What is Grace: A Biblical Perspective

Grace is God’s voluntary and loving favor given to those He saves. Without God’s grace, no person can be saved. 

The word “grace” appears in 159 verses in the Bible. Grace is a crucial part of God’s character, and it’s the reason for all His actions, including our salvation. Like God’s love, it is overflowing, unfailing, and unconditional. Despite all this, what is grace? Why is God so gracious that He forgave our sins and sent Jesus as a way for us to come home to Him? Why would God waste His precious time on us sinners?

As we continue with this article, let’s dive deeper and learn more about God’s grace and its essential to our journey as Christian.

What is Grace?

Grace has a broad definition; it can pertain to how a person carries or how one person acts towards one another. If we look at the meaning in the dictionary, grace relates to a person’s “elegance in form, motion or action where grace is an attractive quality.” Merriam-Webster defined grace as an act of kindness and courtesy. 

Grace according to the Bible

The word “grace” can mean many things in the Bible, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation. According to Titus 2:11-12, God’s grace is why we have redemption. His grace taught us to deny ourselves and live by Jesus’ teachings and examples. In addition, Hebrews 4:16 says that grace is why we can approach God in our time of need, whenever and wherever. 

The Importance of Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 states that we are alive and saved from our sins because of God’s grace, not because of our goodness and efforts. Because of grace, we experience God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, no matter how many times we screw up. Through God’s grace, we can transform and move forward from our “old” selves. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Titus 2:11-12, it says that as we receive salvation through Christ, we leave behind our old lives and allow grace to teach us to deny ourselves and follow Jesus.

What is the Biblical Context of Grace?

In our Christian identity

Paul’s preachings to give thanks and praise for the spiritual blessings we can receive through Christ. He mentioned that God freely gave Jesus Christ to pay for our sins (Ephesians 1:6). Continuing to verses 7-9, through God’s grace, He redeemed us through the blood of Jesus and forgave us of our sins. Through God’s grace, He blessed us with wisdom and understanding to fulfill His will so that His work will continue through us. 

In our standing before God

Without grace, we are unworthy to stand in God’s presence. But Paul mentions in Romans 5:1-2 that our innocence is justified once we receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Our justification is a gracious act that declares us sinners as innocent through the righteousness of God. However, it does not end there; we have to continue to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It involves acknowledging and repenting on our sins; to deny ourselves, and taking up our crosses daily so that the justification of our innocence will continue.

In our way of living

Grace teaches us to deny ourselves (Titus 2:11-12) and completely changes our outlook on life (Colossians 3:15). When we allow God’s grace and mercy to change us, we have more appreciation, focus on the positive, and welcome more unexpected situations because we acknowledge that God is in control. 

In service to one another

1 Peter 4:10 says that by serving others, we see and experience God’s grace in action. How then should we serve others? By encouraging them (1 Thessalonians 5:11), by helping them carry their burdens (Galatians 6:2), and by praying for one another (James 5:16).

During our suffering

For as long as we are here on earth, there will always be suffering. Although we are only human, we quickly tire of trials and challenges that seem bigger than ourselves. But remember what Isaiah 41:10 says, that God will help us and that He will be our strength. He will also restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us after overcoming our trials (1 Peter 5:10-11). 

Always keep in mind that God does not put us in a situation that we cannot handle. He makes it a point to prepare us before, during, and after every struggle and challenge so that we continue to grow our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

In our participation in God’s mission

God’s grace gives us purpose (2 Timothy 1:9). Now that we have salvation, Jesus calls us to use our “new” lives to participate in God’s mission. Although we are free to choose whether to follow or not, Acts 20:24 encourages us that completing the task Jesus gave us ultimately gives our lives meaning. Because we received God’s grace, like His love, we have to share it with others so that they may know of it as well. Acts 13:43 encourages us to testify and continue in the grace of God. As long as we are living and breathing, God’s work in us is not over. 

In our hope for the future

When God says He has a plan for you, He will see you through (Jeremiah 29:11). If you still feel discouraged and afraid of what tomorrow may bring, place your hope in God’s grace (1 Peter 1:13). God gave us hope for the future through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection made us new and gave us hope that we can live in Jesus Christ. This type of hope never dies and will live on for as long as God’s work isn’t finished with us. As we wait for our future to become a reality, we must continue the work that God entrusted us to do. 

