DAY 1, Read John 1:14-16
WHAT IS GRACE?
Key Text: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
What is grace? A Hebrew Old Testament word describing God’s grace is “chesed.” This word speaks of deliverance from enemies, affliction, or adversity. It also denotes enablement, daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. The New Testament word for grace is “Charis.” This word focuses on the provision of salvation as a gift, favor or blessing.
Paul writes that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. JESUS is the gift of God’s grace by which all men may be saved. How wonderful it is to know that “The grace of God has appeared!”
Surprisingly, Jesus, the source and giver of grace did not teach on grace during his earthly ministry. However, he exemplified mercy when he forgave the woman who was caught in adultery and when he granted the petitions of the woman from Canaan (John 8:1-12; Matthew 15:21-28). He demonstrated what grace means when he called Peter who had toiled all-night and caught nothing. At God’s word, he caught a large amount of fish enough to fill two boats.
By these acts he taught us what grace and mercy meant. He taught that faith in him brings salvation. It was Peter, John the beloved, and Paul, a latter day Apostle, who testified about the mystery of grace. Three of them experienced grace from the Lord.
John, perhaps due to his closeness to Jesus, revealed to us that the law came through Moses, but grace came through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that we are all partakers of the fullness that is in Christ, one grace after another (John 1:16,17). He declared to us that Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Charles Ryrie makes this beautiful distinction between mercy and grace: “God shows both mercy and grace, but they are not the same. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we don’t deserve. Consider this illustration: you were stopped in your old clunker for going 60 mph in a school zone. The ticket is high, and you can’t pay it. You appear before the judge with nothing to say for yourself. He hears your case and then, to your surprise, he cancels your fine. That is mercy. But the judge doesn’t stop there. He walks you outside and hands you the keys to a new car. That is grace.”
In mercy, God chose to cancel our sin debt by sacrificing His perfect Son in our place (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But He goes even further than mercy and extends grace to His enemies (Romans 5:10). He offers us forgiveness (Hebrews 8:12; Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-20), abundant life (John 10:10), eternal treasure (Luke 12:33), His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and a place in heaven with Him some day (John 3:16-18) when we accept His offer and place our faith in His sacrifice. Grace is God giving the greatest treasure to the least deserving—which is every one of us.”
PRAYER: Father, thank you for Jesus who is the originator, source and giver of grace.