How Do You Define Grace?
On a recent broadcast, I asked listeners to call the program and share their definition of grace. William from Livermore, CA defined grace as God’s act to justify us, or to make us right in His sight. He is spot on, but even so, there is so much more that can be said.
In light of the question, here are some of my thoughts on grace...
Today, believers are being challenged to take a fresh look at the grace of God. Lives are being changed. Worn-out Christians are letting go of their legalistic ways and are embracing new life in Christ. But whenever grace takes the lead, critics follow.
These critics drone away about believers taking grace too far and using it as a license to sin. According to them, grace needs to be balanced by law and obedience. How else will believers behave properly? The critics don’t want grace to be removed from the vocabulary, just softened somewhat.
This leads to the question; “What exactly is grace?”
Grace cannot be separated from Jesus Christ. It is wrapped up in Him. He is the One who is full of grace and truth. When we look to Him and His work on our behalf, we see grace in action.
Paul described that work in his letter to the Ephesians: “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4). So what is grace? It is God’s act to make us, who were dead in sin, alive with Christ. Grace is far more than a covering for sin. It is the implantation of Christ’s life in us.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary defines “grace” this way: that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance for a kindness granted or desired. It is a favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver.
God’s absolutely free expression of loving kindness to us is life, His life. That’s grace.
Now, it’s your turn. What is your definition of grace? In what ways has God’s grace made a difference in your life?
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