Grace – What it is
Trevor McKinney’s 7th grade social studies teacher, Eugene Simonet, gave the class an assignment – Do something to change the world. Trevor decided to do something really big for three people who need it with the stipulation that they do something big for three others. The October 2000 movie, Pay It Forward, spawned the Pay It Forward Foundation and in 2007, Pay it Forward Day was founded by Blake Beattie in Australia.
Trevor’s idea is close to an example of grace except that Trevor’s idea is conditional and Grace is not. Grace is unmerited favor. In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace? author Philip Yancey say,
“Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it.”
Grace does not depend on the recipient doing something as a condition to receive Grace. A better example of Grace would be paying for the order of the person behind you who is in line at the drive through of a fast food restaurant. The recipient does nothing to deserve the gift.
Grace is the one thing that separates Christianity from other world religions. Grace is God’s plan for redemption. The Apostle John wrote in ,
The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
The Apostle Paul said:
I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it. 10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.
But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: 23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24 and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. Romans 3:21-25a
“Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.”
– Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Grace – What it isn’t
Grace is not a license to sin! The Apostle Paul; explains it in Romans 6:1-3
So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? 2 No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin? 3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism.
In simple terms, Grace is a free gift from God, given to those who will accept it. There are no strings attached and there are no conditions that must be met or achieved to receive it.
Grace changes the receiver. That change is why Christians do not continue in sin. That does not mean Christians never sin. It means when they sin, they recognize it and ask God for forgiveness.
By the way, April 30th is Pay It Forward Day. Have you been changed by Grace? Perhaps you can demonstrate grace to some unsuspecting soul on April 30th. I would love to hear about that.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.