In the matter of salvation we must go to the Word of God. There is no other source to tell us of God, man, sin, Christ, and salvation. The word "grace" is of the utmost importance, the scriptures are full of this word "grace": 38 times in the Old Testament and 115 times in the New Testament.
Moses was interested in knowing if he had found "Grace in the sight of the Lord." Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Grace is what the New Testament is teaching us - "Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." To be ignorant of Grace is to be ignorant of the scriptures and of salvation. The meaning of "grace" has been lost to most people, to most it's a word used to get a "celestial battery charge" when they go to church. The majority of preachers, in preaching, and religious people, in practice, deny God's grace and even frustrate it!
There is not a more urgent need today than for people to have a true understanding of GRACE and what it means. What is the biblical definition of grace? Grace is God’s undeserved favor, His unmerited love toward those who, not only do not seek it nor try to obtain it, but actively seek to deny the very existence of grace and of God. Grace is the absolute opposite of man’s desire: man desires to approach God on the merit of man’s “goodness” and “worth”; by which the only response from God is “depart from me.” But grace is freely given from God to those He chooses and sets apart, and by which God says “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Grace is freely given of God: if it were not, the value of it is above price and no sinner would ever be able to receive it. Being freely given, God is under no obligation to give it to the sinner; but we are “justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24). Do you yet try to work out your own salvation, to earn God’s favor? Then you make God’s gift of grace to no longer be a gift and no longer be grace (Romans 11:6). Men in the Bible where overwhelmed by the fact that God's love towards fallen men is a free gift (Romans 9:16).
Grace is love (eternal, electing love) manifested: "God commendeth his love toward us in, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This electing love is unconditional, unprovoked, and undeserved. Grace, like its author, is sovereign and unconditional. Grace is God performing that saving work in a sinner that he purposed to do from eternity: "grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Timothy 1:9). Grace is God loving the unlovely, covenanting Himself to them, forgiving their sins, and accepting their persons, revealing Himself to them, and causing them to worship Him. God reveals in sinners a knowledge of Himself, bringing them to submit, bow, and love Him. God in his sovereignty overcomes every obstacle to fulfill His purpose towards them. God has, God does, and God will continue to show grace to His elect people.
Grace is not an impersonal energy automatically switched on by prayer, ordinances, or works. It is the heart and hand of the living, almighty God manifested to an innumerable company of sinners whom he calls His own, His children. Grace is a wonder and it is amazing. Grace causes the sinner to know man’s corruption, to know our absolute uselessness to add anything to God, and to know the reality of God's justice and wrath against sin. When the Holy Spirit comes and reveals these things to you, then you too will stand in amazement (with the saints of old) that there would be such a wondrous thing as grace at all. Grace that God shows sinners at the expense of the death of his dear Son on Calvary's tree!
With all the "wonders" of the world: the wonders of nature, of science, of space; these are nothing as they are compared to the wonder of the Grace of God. Nothing we can say can do it justice, all words fall short of describing it. Grace is God's inexpressible gift (II Corinthians 9:15).
Donald Bell, Pastor