What is Grace?
Grace is about God saving people who do not deserve it and without their help.
Too often, grace seems to be something that you cannot get on your own, but you have to have met some sort of condition in order to get the grace.
For example, when people say, “God helps those who help themselves.”
People say such things to point out the personal responsibility that we have before God. And this gets adopted into so many areas of life that even in our personal relationship with God, that relationship that ends in our being in heaven forever with God, gets classified as “God helps those who help themselves.”
However, that statement is nowhere in the Bible. The Bible actually teaches something different.
Romans 4 talks about justification, which is such a big word. Justification is the moment that God declares a sinner to be righteous, to be law abiding, and in that moment, that person will be forever changed in their character and destiny.
Paul says something so profound. “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.” (Romans 4:4)
In other words, if someone meets a condition for God’s grace, then they are not getting grace, they are getting what they deserve, their due, because work and effort demands payment.
“And to the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)
Here Paul contrasts another type of person, a Person who does not work to get the grace, but a person who believes. It is a Person who simply trusts in the God who justifies the ungodly.
Now stop the presses: God justifies the ungodly. God does not justify people who clean themselves up, who are good, who are close to be righteous, who have most of life together, who are basically good people. No. God justifies people who are ungodly.
That does not mean they get to stay ungodly. It means they know they are ungodly and they are the ones who believe in him who justifies the ungodly. So he counts them righteous because they believe in Christ Jesus. They have faith in Christ and because of that, they are counted righteous.
What does that mean? It means that the moment you trust in Jesus Christ, you are declared righteous, law abiding by God, and are then no longer considered his enemy, but his child.
It means in that moment all that Jesus did on the cross counts for you in such a way, that you do not need to stop off somewhere else before heaven to get cleaned up.
It means that like the thief on the cross you will be with Christ immediately upon death.
It will not be the person who works, but it will be the person who does not deserve it, who cannot work, but who simply believes, that God will justify, or save. That is what grace is. God saves those who do not deserve, without their help.
Would you trust in Christ?