Romans 5:20, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”
Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption … according to the riches of His grace”
What Is Grace? Grace is the love and favor of God toward man, God’s forgiving mercy. The grace of God is spontaneous, unmerited, and almighty directed. Grace is the source of the whole scheme of redemption. Solomon describes wisdom as a grace. Most all references to grace in the Old Testament are termed as finding favor or grace in the sight of God or another person. It means graciousness, kindness, and favor, and is derived from a word that means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, with the purpose of bestowing favor. In the New Testament, this kindness is stressed with having only one motivation—love. It is clearly unearned and unmerited favor, and it causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, benefit, thanks, and gratitude.
Living only a couple of hours from Niagara Falls, every time I go there, I’m awed by their sight, sound and overpowering sense of it all. Every minute, approximately 200,000 tons of water plunges into the Niagara River gorge in a thunderous ovation to the lavish, generous nature of God. The Lord could have used a lot less water, but He didn’t. He could have made the falls lower, but He built them twelve stories high, and because they are what they are from the creative hand of God, people come from all over the globe to see the mighty Niagara Falls. What a picture of God’s grace in Jesus Christ! Ephesians 1:7-8 puts it this way, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.” The Greek word for “abound” is translated “an exceeding measure, something above the ordinary.” Thus, God’s grace toward us isn’t squeezed out from an eyedropper or carefully rationed like water during a drought. My friend, His grace is like a Niagara of super-abundance so plentiful that we can only be in awe at its display.
Yet, many people find it most difficult to believe that God’s marvelous grace could include them. They have professed faith in Christ but are still disturbed by a gnawing feeling that they may have sinned too much, and to be completely forgiven seems too good to be true. It’s like the young married woman who had a hysterectomy because of cancer. She wondered if God was punishing her for the three abortions she had before she gave her life to Him. She asked, “Has He really forgiven me? Did I sin too much to be forgiven?” She need not be afraid. Having placed her trust in Christ, she is completely forgiven. While her affliction may be related to her sin, it isn’t wrathful punishment from God. No one can fully comprehend God’s grace, but like the prophet Micah we can marvel at it and rejoice in it. Although he sorrowfully recounted the sins of his people, Micah went on to acknowledge the Lord’s goodness and he expressed confidence in God’s promise to forgive and bless His people.
God’s grace is what makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world? God’s grace is available for those who recognize they cannot help themselves and provides total forgiveness for anyone who seeks it, even for the worst of sinners. My friend, the very heart of the gospel is the supreme truth that God accepts us with no conditions whatever when we put our trust in the atoning sacrifice of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Although we are helplessly sinful, God in His grace forgives us completely. It’s by His infinite grace that we are saved, not by moral character, works of righteousness or churchgoing. When we do nothing else but accept God’s total pardon, we receive the guarantee of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7), and God declares, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18), and “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20). Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we can become part of God’s kingdom. It’s a kingdom with values at odds with the world, a kingdom where the power of death has been vanquished, a kingdom that will shatter all others and usher in everlasting righteousness and peace. My friend and brethren, God’s boundless grace has ordained this great gospel for the entire world and it’s ours personally! By grace through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, we belong to an eternal kingdom, if you are His child.
Grace is everything for nothing to those who don’t deserve anything.