What comes to your mind when you think of grace? Maybe human qualities such as, “beauty, gracefulness of person, act, or speech.” [1] Merriam-Webster defines grace as “unmerited divine assistance” [2] listing “mercy” as an archaic form of the word and that emphasizes “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender…” [3] Forbearance goes on to be described as “a refraining from the enforcement of something that is due.” [4] All three areas mentioned by Merriam-Webster encapsulate the perspective of grace from the Bible that I plan to accentuate.

God is challenged in how He deals with mankind. God is perfect, man is not. The challenge is how can a perfect God enjoy a relationship with sinful, imperfect man? Compromise is not an option for God, thus the need for grace. It’s best to begin at the beginning. Genesis 1:1 takes us to “In the beginning God created…”[5] Mankind came from the hand of God without sin but man chose to rebel against God (Genesis 3). The harmony of fellowship between God and mankind was fractured and man had no one to blame but himself. Man clearly understood his infraction by “becoming afraid of God, hiding from Him, and presenting himself as a victim by blaming someone else” (Genesis 3:10, 12). An impassable divide separated man from God, a problem only God could now solve. Man, by himself, is incapable of resolving the issue though he would attempt initially by clothing himself in fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). God cannot approve of man based on the fig leaves of personal worthiness or “gracefulness of person.” God must function within His perfect character.

God’s grace is not about sinful man doing but what a perfect God has done! It is not about man giving and God approving, but God giving and man receiving! Man is officially an offender as identified in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and enforcement of the penalty progressively follows, “for the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). Death is inevitable and enforcement required. Enter God’s grace – the ONLY solution to man’s problems. God offers mankind the chance to reconcile their relationship but it must be done on a perfect God’s terms, not by man’s imperfect efforts. God’s terms are gracious –

“…the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b

God’s terms are easy. God’s terms call for faith/belief in what He has already provided, the free gift just mentioned. In trusting God’s terms, He does the work – you simply receive…easy as that.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  9  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Someday that grace will end and judgment will commence. There is no better time to make the choice of a lifetime…choose life, choose the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 3:36  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

If you’ve already accepted God’s gracious gift then gratitude is in order.

1 Corinthians 15:57  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Vines NT, e-Sword version, charis

[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grace

[3] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercy

[4] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forbearance

[5] This author believes that God created man as described in Genesis chapter 1 and 2.

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