In our lives beyond death

Romans 5:20-22 says that although sin reigns in death, God’s grace brings us eternal life through Jesus Christ, and it should not stop there. Our part is to set God’s plan in motion, so He gives us grace so that we can have everything we need to fulfill our purpose here on earth. While we’re still alive, continue to be faithful to His promises. 

What are the Benefits of Grace?

Grace is the reason why we have salvation and have the potential to reunite with God in heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9), and no power on earth can remove that privilege from us. Although we are not worthy of forgiveness, we have a clean slate because of God’s grace (Isaiah 43:25). We have the means to continue working on God’s plan because God’s grace sustains us (Philippians 2:13). He will always provide and keep us away from harm. 

Our talents (Romans 12:6) and willingness to fulfill His purposes in this world are also by His grace (Ephesians 3:7); God will never put us in situations unprepared. Through His grace and mercy, we have the strength to deny worldly possessions and transform into the people God plans us to be (Romans 12:2). As we grow in God’s grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18), we learn to focus more on matters that are important to God’s kingdom than our comfort and pleasure.

How Do We Receive Grace?

Grace is a gift, and by acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive His grace (John 1:17). It is not through the efforts that we have grace but through faith. We have access to God’s grace in which we have hope and perseverance during our sufferings (Romans 5:1-3; Ephesians 2:8-9). 

How Do We Respond to Grace?

God’s gift of grace and eternal life requires us to continually make an effort to obey and fulfill God’s plan here on earth. So our response to grace should be the following:

Rely on Grace

Because God has done and continues to do so much for us, we have to obey and trust in Him. We must stop taking control and accept that God has a fool-proof plan for everything. We only need to rely on His grace and timing. I know that there are times where we think taking control of our decisions and directions is the only way to make things right, but that is incorrect. Once we choose to accept salvation through Jesus, our lives are no longer ours, but it is Christ’s (Galatians 2:20). So, according to this passage, we now owe our lives to Jesus. 

We often forget that God’s plans are higher and better than ours. All these challenges and setbacks are lessons in preparation for the best that God has for you. Trying to take control will only tire us and cause us to move further away from God, so let go and let God’s grace calm your worries. Choose to follow and rely on God alone because He will always provide, and He will always make true of the promises He has for you.

Allow Grace to change us.

When we choose to rely upon and trust in God’s grace, we learn to turn away from worldly comfort and pleasures (Titus 2:12). God’s grace gives us the strength to keep away from temptation and instead focus on His goodness and righteousness.

Because we do not have to worry about what tomorrow will bring, there’s also a change in our outlook and priorities. We will not always know God’s reasoning, but as His plans slowly reveal themselves to us, we learn to understand why God moves the way He does. 

Share Grace

When we receive grace, it is only fitting that we share His grace with others. God’s grace is overflowing and unconditional; they will never run dry. God doesn’t save us from sin and then stops there. He calls for us to carry on the work and help others find and feel God’s grace and mercy as He had done when we were lost. He started an excellent job within us, and so we must not let that go in vain. We have to work harder to continue because we changed and became who we are because of God’s grace alone (1 Corinthians 15:10).

How To Give Grace?

We show and give grace to others through our words and actions by loving and honoring one another (Romans 12:10) and learning to overlook the mistakes others made against us (Proverbs 20:3). When we learn to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15) and learn to ask for forgiveness in return (Matthew 5:23-24), we show others how God’s grace has changed us for the better.

Also, empathizing with those who need it can be a way for us to give grace. We empathize with others by choosing the right words to say (Ephesians 4:29) and by being there in both celebration and sorrow (Romans 12:15). Lastly, grace is given when we find something to be thankful for, even in “hopeless” situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When we are faithful to God’s work, we always have something to be thankful for. 

In Summary

Grace is such a broad concept, yet it is a trait of God that is most impactful to the life of a Christian. It is the reason for our salvation; it renews hope for tomorrow and our source of strength and provisions. God’s grace is active and works endlessly in the lives of the people that accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Although we are not worthy to receive God’s grace, we have grace because He wants us to live the life He envisioned for us. 

As we receive God’s grace, we must do everything we can to be gracious towards others too. Continue to be faithful to the work that God entrusted us. Serve and exercise the gifts and talents God bestowed upon us to help build up others. Be a worthy example, so they will see how God continues to change your life for the better. 

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.