Grace is a fundamental concept in Christian theology that refers to the unmerited favor and love of God extended to humanity. It is a central theme in understanding salvation and the relationship between God and human beings.
As Mark 16:16 states, "He who believes AND is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned." This implies that accepting Christ's sacrifice and being baptized are necessary for salvation.
Unlike salvation, grace is not something that can be earned or achieved through human effort. It is a gift freely given by God, based solely on what Jesus Christ accomplished through his death and resurrection. Grace is the means by which sins are forgiven and humanity is reconciled with God.
While confessing our sins and acknowledging what Christ did is an important part of receiving forgiveness, it is by God's grace that we are forgiven. Grace does not itself forgive sins but makes forgiveness possible through the sacrificial act of Jesus. As the Bible states, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
It is important to note that grace is not about giving to the deserving or withholding from those who do not deserve it. Grace is given equally to all because Christ died for the sins of all humanity. It does not consider a person's worthiness or righteousness but extends to all, regardless of their past or present actions. As the Bible states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
One of the remarkable aspects of grace is that it reaches out to those who are broken, helpless, and admit their need for God. It is in recognizing our own sinfulness and our inability to save ourselves that we find the abundant grace of God. Grace meets us in our brokenness and offers us forgiveness, redemption, and a restored relationship with God.
Your past sins do NOT disqualify you! In fact, it IS your past sins that makes you qualified.
In summary, grace is the unearned and undeserved favor of God that provides forgiveness, salvation, and reconciliation with Him. Grace is a gift bestowed upon all humanity through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, irrespective of our past sins or perceived worthiness. Grace is found when we humbly acknowledge our need for God and accept His gift of salvation.
-Ronald A Fahrenholz II www.anchoredingod.org