When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and helplessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God.
Dr. R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, © 1998. p. 180
God’s grace is the bestowal of blessing that is neither earned or merited. God’s grace is extended to us totally because of Christ’s death on the cross. He took the death that we sinful creatures deserved so that we could live our life in and through Him.
The Hebrew word for “grace” means favor, acceptance, kindness.
In Genesis we read God’s description of the wickedness on the earth and of His intention to destroy all creation.
“So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
Genesis 6:7-8 KJV The English Standard Version of this verse says “Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” But Noah found grace, favor, before God and Noah and all his family, as well as the creatures of the earth, were saved from the all-consuming flood that arose by God’s power.
In the book of Exodus, God, Himself, includes grace as part of His nature when He was speaking to Moses.
“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”
Exodus 34:5-6 (KJV) and (ESV)
In Psalms 145:17 we read:
“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works.” (KJV)
“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, kind in all His works.” (ESV)
While the word “gracious” is not used often in the New Testament with reference to God, the word “grace” is used over 100 times when speaking of God’s actions toward His children.
For example, Paul in his letter to the Romans uses the word “grace” often.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The writer of Hebrews says:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The demonstration of God’s grace towards us comes in different ways. There is the grace that God shines on the elect and wicked alike; this is called “common grace”. The word “common” does not denote that the grace is cheap or ordinary. Rather, this grace provides all of mankind blessings that are non-eternal, such as health, good weather, prosperity, rain, etc. In fact, life itself is a gift of common grace. He does not have to give life to any one, no one can demand it from Him, and He can take it when He pleases. Indeed, sinful man deserves nothing but death.
Then there is that special grace which God demonstrates toward those whom He chooses to be His people, just as He did with the children of Israel. We read in the book of Deuteronomy these words of God:
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
God chooses His children not because they are more powerful, wise, intelligent, charismatic, pious, handsome, or any of the other characteristics that we would consider important in selecting someone for some specific honor. Rather, He chooses His children simply because that is what He chose to do.
This grace is amazing for it relies not at all upon us, but solely upon God and His providential will. Our adoption as children into His family is not based on any service or good we are capable to render. The enormity of this grace is impossible to comprehend, but our reaction to it should be bowing ourselves at the feet of the Lord in praise and rejoicing for His pleasure in granting us salvation.
The hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” encapsulates the response we should have to this grace of our loving Father. Listen as The CenturyMen present this hymn on their album The CenturyMen Silver Anniversary, Disc 2.
May we crown Him Lord of All as we praise Him for paying our ransom from the fall, not because of any merit that we have, but because of His abundant grace toward us.
Father, there are no words to express our gratitude for the gift of Your grace. Lord Jesus, we fall before You and praise Your name for Your paying our ransom so that we could be relieved of the debt of sin and come to You now, and forevermore.