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Grace: Why Would We Be without It?

My father-in-law was a quiet, contemplative man—one who measured his words carefully and uttered them purposefully. Being fairly reserved myself, I enjoyed his presence, whether conversing easily together or sitting comfortably in silence. One day as we relaxed in his family room, my father-in-law broke the quietude, giving voice to the private ponderings of his heart: “Where would we be without the forgiveness of sins?” In one simple sentence, he profoundly articulated both the gravity of our sin and his gratitude for God’s grace.

We primarily think of grace in the context of salvation—our rescue from sin and its ultimate consequences of death and separation from God—as well we should, for the familiar Bible verse declares, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”1 Yet the umbrella of grace extends much farther than salvation; Peter exhorts us to be “faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”2 Indeed, grace shines through the gift of righteousness, our right standing before a holy God based on Jesus’ sacrificial death and life-giving resurrection. It is through grace that the Holy Spirit resides in us, and in grace are we transformed into the image of Christ. And perhaps surprisingly to some, the grace we receive through faith finds its expression through the works we pour out in obedience, for as a people made new by grace, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”3

Over the next several weeks, we will examine grace in at least some of its forms—what it is and what it is not, and the various ways in which it expresses itself. But let’s always start here: God’s gift of grace arises from His nature of grace. He is “full of grace and truth”4 and “from his fulness we have all received, grace upon grace.”5 It is from His character of loving-kindness that God pours out His favor on us, not as our due, but as His gift. Why would we be without it? Receive it, rest in it, and extend it today.

Father, You are good, Your heart is kind, and You lavishly pour out Your favor on us. Each new day as it dawns, may we receive Your favor and trust Your character. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Ephesians 2:8-9
2 1 Peter 4:10
3 Ephesians 2:10
4 John 1:14 ESV
5 John 1:16 ESV