Grace. What is God’s Grace? We hear about it in the bible all the time.
A quick internet search will show thousands of references to God’s Grace from the bible, but what is it?
What is God’s Grace?
Here is a dictionary definition of grace:
1.elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless graceacross the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomness, fluidity. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.
2.a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
3.favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
4.a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn'texpelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavour.
5.mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness
If we combine all of these individual definitions we get a beautiful unearned/warranted gift/charity/favour. The Grace of God is a gift.
Ephesians 2:7-10 (NIV)
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
If we look at this passage from Ephesians it shows us the greatest of all Graces from God. This greatest of gifts is Jesus. If we were to judge by our actions we do not deserve to be saved. Humans break the laws of God every day.
When I say ‘we’ I’m speaking of humanity.
We steal, kill, commit adultery, worship monies instead of God, and the list goes on. We do not deserve to be saved. Despite this though, God has given us grace and chosen to save us.
This is God’s greatest grace upon humanity, but what about individuals?
Every individual has also received grace from God. The most noted is Mary, mother of Christ. We can see this in the prayer “Hail Mary” which is taken from scripture in Luke 1.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus, Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death.
Acts Chapter 2 explains how every believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, and how they will do the works of God, the same and greater than Jesus.
Most of us do not have graces that allow us to raise the dead, but that does not mean that we don’t have God’s Grace.
Most people’s gifts from God are more mundane. It may be the capacity to Love greatly, or to be able to listen to others, to be caring, to teach well, the ability to express meanings, and the list goes on. All of our abilities are gifts from God. This is why Pride is a sin.
Pride is giving yourself credit for something that God gave you the ability to do. Pride is taking credit for the grace God has given you.
Remember Grace is a gift from God that we do not deserve, or that we have not earned. When you were in school, received an A+ on the test, and you said “Good job, ME!” you were being prideful and should have been thanking God for the grace he gave you to be able to get the A+.
This is explained well in Romans 12:3 (NIV)
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
“The faith God has distributed to each of you” this is one example which shows that we have all been given graces by God.
Accept the Gifts of God. Use them to help others.
Each of our gifts individually doesn’t amount to much. Together though in community we are strong. All of our gifts complement one another and are meant to be used in conjunction with one another.
Thank God for the Graces he had given you, employ your gifts and do the works of God, the same and greater than Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us evermore.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this night and evermore. Amen.