In the last two articles of our Qualities of Salvation series we have discussed two subjects (or qualities) of our salvation. Love and mercy are traits that Jesus had to have to give up his life for us. We can’t die for someone unless we have love and compassion for that person. Jesus didn’t die for just one person in particular. He sacrificed his life for all of mankind who is and is to come. But there is one more quality that I think needs to be addressed. The trait of grace is vital when it comes to our souls. Lets get just a glimpse of this wonderful topic and quality of Christ that without it, we may not have hope of the wonderful,majestic eternal life.
The definition of grace is just the opposite of what mercy is. Mercy (as we discussed in part 2) is not getting what you deserve in terms of being punished. You don’t get punished even though you should. Grace is different. With grace you get what you don’t deserve. With our sins, we get freedom from them even though we deserve death (Romans 6:23). Think of Jesus for a moment, he didn’t deserve death on the cross but he knew his mission and he knew what he had to do. To free us from sins that get between us and God. In Ephesians 2:8 Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” it is BY grace we have been saved but we are only saved by grace if we have faith.
Titus 2:11 states that “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” The grace of God is available for everyone, but only if we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” We live and stand by the grace of God even in what seems like the unbearable times. When we are being tempted or even tested, God is where we take refuge (Psalm 46:1).
But God shouldn’t be the only one who shows a bountiful amount of grace, we should too. In the second letter of the Corinthians Paul writes,”But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also”(2 Corinthians 8:7). Not only should we excel in those things listed, but we should excel in grace for others. We should have an abundance of grace for others just as God has for us.
Take the story of Moses for example, and look at all he accomplished in his life and think of all the grace God showed him. When Moses led the people out of Egypt (Exodus 14) didn’t Moses have grace from God to lead him and his people out? I would tend to believe so. Moses was a humble man and he had to get his people out of slavery in Egypt. On the other hand, Pharaoh was very proud of himself and he even thought he was God. Which one received God’s grace? Obviously Moses according to James 4:6 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Moses was humble and Pharaoh was not therefore, Moses received Gods grace and led his people out of Egypt (along with God’s help). It truly is an amazing story if you think about it.
1 Corinthians 15:10 says “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” Paul is writing here and he says the grace of God makes who he is, and it changed him. Remember before his baptism he killed innocent Christians because he had the wrong idea of what God wanted. It changed his life forever and he worked harder than all of the apostles but he says it wasn’t him who worked. It was grace who worked in him. Grace is powerful.
As we conclude this article and our series i hope we have all learned something. The love, mercy, and grace of Christ affected the salvation of our souls. Without them he might not have died for us, remember he had the option of not doing it but he did because he had the love for us. The mercy to free us and the grace to give us eternal life with him (Titus 3:3-8).