions we can think about and they require serious study, so it is good to consider the most important questions first.
Why is grace important?
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED....
It is vital to understand GRACE because without it we cannot be saved.
- What is salvation?
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.By GRACE we live forever with God instead of perishing. Without GRACE we cannot know God and we cannot have everlasting life.
So what is GRACE?
GRACE is the translation of the Greek word CHARIS, which has a number or important meanings.
- Firstly, it means FAVOUR.
Lk 1:28 (NKJV) And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
No woman has ever received such favour as Mary. God chose her to be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God.
Lk 1:30-31 (NKJV) Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.
There is amazing favour here but there is also more than favour. The angel Gabriel was announcing a miracle.
- And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
When someone does you a favour, it can be a blessing but when it is God who favours you, His favour brings with it the TRANSFORMING POWER of God Himself.
Few men or women understood the GRACE of God as well as the Apostle Paul.Paul, originally named Saul, belonged to the legalistic religious Jewish sect called the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were the great enemies of Jesus before the cross and after the cross it was Saul the young Pharisee who led the persecution of the first Christian church in Jerusalem.
Saul was on the way to Damascus to arrest Christians when the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a blaze of glory.
Acts 9:1-6 (NIV) 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Saul received mercy and favour from Jesus but more than that, God transformed the Saul the angry persecutor into Paul, the loving messenger of Jesus.
This is GRACE.
This same GRACE is also for you.
God loves you as you are. He loves you so much that He sent His only son to die for you, to pay the penalty for your sin.