Grace is not a pass to do anything we want without consequences or a get out of jail free card, like in the Monopoly game. It is the power of God in us to set us free from the nature of sin and to enable us to walk blameless before God.
In the Old Testament the word grace appears for the first time in Genesis as it speaks of Noah having found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The word grace is from the Hebrew, Chen; well, favour, kindness, precious and pleasant. Grace was displayed in acts of kindness, graciousness and favour which we received from God. Mankind continued to receive God’s favour and kindness.
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. KJV
Moses gave the law and regulations of what to do and not do. The purpose of the Law was to show mankind that even their best efforts could not live up to the standards of God’s Holiness and a need for a Saviour. Yet, God in His unmerited Grace and Favour toward mankind, allowed the blood of animals to point to the day that His Son Jesus would shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sin.
In the New Testament the word grace is first seen in Luke. It is from the Greek word charis; a divine influence upon the heart, a reflection in the life, of manner or act that includes gratitude, favour, gift, thanks, worth. In this grace has another attribute. It is not only the favour and gift from God but Grace is the divine power to change and influence our hearts to reflect the life of God in our actions and in the manner in which we live. With the birth of Jesus grace and truth came to empower us with God’s divine influence in our hearts.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. NIV
The Bible says grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Now grace is not only the unmerited kindness and favour of God but it is truth. Truth of God has a divine influence upon the heart of those who receive the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus’ life is reflected in the lifestyle and actions of those who have received and believe in Christ. Grace and truth are inseparable. They cannot be separated or taken apart. If we live in grace we live in the truth of God’s word. We cannot live a life in the world contrary to the truth of God and say we have grace, because truth and grace are one, and the same. We live in truth by the grace and power of God.
Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. NIV
Jesus’ birth and life is the model that all true followers of Christ should live. When we are born again by the Spirit of God, we have a new heart, one that is influenced by the Holy Spirit. We too, can grow strong in God’s word and be filled with wisdom, grace, truth and power. God, the Holy Spirit, will dwell in us just as He did in the person of Jesus. We are no longer instructed to follow the Law of Moses because the law was just a school master showing us our inability to perform and the need for Jesus.
Many will try and use the excuse that Jesus was God and of course He could walk in Holiness. However, we too can live a life blameless before God. It is a matter of our “will” the choices we make.
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. NLT
Our responsibility is to be willing and open to the Holy Spirit moving in our lives to empower us to perform God’s purpose. It is God by the Holy Spirit Who will empower us by the power of His Grace to do His will. Though our fallen nature does not want to relinquish control over our thoughts and actions, we can submit our will to Our Father.
Father we are willing and pray that You will change our hearts by Your Grace and the power of the Holy Spirit that we will do what is pleasing in Your sight.