God’s unmerited favor toward us based on His unconditional love
If you are a Christian, you know you are only saved due to the extravagant grace of God expressed in the cross of Jesus Christ. But did you know that “grace” is a continuous, necessary part of your everyday journey with God? Grace, in its varied contexts is seen all throughout the New Testament. In other words, grace: God’s gift of “support, power, mercy, help, protection, strength, wisdom, light, and comfort for the individual in his or her unique, individualistic, daily, moment by moment, circumstances” of life is available, necessary, and sufficient.
Since it is obvious that we all have our own trials and tribulations, together with our own genetic makeup, personalities, family stories and histories; therefore, our own weaknesses and struggles which we carry daily. And because of this, our good, intimately personal, Savior and God meets each one of us individually and uniquely through the power of the Holy Spirit as needed. This is due solely because of God’s endless supply of power and glorious riches available to us in our Lord Jesus Christ! Does that sound familiar at all? To me it sounds like the first chapter of Ephesians (you should read it). In fact, there are so many verses surrounding the subject of grace and its various uses in scripture that if I wanted to write it all out, I would get nothing else done. And so, I will try to list just a few. But first know this. In the Bible there are 124 verses regarding grace. There are 10 in the Old Testament and 114 in the New. And 80 of those times which it is used in the New Testament it is by none other than the Apostle Paul (of course). Here are a few verses regarding grace:
We’ll begin with the foundation of all the verses on grace: “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,” (Exod. 34:5-6, emphasis mine). In other words, the very nature of God is “grace.” So, if you bear the Holy Spirit in you, you have a constant supply of grace at your disposal.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17). Since Jesus Christ is God in flesh, He is also full of grace, just like the Holy Spirit in you is full of grace.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Pet. 5:10). This is grace for the trials of life. And this next verse fits perfectly here: “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” (Heb. 4:16). This is God’s, fully available for the taking, support or strength in times of trouble or temptation.
And lastly, just one of the many greetings from the Apostle Paul, “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7). May God’s unmerited favor be upon you all!
According to the website, praywithconfidence.com “John Wesley and the Wesleyan Traditions speak of four types of grace: prevenient [anticipatory grace], justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying.” Prevenient grace falls under the title of common, actual, or God’s “good” grace. Again, I like the way praywithconfidence.com explains it: “Actual grace is that special help that the Holy Spirit gives us to enlighten our minds… [and helps us choose the good instead of the evil in various situations]. It consists of temporary gifts of divine light for our minds and divine powers for our hearts. It is the nudges that God uses to get our attention so that we might enter more deeply into a relationship with Him. Actual grace compels us to take action in our lives to put God first.”
At the end of it all this is “working out” the sanctifying grace available for us [the process of holiness through which we are conformed more into the image of Christ] and which is only fully realized in the glorifying grace, which carries us into eternity! So, grace is necessary not only for us to receive salvation; but it is necessary for every step, and for every day, of our journey down here; and it is that same grace which takes us home. Know therefore, God’s amazing grace saves, upholds, strengthens, comforts, helps, heals, moves, covers, leads, and provides for you continuously!