Even the title sounds presumptive - but just because I don’t fully grasp it doesn’t mean there is nothing about it I understand. From Noah who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:1) to the final verse in the Bible (Revelation 22:21 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen”) and the 143 times in between the Bible is full of grace.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:10).
I've been thinking about and writing about grace the last couple of days. So, here are 10 thoughts on grace:
- God’s grace is made available to everybody - “has appeared to all...” (Titus 2:10).
- Not everybody uses the “coupon” - just because it has appeared does not mean everyone has appropriated or used it. It “teaches” us but not all accept it or are willing to learn from it.
- We can never “deserve” God’s grace. Surely if the Old Law teaches us anything it is that no man can live in such a way as to earn his own salvation. Grace in it’s very definition is unmerited.
- God’s grace can be abused, refused and misused (sorry for that rhyme) see: Jude 4; Romans 6:1-2. We’ve died to sin, to live in it is an insult to the grace of God.
- I would not want to minimize it. The reach of grace is powerfully strong. Paul wrote: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20). You have never met a person beyond the reach of God’s grace.
- The “cover” of God’s grace only exceeds to people “in” the grace of God. Few truths are so clearly taught in the New Testament as the doctrine that in Bible baptism God gives us grace. Again and again the writers tell us that it is in baptism that we are saved, buried with Christ, incorporated into his body, washed of our sins, regenerated, cleansed, and so on (i.e. Acts 2:38, 22:16; Rom. 6:1–4; 1 Cor. 6:11, 12:13; Gal. 3:26–27; Eph. 5:25-27; Col. 2:11–12; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:18–22). They are unanimous in speaking of baptism as the means of connecting with the grace God has given. Those who speak of God’s grace being on people who have never obeyed the Gospel are in a dangerous place. They may be good people, they may pray for the mercy of God but His grace is for those who accept that grace. This is a big problem with many today who teach of the security of those in religious groups if they have not obeyed the Gospel.
- I don’t know how far grace extends to those who have obeyed the Gospel - but I “personally” pray a LONG way. How much ignorance does it cover? How long will it cover said ignorance? I don’t know. But I want people saved so I hope a LONG way. And I need to be gracious to those people (in fact to all people).
- I don’t see where I get to be the one who makes the call on how far it extends. In fact it appears that putting myself in that role may affect the reach of grace in my own life (Matthew 7:1-3).
- The understanding of God’s grace in my own life should be an outlet for my extending grace to others. If I have truly experienced it I will become an outlet of grace. People will see grace in me and praise God.
- I have always loved to sing about grace: His Grace Reaches Me, Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord, The Love of God, Amazing Grace.
I will spend the rest of my life thankful for God's Grace, preaching of it, trying to understand it and hoping to never deny, abuse or misuse it.