Understanding and knowing God’s grace will change everything in your life. It is this one truth that is more misunderstood yet is more needed than just about anything else in our lives. God’s grace centers around the issue of our sin, our acceptability to God, and how we get there. For the next couple of articles I want to begin to camp out on the grace of God. Truly if we can “get” this doctrine—this truth active in our lives—it will indeed change everything for us.
Let me begin with what we will have to grasp in order to understand God’s grace—and that is our sinfulness and inability to stand before God in anything but His grace. This may seem like a strange place to begin our journey together, yet it is often because of misunderstandings here that we wind up with misunderstandings about the grace of God later. A wrong view of our sinfulness will lead to a wrong view of God’s grace as well. Our sinfulness before a holy God is absolute. There is no other way out of our sin than the grace of God. We do not have any alternative if we want to be in a right relationship with God and out from under His wrath that will be poured out upon sin as punishment for it. Either it is His grace—freely given through the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did to pay for sin on the cross . . . or . . . It is the horrifying specter of one day facing that wrath on the day of judgment. There is not a time in our lives, nor will there ever be one, when our relationship with God is not entirely dependent upon His grace. It is grace for our rescue from sin’s penalty, grace for our daily rescue from sin’s power, and grace from our ultimate rescue from the wrath of God on the day when all men will give an account to God for their lives.
Too many view sinfulness and the ruin that comes with it as something other than our absolute inability to be in a right relationship with God. They see it as a problem—but it is one “they” can work on in their own strength. Christians see sin as a problem solved by getting saved—but then it is up to them to “keep-up” salvation by their own obedient actions. The truth from the Word though is that we do not need better behavior, we need perfect righteousness at all times to stand before God. Even if we got this initially at our salvation—we could never maintain it. We would surely blow it—and that in short order. The fact is that we daily depend (actually we depend on God’s grace every millisecond of every day) on God’s grace. It is His gift of “declaring us righteous” as an act of His grace that EVER allows us to stand. And it is that glorious grace that allows us to walk daily (millisecond-ly if you will) in God’s peace—knowing His acceptance of us based solely and completely out of the wonderful grace that is ours in Jesus Christ.