by Matt Slick
Rom. 6:14 says, "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." Eph. 1:7 says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." Eph. 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves . . . "
We Christians are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8), justified by grace (Rom. 3:24), and given grace (Rom. 12:6). Grace abounds (2 Cor. 9:8), is surpassing (2 Cor. 9:14), and is granted (2 Tim. 1:9). We have the riches of grace (Eph. 1:7), are strengthened by grace (Heb. 13:9), and grow in grace (2 Pet. 3:18). We experience the grace of God (1 Pet. 4:10), know the grace of the Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:21), and are indwelt by the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29). Grace is the wonderful truth of God's character through Jesus which is shown to us, comes upon us, and is manifested in us.
But, what is grace? As you have seen above, grace is multifaceted. But, briefly spoken, grace is that unmerited, unearned favor of God upon a sinner. In other words, grace is the favor that God shows to someone who in no way deserves to be shown any mercy, any kindness, or anything good at all. As hard as that may be for some people to take, before an infinite and holy God, we are finite and sinful and rightfully should be judged to damnation (Eph. 2:3). But, God is gracious to us. He does not give us what we deserve (justice). In fact, He does NOT give us what we deserve (mercy). Instead, He gives us what we do NOT deserve (grace).
This grace is found in Jesus (John 1:17) and only because of what Jesus did on the cross. The cross is the ONLY reason that God is kind to us and does not instantly give us justice, which would be eternal damnation. No. Instead, because of Jesus, because of the shed blood, because of the grace of God in Christ, we are able to be saved, delivered, indwelt, loved, cleansed, uplifted, strengthened, and so much more. Jesus is the living expression of the grace of God. Jesus is the perfect manifestation of grace and truth. Jesus is the example of grace.
Therefore, all that is good in you, all that is right, all that you have done for the glory of God, all that you have confessed, all the sins of which you have repented, all the love you have shown, all the kindness you've given, all the mercy you have bestowed, all the humility you've exemplified, all the growth you've experienced, all the hope you've held, all the faith you've kept, all the fruit of the Spirit you've lived have all been by the grace of God through Jesus Christ because of the Cross.
Knowing this, you can then say with Paul in 1 Cor. 15:10, " . . . by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me."