The Grace of God

by Steven Chan

In John 1:17, the Bible tells us that “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” We all know the Law as referring to the Ten Commandments given on Mount Sinai as well as the Law of Moses.

The Bible tells us in Gal 3:23-25 that “before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

As Jesus had come into the world, the Bible tells us in Eph 2:15-16, that Jesus “abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross,..” and in Col 2:14, Jesus “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” So, in Heb 10:9 Jesus said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” He took away the first covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Ex 34:28) and established the New Covenant (Heb 9:15).

In Titus 2:11-15, the apostle Paul wrote thus: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

Salvation has appeared to all men. Salvation is brought by the grace of God. This is stated in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” So then salvation is a free gift from God: Eph 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Hence, we are justified by faith (Rom 5:1). But we are justified by faith alone as noted in James 2:24: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” The Bible clarifies that salvation by grace through faith includes the act of obeying the Lord by being baptized into Christ as stated in Gal 3:26-28: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Justification by faith (Rom 5:1) does not exclude the necessity for being baptized because Jesus commanded in Mark 16:15-16: “”Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Jesus requires us to be believe (and to trust Him) that He is the Son of God and then to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) in order to be saved.

God’s grace teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).  We are required to deny some things in our lives – and not accept everything in this life: we are to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts”. Have we denied them in our lives?

Additionally, God’s grace teaches us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly”. Sober living requires us not to waste our time, effort and money in matters that are of no spiritual consequence; instead we are to do that which is right, and also to live as God would have us live – not as we please but as pleasing God.

God’s grace teaches us also to keep “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”. The Bible recorded the statement of the angels when Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1:11: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Heb 9:28 tells us: “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” There will be no sign of His second coming as He will come as thief in the night as stated in 1 Thess 5:2: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” So we need to ready for His coming by having holy conduct and godliness: 2 Peter 3:10-11: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.”

By God’s grace Jesus redeemed us from our sins to be “His own special people, zealous for good works.” We must therefore “let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). Good works are done not in order to save us; rather we ought to do good works because we are children of God and we need to glorify Him.

Since God’s grace has appeared to all men, we must “speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” We must not be ashamed to speak about the wonderful grace of God.

Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15:10: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Likewise, having received the grace of God, we need to work abundantly not sparingly in God’s kingdom by His grace. God’s grace is able to strengthen us and to help us in our lives: Heb 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 2 Cor 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Let us be bold in our work for God because God’s grace has appeared to all men and God’s grace is sufficient for our needs and we need not worry about our weaknesses. Truly God’s grace is marvellous.