I love grace.
I need grace.
I am lost, dead, and weak without grace.
God’s grace finds me in the right moment.
God’s grace sustains me when nothing else can or will.
God’s grace is sufficient in times of discontentment.
It is a crazy thing, this grace of God.
I cannot comprehend it fully; much less think I deserve it altogether. However, God does, and that’s all that matters really.
From a biblical standpoint, grace is getting what we do not deserve. Therefore, everything I’ve been given – seen and unseen, is a gift of grace from God; not because I deserve them but because He wanted to bless me with them.
Grace is always God-centered.
Grace always declares the gospel and points to the glory of God.
Grace extends vertically (God & me) and horizontally (others & me), challenging me to be a receiver and a giver.
These are the basics of grace. So why is there debate among us church folk about God’s grace and who it extends to? Why is there debate of how we should live as receivers of such grace?
One extreme side holds that people must clean themselves up before being counted worthy of God’s grace. The other extreme holds that no matter how a person lives, God’s grace covers everything and surpasses holiness.
I think both extremes fail to communicate the purity of God’s grace. While one extreme touts legalism, the other extreme touts a free-for-all, Paul would say. So where is the balance? Where does the grace of God fall in this spectrum, and how should my life align accordingly?
I’m convinced the correct balance is a life of “both/and,” not an “either/or.”
Scriptures Balance of Grace
God is the author of grace, which is penned by His merciful love for us. In the midst of our sin, God’s grace, through Christ, found us, saved us, and raised us to new life in Christ. Our own merits do not earn us grace, but we receive it through faith in the work Christ alone. Grace is 100% God, so that there is no boasting. By grace, we were created in Christ “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
John 1:16 & Romans 5:20
From the fullness of Christ, He lavishes us with grace upon grace, and were sin exists, His grace abounds all the more.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God’s grace is greater than our weaknesses, sin, situation, and position. It is sufficient for every need and longing, and through it, God’s power is made perfect in weakness: “For the sake of Christ … when I am weak, then I am strong.” The grace of God extends to all people without restriction and hesitation.
This isn’t hyper-grace, but God’s great grace. This is what He lavishes upon us, freely, day-to-day, and it never runs dry.
“So, then,” the apostle Paul asks, “should sin continue in our lives so that grace can abound more?” “Certainly not,” God’s word says!
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
The grace of God trains us to renounce godliness and worldly passions.
Grace trains us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
Grace creates within us a longing for the blessed hope and appearing of Christ Jesus, “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Spiritual disciplines, methods, and structures have their place within our journey as believers. However, long-lasting transformation begins by us encountering the powerful work of God’s grace. The good news of the gospel calls us to conform not to ourselves but to Christ, because Christ redeemed us for His own possession and purpose. Our lives are not our own, therefore, we are called to honor God with what belongs to Him.
This is not legalism, but God’s great grace. This is the standard He calls us to, daily and gladly submitting to Him all we have and all we are. In this giving up, we receive all Christ is and possesses, through this crazy thing called grace.
Oh bless the Lord, for His great grace!