9. Now what exactly is grace?

In the previous chapters we talked about what it is God asks of us: faith and repentance. At the same time, the Bible makes it very clear that we can only be saved by grace.

  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8 and 9).

Receiving grace means two things:

1. You do not get what you deserve: an eternal punishment;
2. You do get what you don't deserve: you receive forgiveness of your sins, you become a child of God, and you receive eternal life.

“By grace” actually means: completely free of charge! We find it very difficult to receive God's grace, because in daily life we hardly ever get anything for free. You have to work hard for your money, and you have to perform well to work your way up in this world.

In God's economy things work differently. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn your salvation. Some people think, “If only I will pray a lot, I will be entitled to receive God's grace.” Others say, “If only I will mourn over my sins often, I will be entitled to receive God's grace.” Many people even think they are more entitled to God's grace than others, simply because they go to church or live pious lives. All of this is untrue. Of course it is a good thing to go to church, but you can't earn anything by doing that. And of course it is good to be sorrowful over your sins, but in no way this can be a foundation for your salvation.


Why can't we do anything for our salvation?
Because it is impossible and unnecessary:

  • -  It is impossible because we people can never bear the punishment we deserve and can never make it back to God in our own strength.
  • -  It is also unnecessary because the Lord Jesus has paid the penalty for all sin on the cross. The Lord Jesus has fulfilled all requirements for our salvation.


A thought to ponder on your own
Read Romans 3:24. What does the following statement mean: “Grace: it is free, but it isn't cheap?”



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