After a classroom discussion about the grace of God; a student felt compelled to gain a better understanding of God’s grace in the life of the Christian believer. This young person wrote a note to Brother Sidney Gingrich asking for his explanation. The response from Brother Sidney follows:
January 20, 2004
Greetings in the name of Jesus. I want to now, by the grace of God, answer your letter as relates to Grace, as I understand it.
What is grace? The grace of God is: The unmerited favor of God toward us… The divine assistance of God… It is the Christian virtue of alms-giving as given in 2 Corinthians chapter 9, verses 7 and 8.
There are a number of ways God’s grace is used in Scripture. I will just refer to a few of them.
First, grace is an act of God to help us to salvation. It is also a gift of God to us. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:4-8). In Corinthians, Paul tells us what the Grace of God did for him. He says, “I am what I am because of the grace of God” (or the assistance of God). Read this also in 1 Corinthians 15:10–“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me.”
By faith we call upon God for Grace (or help) and He responds to us in love, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, and more. That is the act of Grace from God.
Grace is also power. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Paul had a problem he felt he couldn’t handle by himself, so he asked God to remove it. But God said “I will give sufficient grace (power) to you.” Paul said “I glory in the fact that Christ may rest upon me.”
In short: God’s grace is God’s desire to assist us in our Christian life so that none of us would become weary along the way.
Always remember the invitation in Hebrews 4:6. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace and help in the time of need.” May you continue to be faithful to the Lord.
In Christian Love,