I’m sure many of you have a similar experience that I have when I go to church every Sunday morning. For me, going to church is refreshing. When I go, I am reminded of God’s love for all of us, I feel encouraged to on throughout the week, and I leave knowing more than I used to know. For this weekly letter, I was inspired by a message of God’s grace received at church on Sunday and wanted to share it through this letter. Many are familiar with the concept of God’s grace. However, sometimes it can be overlooked in the midst of so many other concepts. Sometimes, perhaps, we focus on other concepts so much that we miss the main idea of the Bible—or rather, we do not focus on God’s grace nearly as much as we should.
To begin, the first thing I would like to point out is the simple fact that we never deserve grace. We as humans simply cannot do enough good in our lives to deserve grace, or sometimes to even feel like we deserve it. We are incomplete, imperfect, and fragmented. Romans 3:10-12 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” In addition to this, Romans 7:21-24 says, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” We recognize that we are trapped in a body of death and that we are not without sin. We are sinful and cannot possibly do enough good to deserve grace. However, the Apostle Paul doesn’t end this section of Romans 7 without answering the question at hand. After verse 24, Paul writes: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
It really is a blessing and relief that we do not earn grace based on how good we are. However, there are still many people in the world who have the idea that the better you are, the closer to earning grace you are. But my best isn’t enough for grace, and your best isn’t good enough either. We may be “better” than some people in this world, but if we’re going to compare our goodness, then we must question who we will compare our goodness to. We should compare ourselves to perfection, which can only be Jesus Christ. But, compared to Jesus, our good deeds aren’t enough. Romans 3:23-24 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
This leads to the point that grace is a gift and it’s free. In Acts 15:11, Peter says, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” After realizing this, it is so comforting to know that we do not have to reach a certain level of achieved actions in order to earn grace and ultimately salvation, because we never can reach any such level. However, some people may view this line of thinking as dangerous. I remember my pastor bringing up one such example in how this could be viewed. One man, after hearing everything I just described, asked the pastor, “So what you’re saying is that, because grace is this way, I can continue to sin as much as I want to?” The pastor answered, “Yes.” However, there is one important thing that happens when someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior: they continually and gradually lose the desire to want to sin.
This gift of free grace is not only something you cannot deserve or earn, but it’s also something that is sufficient. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 we understand this: “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness for the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Grace of God is, simply put, unbelievably amazing. Oftentimes to get something we have to deserve it, but not so with Grace. In life we are taught that nothing is really free, but Grace is free. In this world, no worldly thing is sufficient eternal, but Grace is different and sufficient. In addition to these things, Grace is open to everyone, not just a few people, and God sent his son so that we may be saved by Grace through Faith to spend eternity with Him is the greatest gift we could ever receive.
Claire Marker (21) is the Graphic Designer at TPS Chapel