Grace 101

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There are many principles in the Christian life that are at the basic level simple yet have profound impact. These are the things we take for granted.

For a lot of us, this happens with grace.

Often times, we find ourselves trying to go through life without grace until something happens that proves to us the stark reality that we really can’t live without it. Sometimes, it even feels like “grace” is just a hot word in the church. We all talk about grace, sing about grace, and preachers preach about grace, but do we really understand the role that grace should play in our lives?

My prayer in writing this blog post is that your heart will be awakened to the GRACE that God feels toward you and unconditionally offers you.

I would like to begin by answering the question, “How would you describe grace?”

I would verbalize it this way: “It’s the eternally active, unconditional, unmerited love that God has for us all.” I know that sometimes it is hard to understand grace fully, but when you experience grace through Jesus, there is no mistaking it.

Grace is offered to us from God with no strings attached.

For a lot of people, they can’t understand how grace is offered free to us. In general, humans have grown so accustomed to having to “earn” things that the simple idea that anything would be free is hard to believe.

The truth is that grace is offered absolutely free to us!

Understanding the definition of grace is just the beginning. The gift of grace that I just described has to be activated in a person’s life. How does that happen? This answer is simple: Jesus!

1 John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Grace is made effective in human beings by the work of Jesus, and the gift of grace in a person’s life is activated in salvation as the Holy Spirit draws people to Him who by example showed us what grace truly is.

Randy L. Maddox says in the book, Responsible Grace, “John Wesley believed that all human knowledge of God is derived from experience:

  • our experience of God’s restored initial revelation in nature,
  • our experience of God’s definitive revelation recorded in Scripture,
  • our experience of God’s direct address to our spiritual senses.”

This pushes me to understand that in order to fully grasp the concept of grace we have to do more than just know about it; we have to experience it!

The power of a personal testimony goes a long way in understanding the way God uses grace in a person’s life. No one has authority to speak on the grace of God if they have never experienced the grace of God.

Let me remind you that our DNA is not connected to grace at birth; it is something we have to grow to understand and ultimately receive. The grace that God offers to us has to become personal. Grace has to move from our head to our hearts, and then overflow into our actions. Paul said in Ephesians 2:4-5, “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.” Grace is a gift of God through Jesus, and the greatest gift you could ever receive in your life is the unconditional and eternally active gift of grace.

Shannon Chapman