“Christ is no Moses, no exactor, no giver of laws, but a giver of Grace, a Savior; He is infinite mercy and goodness, freely and bountifully given to us.” Martin Luther
Tell me something. Have you ever sat and thought what your physical life today and your spiritual life tomorrow would be like if God, in all of His wisdom and foresight had not chosen you to be a Christian before the foundation of the world?
I mean, think about it! Before God said, “Let there be…” in Genesis Chapter 1:3, we were!
Ephesians 1:4 reads, “… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…”
Oh! How wonderful it is to live a Christian life with the knowledge that God knew you and loved you before He even formed the world and universe!
This fact is the essence of Grace!
When I look at the past-tense verb “chose” in Ephesians 1:4, I find that it is derived from the word “choice”. In looking at “choice”, I realized the magnitude of God’s power and foresight. Choice, a noun, means “The power, right, or liberty to choose.”
This is the amazing and overwhelming factor of the Grace of God. He chose us! We did not choose him nor would we ever. At that moment, I understood to what measures God went, in order to have His Love sealed in me. This makes giving the gift of Grace to a people who never knew Him, very precious!
Look at gift giving. It is a two part process that involves the extending and receiving of a gift between one or more people. The doctrine of Grace teaches that it is not up to the one who receives that dictates the reason for “the who”,” the when”, “the where”, “the how” or “the why” the gift is given, but the one who Gives to determine!
Many people give. Some give out of obligation. Some give because they genuinely care, while others give for other reasons. The point is that God gives because of one reason and one reason alone. His Love! He LOVES Christ and He LOVES us!
His Love for Christ is the gift of Grace and His Love for us is the gift of Christ.
On the flip side, many people receive for many different reasons. Some receive out of a particular need, while some receive in order to take advantage or manipulate. The point is that God made it so that Christians could not participate in the process of Grace giving at all.
We had no choice in receiving it!
Ephesians 2:8 reads, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
A Christian has no choice as it relates to his Salvation. Grace is a gift that was extended to him long before he or the world was created. This was done so that as part of God’s conversion process, the Christian cannot say that he had a role in God’s process to save him. This conversion process was established long before any of us existed and belongs only to God! It is His to dispense and to whom!
What is funny is that many of us will sometimes determine who is saved and who is not. What an exercise! How bold are we? I won’t even get into the basis of that determination, that’s for another conversation.
Romans 9:15-16 reads, “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have
mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him, who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”
Imagine the impact that the understanding of God’s conversion process would bring to the lives of many people worldwide. To realize that participation was not required in order to receiving the gift of Grace nor is it required to keep it. That’s what makes Grace the gift!
What a life people would have after realizing that there was no effort required, no chore to do and more importantly, no Law to keep! Romans 6:15 tell us that, “… we are not under law, but under grace…”
Christians are a chosen generation! Special and specifically chosen to be Christians for this day and time. Think about it, Christians are the only beings in God’s creation to have had Jesus, the Son of God, die a spiritual death as God placed our sin on Him, extending His Grace, simply because He Loved us.
Love + Grace = Christ
John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “
- “To give”, refers to God’s act of Love for Christians.
John 1:1 reads, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
- Grace is the gift and Christ is the conduit!
Romans 5:8 reads, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Christians are loved by God so much that He sent Christ to die physically and spiritually in our place when we did not know him. (The church did not physically exist at the time that Christ died.) This indicates that He always knew and loved us from a spiritual perspective.
Romans 5:15 reads, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded too many.”
- The “offense committed by one man” represents Adam and his fall from Grace. When Adam sinned, he and all of mankind died a spiritual and physical death. “The gift of Grace, given by God through one man Jesus Christ”, represents the return to Grace and spiritual life for all Christians.
Ephesians 2:4-5 reads, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved…”
- “… When we were dead in trespasses …” describes the spiritual and mental state of mind for Christians that were rebellious in knowledge of God prior to being saved. In spite of this fact, while being dead and totally an enemy of God as a result of Adam’s sin, it was God’s LOVE for us that made us alive in God as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection! “… by Grace we have been saved!”
Ephesians 4:7 reads, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded too many.”
- As a result of Grace, Christians have the potential to live a life of Christ as a result of the knowledge of the Love of God. With this gift of Grace, we are able through increased knowledge of Jesus Christ; attain the highest levels of Christianity while in this world.
Grace sustains and as a result, should motivate us to maximize our time on earth with study of the plan of God that is Jesus Christ!
Grace as a result of God’s Love for us, drives us to the forgiveness of one another’s sins towards us, as God extended forgiveness to us for our sins towards Him.
Faith, Hope and Love… all ingredients of His Grace!
So… tell me again… What Did I Do to Deserve It?
John 1:17 – “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
1st Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Romans 5:17 – “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)”
Ephesians 2:4-6 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”