‘All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.’ John 6:37 (NIV)
The importance of grace
God’s gift of grace is so important to know and understand as it shows how merciful, loving and forgiving God is. When you understand grace you know that there is always a place for you in God’s arms and in God’s house. You will know He is able to sanctify you regardless of the amount of times you’ve sinned. You will not let shame and guilt from past sin prevent you from trying to come back to God and grow in Him again. You will truly know that all God wants is your faith and your love. I truly believe that if more Believers understood grace, so many of us would love and serve God with fresh zeal and fire daily as we would understand the extent to which God has forgiven us, despite how unworthy we will always be. So let’s get started.
What is grace?
Grace is the unmerited, undeserved and unearned kindness and favour of God.
‘For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God’ Ephesians 2:8 (AMPC)
‘23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. 24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, 25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.’ Romans 3:23-25 (AMPC)
So grace means that God’s favour, forgiveness, mercy and love shown towards you are nothing to do with you! Your sin and obedience don’t matter to His gift of grace. All He asks is that you accept Him, and when you do, you accept His grace forever and are therefore forever right standing with God.
The Gospel of Salvation
Really and truly, the Gospel of salvation spans many books of the Bible. But let me summarise the Gospel of salvation for you.
So how did the need for grace come about? Well, first we need to understand Jesus’ mission on earth. He was here to reconcile humanity with God and bridge the gap between God and humanity that sin had created when Adam and Eve sinned and fell away from God in Eden (Genesis 3: 22-24). So before Jesus’ death and Resurrection, we had no access to God and were surely bound by sin and death (Ephesians 2:1-2). Priests used to die in the presence of God as we physically were cast out of His presence, because no one was without sin. But when Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for ALL of our sin (Romans 4:25). The sin you’ve done, the sin you’re currently doing and the sin you will do, Jesus paid the price for when He was crucified. (2 Corinthians 5: 21) Then when Jesus was raised from the dead, He showed us that death reigns no more. As sin is death, sin reigns no more (Romans 6:14). Sins dominion over us ended with the sacrifice of Jesus, gifting us with a grace that will cover all of our sin forever. So once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, no matter how much you sin, no matter how much you promise God you’ll change your ways and proceed to sin again, you are saved and justified with God, due to grace, forever.
Rattled? As you thought because of how sinful you are, God doesn’t even want to hear you say sorry again? That God doesn’t want to see you pick up your Bible ever again because for 3 years, every January the 1st you have ‘submitted to Him’ again, just for you to forget about the Bible and God for the rest of the year? Many of us have felt like this and still do. But let me say it again. You are saved, forgiven and right-standing with God forever, because of the sacrifice that is Jesus Christ. You have sinned, you are a sinner, and you will sin again. But grace makes us right-standing with God, forever!
Believe that ‘It is finished’
‘So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.’ John 19:30 (ESV)
Well, just because you have read that grace means we are right-standing with God forever, it doesn’t mean that you believe it. It doesn’t mean you have truly accepted grace into your hearts and believe that sin no longer has dominion over you. So today, we are going to decide that sin will no longer hold us back from coming back to God and trying again with Him.
The Bible says not even Jesus condemns us, as He pleads in heaven on our behalf! (Romans 8: 34 (AMPC)) God’s grace and forgiveness truly is eternal. Yet so many of us are letting the devil use our guilt of how sinful we are, stop us from coming back to God, seeking forgiveness and trying to grow in Him again and truly repent. We are our own downfall. But despite our unworthiness, God yearns for us to go home. He rejoices when His lost children return to Him again, despite all our sin and wickedness (Luke 15: 1-7)! So believe it! Today, we decide the devil will no longer win.
So all those sins that make you so disappointed in yourself that you believe God doesn’t even want you back… your past or present promiscuity, your current drug addiction, your drunkenness, compulsive lying… know that REGARDLESS, God wants you to come home to Him. Surrender yourself and your sin to Him and let Him strengthen your spirit against sin and sanctify you again. Let God work on you and transform you Himself. But first you need to let go of your shame, as God has already washed you of it. But the longer you hold onto it, the longer the devil can hold you back from God. As long as you ask God to forgive you, He will. But to move forward, you need to also forgive yourself.
So what now?
Jesus has won the victory over sin and death! Meaning sin no longer separates humans from God forever, like it used to before Jesus died for us and rose again (Romans 5:10). God just wants your faith. God didn’t ask for perfection. God didn’t ask you to never sin and ‘clean yourself up’, before you can come into His presence and ask Him for help. We are born sinners, meaning you will slip and fall, but trust that God will always pick you up and strengthen you against habitual sin when you ask Him to, no matter how ‘lost’ you think you are. Believe in God and let Him do the rest. When you come to God, you can come as you are. Jesus came to save the ‘sick’ and not the healthy after all (Mark 2:17). In God, you will not stay the same sinful boy or girl. When you ask God to save you and work on you, He WILL change you for His glory (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:4-6). But first, it is your heart’s acceptance of grace that matters. So just offer God your heart.
So now that you understand grace, decide in your heart to accept grace and let God begin to speak to you, work on you and slowly but surely transform you for His glory; finishing the good work He started in you. If you haven’t already, invite Jesus Christ into your heart and ask Him to communicate with you. Declare He is your Lord and Saviour, and you shall be saved through faith, because of grace.
‘And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord—Christ] shall be saved.’ Acts 2:21 (AMPC)