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Whether it is BOGO, clearance sale, or straight out free gift, ever single person wants to stretch their dollar a little farther to maximize their buying power. And if we are honest with one another, what we really want is to get something for nothing! But there's no such thing as a "free lunch"...or is there?
There is one thing that is absolutely free...and that is GRACE! The definition of Grace as it pertains in Christian belief is: "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." Let that sink in...."the free and unmerited favor of God." It is so hard to comprehend the true meaning of this reality. For hundreds of years, people have tried to express the truth of God's Grace in songs, poems, and sermons. But the Bible describes it best...One of the most incredible verses on Grace is from Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) which proclaims...
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
In Charles Stanley's Life Principles Bible, he made this commentary on these powerful verses:
“If our salvation were dependent upon our actions – if we could be redeemed by doing good works, keeping the commandments, and refraining from sin – we would always be in danger of losing it whenever we stumbled. However, because salvation is a gift given to us freely – and not in exchange for anything we can do – it is completely secure. Our salvation therefore magnifies the awesome love and grace of God alone, since He blesses us not because of our merit but because of His goodness.”
I love that, God "blesses us not because of our merit but because of His goodness.” This is especially important because our sin separates us from God. Here is a incredible picture of what Grace means. The old testament prophet Isaiah said to the people:
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear." Isaiah 59:2 (NKJV)
This true for us today, our inequities or inward bent toward sin has separated us from God. Isaiah said because of our sins, God is hidden from us, or another way to say it, our sin pushes God away from us. BUT Grace, changes everything because it bridges the gap between our sin and God. Many people have a hard time believing that God's grace, His favor and His love is free to anyone through belief in Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection for all of our sins over 2,000 years...You cannot earn your salvation, or do enough "good deeds" to make it to heaven but it is a free gift, as Acts 15:11 (NLT) says:
"We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
The grace we receive is undeserved and is solely based on "who God is" and not on anything we do. All we need to do is trust Him!