By Mitch Marczewski
The grace of God is a fundamental tenant of the Christian faith. Without grace,
communion with God is impossible, the Christian life is one of works, and salvation
would be impossible. Grace is what initiated our walk with Christ and it’s grace that
carries us through till the end. God’s grace is what empowers our Christian walk and enables us to resist sin and live righteously (Tit. 2:11-12). His grace is what saved us (Eph 2:4-10). His grace is what is on display in us (Eph 2:7). His grace is what gives us good gifts for use in the body for the furthering of the kingdom (Eph 4, 1 Cor 12-14).
1. Grace Saves
God’s grace is a justifying grace, a saving grace. It is by God’s grace that He sent Jesus into the world to atone for our sins and lavish upon us grace upon grace (John 1:16). Without grace, our salvation would be impossible. He called us and saved us “according to His own purpose and grace.” (2 Tim 1:9) God’s grace is what calls us to faith, empowers our belief and enables our communion with God. Salvation (or our justification) comes as a gracious gift rather than a prize that we earn. We are saved by grace through faith so we have no room for boasting. (Eph 2:8-9) If we could earn our salvation by working hard enough, grace would cease to be grace. (Rom 11:6)
2. Grace Empowers
God’s grace is not only what saves us but also what empowers us to live upright and godly lives. (Tit. 2:11-12) It empowers our journey towards becoming like Jesus here on earth, our sanctification. Some people stop short of seeing grace as empowering sanctification. They would like to believe that we are saved by grace by sanctified by working hard or keeping the rules. This is an erroneous line of thought. John Piper speaks of how grace through faith empowers both justification and sanctification but in different ways. “Justification is not a human behavior of soul or body. But sanctification is a (divinely effected) human behavior of soul and body. Both justification and sanctification are rought about by God, but they are not brought about in the same way. Justification is an act of God’s reckoning; sanctification is an act of God’s transforming.” God’s grace is transformative as we
see in 2 Corinthians 3:18. It transforms us from being old creatures to brand new ones. His grace transforms us and sanctifies us into His image. Paul credits God’s grace as the force that made him who he was (1 Cor 15:10). It’s by the grace of God that we have what we have and that we do what we do. His grace is what empowers our works and bears fruit in our lives. We cannot take credit for our holiness because Christ is the one who makes us holy by His grace through the cross (2 Cor 5:21).
3. Grace Keeps
God’s grace not only makes us right with God and purifies our lives but His grace
also keeps us until the end. Jude 24-25 speaks in praise of a God that is faithful to protect us from stumbling and keeps us blameless until His return. God’s grace is a grace that overcomes any amount of sin. There is no amount of sin that God’s grace cannot overcome. (Rom 5:20) Paul goes on in Romans 6 to remind us that this does not give us a license to sin so that grace may abound (Rom 6:1-3) but rather we are to pursue holiness as a people justified by grace and transformed by grace. This gives us amazing freedom as believers to run TO God in repentance when we sin rather than running FROM God in fear. His grace covers ALL of the sin of the believer, even future ones. All sins were future sins when Christ died on the cross. No sin takes him by surprise. As a chosen one of God all of your sin was paid for on the cross and grace has covered those transgressions by His wonderful
grace. This frees us to repent often and without fear, and also to marvel in the grace that He extends in showing us our sin. Without His grace, we would be blind to our sin and we would continue to live in it. God’s grace is what shows us our faults and pushes us towards repentance.