…Grace unto you… – 1 Peter 1:2
Grace: probably the most wonderful word in the English Bible, and perhaps in the English language. The word evokes feelings of acceptance, love and joy. What is grace? What makes it so wonderful? How do I receive it?
Grace simply defined is unmerited favour; it is GOD giving to us something we do not deserve. Some have coined constructed a phrase from the word grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. How true!!
But what is so wonderful? To understand grace, we need to understand the law. We are universally under the law of GOD. Because we were made by GOD, we are bound by our origin to be subject and be accountable to our Creator. But the bible tells us clearly and we know by experience that we have rebelled against the law of GOD. Once we were completely in harmony with God’s law and life; now because of our sinful nature, we go our way. The law that protected us now becomes our judge, our condemnation. There is NONE righteous; no not one. There is none that seeketh after GOD. God’s law though written in our hearts and activated through the conscience, condemns us, for if we are honest, we do wrong when we know what is that right thing to do. Why so? Because the law is holy and therefore condemns our wrongs but the law of sinful nature prevents us from doing the right thing, and being enslaved by sin, we continue to do wrong, think wrong, act wrong and even have the wrong attitudes.
So, God’s law must be kept but weak men cannot do so, and therefore must pay for the penalty of that sin. But it is penalty that can never be paid because men are condemned already.
Looking at our helpless state, the sinful nature in men cannot do right and therefore in order to save, there must be an external agent. Not the law now, but grace. God knew there must be a meeting of law and grace: His laws must be fulfilled as Jesus mentioned that in Matt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. When the Lord Jesus was crucified, we know that HE has fulfilled all the law, but not only that He took on Himself ALL the sins and condemnation of everyone that cannot fulfill the law. Those who would agree that they cannot keep the law, but will come to Christ, Christ freely offers salvation. To unworthy, condemned sinners, who cannot keep the law of GOD, we can only plead the mercy of GOD, to forgive us and then by faith to receive His grace to save us. Why is grace so wonderful? Because a loving Holy GOD, whose holy standards must be kept because of His holiness, but knew sinful men can never keep His standards, freely offers His son as the righteous substitute, so that those who cannot pay but are willing to trust Him, can be saved. Why is it wonderful? It is wonderful because sinful man like me can now go to Heaven trusting Jesus to save me and to forgive me and make me fit for Heaven.
How do I receive this grace? Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We can receive this wonderful grace of GOD purely by faith. Jesus makes it clear: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24
Dear friend, have you received this grace from GOD? We are saved by grace, we are kept by grace and we will be in Heaven by His GRACE. If you have not, won’t you receive this grace that saves? If you are a Christian, we need to live by faith in His grace, for without His sustaining grace, we would fall. We need to receive by faith, not trusting in what we think but trusting in His word!! Would you receive and live by His grace?
Evangelist – Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church