In recent years we have been hearing a lot about the grace of God. It would almost seem as though those who speak so much of grace somehow think that they are the first to discover it. It is a good thing that men are speaking and writing about the grace of God, except for one thing – the grace they write of is often too small. It is as if they see in the grace of God nothing more than the forgiving of our sins. We hear such statements as this: we do the best we can and God’s grace takes care of the rest. It is certainly true that we need God’s grace to cover our sins but this is a very inadequate, limited view of grace.
One of scripture’s greatest statements on the grace of God is in the second chapter of Ephesians (Ephesians 2:1-10). In this passage Paul says, “By grace ye are saved;” then again, “By grace ye are saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2:5, 8) Does that mean merely that all our sins are forgiven? Certainly not! For while our sins are forgiven, there is much more. A dramatic change occurs in us – a change so radical that it is described as going from being dead in sin to being made alive. The apostle further states that we are God’s “workmanship” so that not only is forgiveness a gift of God’s grace but so also are all our good works as we live our lives under the law of Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:21) So that all our Christian human effort (and much is required) is undergirded by the grace of God – “It is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Furthermore, this is all accomplished through the gospel – “the power of God unto salvation.” (Romans 1:16)
God’s grace can and will rework our lives if we let Him. But if we refuse to let Him mold and make us but rather continue to yield ourselves as servants of sin, do not expect God’s gift of eternal life but rather the wages of sin which is death. (For a complete statement of this point read Romans 6:1-23)