The Grace of God
by Cooper Abrams
The concept of grace is unknown among the pagan gods, idols, cults and false religions invented by man. All those who practice these false religions to some degree are seeking to merit or earn the right to heaven. However, true biblical Christianity is in a class all by itself because salvation is received by FAITH based on solely the GRACE of God.
Sadly, even among the "Christian" religions there are those who do not understand God's grace, Christ's atoning work or biblical salvation. These misguided churches teach a false salvation, based on adding men's good works, church membership, baptism, and a host of other religious acts to biblical grace. They teach that man is saved by God's grace plus the added righteous works of man.
Their assumption is that they can somehow work for their salvation degrades the Christ's suffering and death on the cross for the sins of mankind. However the Word of God explains in Romans 5:12-21 that death came upon all men because of the sin of Adam. Further God says, "For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (Rom. 5:15).
Nowhere in this passage or anywhere else in the Bible does God say a man can in any way justify himself. The atoning for sin was the sole work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who was without sin. The Bible says:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."(Acts 4:21)
It is solely Jesus Christ who atoned for sin and no man can offer his own righteousness for his sins, because all men are born sinners and under the condemnation of sin. This erroneous doctrine of grace plus works is not God's plan of salvation, and therefore damns those that believe it to the devil's hell.
What then is Grace? The dictionary defines Grace as..."disposition to grant something freely the condition or fact of giving favor. In theology it means the "unmerited love and favor of God towards man." Further the word refers to the divine influence of God to change a sinful man and make him pure and justify him before a holy and righteous God.
Thus grace by its definition and nature is something which is freely given to man by His Creator in which there is no requirements is set other than to freely receive it. Heaven is not earned....nor deserved, but offered as the free gift of God.
If a Father was to say to his son, son I will give you $10 a week if you will cut the grass, this is not grace because requires work on the part of the son. The reward in this case must be earned in order to be received.
If the father says, son you have really been doing good in school and helping you mother, so I am going to give you $10 to spend as you will, again this is not an example of Grace? This is a merited gift.
However, if a father sees his son in need because of his love for the son meets the need, has regardless of whether the son has be good or bad, then the father has extended grace. The father gave without regard to his merit to receive it. But the $10 will not benefit the son, unless he takes it from the father when it is offered.
False and unbiblical religions know nothing of God's GRACE! Is it Grace if I tell you that if you a good moral person, go join a church, tithe, and do certain rites, such as baptism, Lord's supper, confession, religious works, practice self denial and etc that God will extend Grace to you? Is this GRACE?
The answer is a resounding no because by the very biblical definition of Grace it is not grace when there is a condition or requirement attached other than freely receiving it.
LETS LOOK AT THE BIBLE AND SEE WHAT GOD DEFINES GRACE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO US.
I. SAVING GRACE IS THE GIFT OF GOD. Eph. 2:8-9
"Faith" in Ephesians 2:8 is in the Genitive or Ablative which is a different case and gives a description, shows separation, or makes a distinction.
The word "saved" is a perfect tense participle in the passive voice which receives the action of the subject.....which is "grace." An example: "The boy was hit by the ball," the subject "boy" receives the action. It was the boy whom the ball hit. The word "gift" in Ephesians 2:8 is in the nominative case which means the "offering" of grace. This means that grace is offered and received as a gift.
Note also that Romans 5:15 also explains this truth and adds that grace is a "free gift", "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." (Romans 5:15)
2. Thus from the Greek language we see that the subject of the verse is "grace." Because they are both in the nominative case it means that Grace and the gift are the same. In the grammatics of the verse "faith" is Genitive or Ablative, which sets the means or way of receiving grace. The statement is saying it is only by faith that the gift of Grace is received. The verse says that one is saved "through" faith, which is a preposition denoting the channel of the action. It is by faith that the gift of grace is received.
3. Verse 9, restates and clarifies the meaning of verse 8, in concluding salvation cannot come from working or meriting grace...which is salvation!
Thus Christ's love or Grace to us was given to us in a state of rebellion and sin and thus teaching we were completely undeserving of his favor to us.
If salvation were received based on our earning or meriting salvation the Bible would say something like, "While we were yet working and being faithful, and deserving and being worthy of God's grace a man is saved." BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IT SAYS DOES IT?
It says while we were sinning against Him, totally in rejection of Him, rebelling against Him, totally undeserving, He died in our place for our sins. Great is the Love of God for the sinner!
Note again, salvation is not according to our works, but according to God's own purpose he saves.
This certainly is not a picture of person who is living a virtuous life which deserves salvation. To the contrary the Bible say while we were foolish, and grossly sinful.....not faithful nor deserving of God's mercy.
1. Thank God for the "but" in Verse 4. But after that the kindness.... Question: Clearly Paul is addressing people who have been saved and referring to their status before their salvation. Why would the Lord have to show kindness to them if they had been worthy to be saved. If that were true, the verse instead would have to say "And God recognizing our worthiness gave us our just reward." But again....that is not what God says here are anywhere else.
2. Verse 4 speaks of the saving act of Grace, which is received not by our righteousness, but how? According to his mercy, or Grace.
3. Verse 5, emphatically states, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy." There cannot be any mistake about the meaning of this verse. God says that salvation is not giving " by works of righteous we have done," buy according to his mercy. The question is this, if salvation is earned by church membership, baptism, taking communion, doing good works....why the need of mercy? If a man is earning his salvation by doing the best he can....why the need for God to be merciful? The answer is obvious: Man is not worthy to receive God's Grace....but our loving God and Savior offers it freely to those who will believe and receive it.
2.Only the condemned need to be pardoned and receive Grace.
God loves the sinner and offers grace and it when it received takes away one's sin and God Himself through Christ Jesus declares us righteous, and without the penalty of sin. It is totally the work of God offering us His unmerited favor.
3. Romans 3:23-25. Note the verse says all are sinners. This establishes our need to be justified.
b. Note that the means of receiving propitiation is FAITH which is the same truth that is stated in Ephesians 2:8.
Christ Himself, through his dying on the cross, shedding His righteous and innocent blood, paid our sin debt that we could not pay.
1 John. 2:2, Says on the Cross every sin ever committed by man was paid for in full. "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
God use of the word "propitiation" is an emphatic statement that man cannot earn God's grace or salvation. The word means "full payment." Christ is the full payment, not partial payment added to and completed by our good works.
God purpose is stated in Ephesians 2:7, "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his Grace in kindness towards us through Christ Jesus."
2. Romans 3:30 says, "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision (Jews) and the uncircumcision (Us!) through Faith"
3. Christ came to Earth, God incarnate in Man, to save man and give him victory over death and to give eternal life in the very presence of God.
4. He our creator only says trust me, believe on me, take my free unmerited gift of salvation...and be saved today.
5. Rom. 10:9-10, " If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. "
Would you right now standing by your seat trust Christ as your savior?
Would you then, publicly testify of your placing your trust in Him and come down to the front of this church, and share God's act of Grace with this congregation.
Verse 11 states, "Whoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed!"
Won't you come even now, with hesitation, on this first verse of our invitation hymn.