The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Pastor Jim Nichols
Sidney Seventh-Day Adventist Church 

God's Gospel Gift of Grace

 


Today, I would like to examine the topic of God’s grace, with the endeavor of finding a good usable definition. There are many books on the market about this topic, but I have yet to find a really good practical definition. I did a word study on grace, with a good Bible concordance, and read all of the Bible texts that used the word grace, from Genesis to Revelation. To my surprise, I discovered the simplest revelation of grace is substituting Jesus in the place of the word grace. Jesus said it of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) In other words, grace is Christ.

The most used definition of grace is the unmerited favor of God. And this is good. Another attempt to define grace is the unconditional love of God. And, this is very good also. Another definition similar to unmerited favor is the undeserved acceptance of God. I would like to offer for today’s consideration: “Grace is God’s gift of undeserved acceptance and a new life through Jesus Christ.” God’s grace is a package deal, an all inclusive experience of His power to save and power to live the Christian life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 gives us a good beginning in defining God’s grace. “For by grace are you saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had before ordained that we should walk in them.” First, we see that grace is undeserved, “not of yourselves … not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Other Scriptures would agree, “There is none righteous, no not one … For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:10,23) There is one thing for sure, God’s mercy and grace by its very nature, as it relates to you and me, must always be unmerited and undeserved.

Secondly, God’s grace makes us savable or acceptable. Ephesians 1:2-7 is all about grace and verses 6,7 say, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (That is through the ministry of Jesus) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” God’s grace is a reconciling Grace. His grace provides a way back home where we belong, being accepted back as a part of the family of God again.Sin separates us from God, but Grace binds us back together with Him. 2 Cor. 5:10 says this, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Because of God’s grace, you are accepted before Him just as if you had not sinned.

Thirdly, God’s grace is a gift. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: And just as any gift is free to the receiver; it has a cost to the giver. And, oh, what a cost the Lord Jesus paid, so that we could have the free gift of eternal life. The Scriptures testify to the cost for the free gift of grace. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.

crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9) “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:6) “We thank God for the grace which we see working in you. All of us thank God for His indescribable gift of grace so undeserved.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Lastly, God’s grace brings a new life experience through Christ Jesus. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10) Not only do we have God’s saving grace for Salvation and eternal life, but we also have the grace of God for living each and everyday of our lives. Paul talks about this in 2 Cor. 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” The grace of God through Christ Jesus and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit changes the heart and mind, and enables us to live a life of glory today.

It has been said, that Jesus loves sinners more than anybody else in this world, and His grace saves sinners. Sounds to me like we have answered the only question that remains. Do I qualify for God’s gospel gift of grace?

Pastor Jim Nichols

Sidney Seventh-Day Adventist Church

 

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