Answers 01 What Is God’s Grace? – David Hibbert.
In this series called “Answers”, my goal is to help you, by sharing with you short, Biblical answers to questions that people have been asking me. Today’s question:
What Is God’s Grace?
Simply stated, Grace is God’s undeserved favour toward humans. However, there are three dimensions to this Grace from God.
- Common Grace.
“Common Grace” is the grace that God gives to every person, just because He created us and He loves us.
Matthew 5:45, NIV – (45) … He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Everyone gets the benefit of God’s common grace, no matter who they are.
- Saving Grace.
“Saving Grace” is the grace that most people think of when they hear the phrase “Grace”.
Ephesians 2:8, NIV – (8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Our salvation is offered freely to us because of the grace of God, not because of anything we have done. We do not earn our salvation by good works, by performing for it, by living a righteous life, or by being part of a Christian family. Our salvation is completely undeserved, but it is offered to us freely by the grace of God.
However, as this verse says, it must be received by faith. We must have faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9, NIV – (9) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
We receive our salvation by declaring with our mouths (by faith) that Jesus is Lord, and believing in our hearts (by faith) that God raised Jesus from the dead.
- Enabling Grace
“Enabling Grace” is the grace that God gives us so that we can obey and serve God as Christians. God’s Enabling grace empowers us so that we can do everything that God tells us to do, and glorify Him in our lives.
1 Corinthians 15:10, NIV – (10) 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 said that it was God’s grace – His Enabling Grace – that gave him the ability to work hard and serve God effectively.
The Bible says that the grace of God empowers us to our hearts from bitterness (Hebrews 12:15), perform signs and wonders (Acts 6:8), grow in wisdom (Luke 2:40), serve God in ministry (Acts 14:26), speak with authority (Romans 12:3; 15:15), and much more.
Why is it important to understand these distinctions? Because many people make the mistake of using God’s Saving Grace to justify not growing in the Lord, not avoiding sin, and not serving God. They say that they are saved by God, and so there is nothing they need to do now.
However, because of God’s Enabling Grace, we have no excuse to not grow, not keep ourself pure, and not serve God effectively. God’s Saving Grace was for the moment of salvation, but it is God’s Enabling Grace that we are to use to glorify God in our Christian lives.