“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18). The thread of God’s grace is woven throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s impossible to understand God’s love without understanding that God’s grace flows out of His love for humanity. God’s grace has always been, and always will be, a natural part of God’s character. God’s grace, as described in the Bible, is the reason that Christianity is different from all other religions and cults that exist on planet earth. It’s impossible to understand Christianity without understanding God’s grace toward His people. When a Christian gets a biblical perspective of God’s grace, it will revolutionize their thinking and their lifestyle. God’s grace came to us through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). God’s grace and mercy are within His sovereignty—He gives it to anyone He pleases (Romans 9:15-16).
God created Adam and Eve and told them they could eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, died spiritually, and lost their intimate relationship with God. God had every right to immediately destroy them; but God demonstrated His grace and love toward Adam and Eve by sacrificing an animal and giving them animal skins to cover their sins and nakedness Enoch lived his life to please the Lord, and God rewarded Enoch with His grace by taking him into the heavens (Genesis 5:24). God gave Noah the wisdom and strength to build the ark because Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). “The Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (Psalm 84:11-12).
God’s grace directed Samuel to anoint David to be the future king of Israel. God’s grace to David and the nation of Israel directed the stones that David released from his sling toward the giant (1 Samuel 16-17). David’s pride caused him to fall for Satan’s temptation to count the people and ordered Joab to number the people. This displeased God, and the prophet Gad told David he had three choices; three years of famine, three months of defeat by their enemies, or three days at the hand of the Lord . David said, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man” (2 Samuel 24:14). David knew that God’s grace and mercy are far superior to man’s judgment. God’s grace allowed David to live after violating God’s law by committing adultery with Bathsheba, and then having her husband killed in battle (2 Samuel 12:13).
Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria, with no relationship with God, and he had leprosy. An Israeli captive girl who waited on Naaman’s wife told her mistress that there was a prophet in Israel that could heal Naaman’s leprosy. Naaman went to Elisha’s house, and Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman saying, “Go wash in the Jordan River seven times and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” Naaman became furious and went away upset because Elisha sent his servant out instead of meeting Naaman himself. Naaman said there are better rivers of Damascus than all the waters in Israel, could I not wash in them and be clean? So he went away in a rage.
Naaman’s servants said to him, “If the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan River, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. Naaman humbled himself and listened to Elisha, and God did what Elisha said He would do; God’s amazing grace healed Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19).
The Pharisee said, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ Jesus said, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee came to God based on his own works and self-righteousness, and his sins were not forgiven; the tax collector came to God based on his own sinfulness and God’s grace, and God forgave his sins.
Sinful humanity likes to brag, we want glory and honor, thinking God owes us something—how foolish! God owes humanity nothing; there’s nothing within our sinful flesh that God will accept into His heaven (Romans 7:18). We’re all natural born sinners, we cannot keep from sinning. Keeping any of the Ten Commandments perfectly is as impossible as running and jumping over the sun. If it wasn’t for God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ we’d all end up in the lake of fire. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Understanding our own sinfulness and God’s grace toward us will keep us from becoming self-righteous. We’ll be less interested in worldly things and pleasures, and more interested in our love and devotion to Jesus Christ. We’ll understand that everything we have in this world we received from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). We’ll love and pray for sinful and undeserving people just like our self. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Memorize this Bible verse.