“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8
Grace- (in Christian theology), the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favor in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in individuals for their regeneration and sanctification.
Or, more simply put, Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.
Last week we introduced Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and God’s plan to predestine (adopt) us to be part of God’s family even before the world began (Ch.1).
In the 2nd chapter he further explores this marvelous gift of grace and how we might want to respond. Like Jesus, Paul says we are chosen, but the chosen must choose. Grace is freely given and may even be irresistible, but we are also free to choose to walk away- you know, free will.
But before we can wrap our brains around this amazing gift we must deal with a very unpopular subject – sin. The word Paul uses, hamatia, means failure to hit the target. Sins such as hatred, greed, pride, racism, vengeance, etc., cause us to miss out on God’s plan to save the world. Sin seems to have its way in society, and it is easy to become disillusioned and lose hope in humanity. However, Paul says even though we are “dead in our sin” God’s incredible mercy embraces, forgives, and overcomes the power of sin. In other words, (as the hymn goes), it is greater than sin!
What are sinners like us to do? Paul says it has nothing to do with our works and a lot to do with faith in God’s work through Christ. And then, if grace is not amazing enough there’s even more…
Here’s a hint:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. v.10
Come and see,