As God’s children, we have received an abundance of blessings from Him. One of the most fundamental blessings we gain when we become children of God is salvation. Although we know this monumental blessing is ours to claim, at times it may feel too good to be true. There must be something more we should be doing to really deserve such unfathomable love and care, right? Well, when we look to God’s Word, we find out He says otherwise. Simply put, His answer is no—there’s nothing more we need to do to deserve it! God extended His grace, His favor freely given without expectation of return, when He made salvation available to us. He knows that we could not earn it. In fact if we did earn it, it would no longer be grace.
Romans 11:6 [The Amplified Bible (1987)]:
But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
Why would God do this for us? God made this wonderful gift available to us out of His love for us. Consider how loving parents care for their children. When children are young, the parents may bless them with gifts or special treats, like a fun day out together. Do parents do this because the young children behave perfectly? Most likely not! Parents simply want to bless their children out of love for them. Our heavenly Father has an even greater (in fact, perfect) love for us, His kids. And out of that love, God extended His grace toward us and made salvation available.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
This brings us to the “how” of God’s grace. How did God make possible the gift of salvation, if we did nothing to earn it? Prior to Jesus Christ’s accomplishments, the law had to be kept by man for his salvation. But when Jesus Christ came, God showed the fullness of His grace to man by way of His Son.
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:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jesus Christ freely and willingly fulfilled his Father’s will by laying down his life for us. He was raised from the dead and is now seated at his Father’s right hand. The payment for our ransom is complete, and we get to enjoy the gracious gift of salvation. We no longer have to keep the law to earn our salvation—Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. What a gift! And what love our heavenly Father, God, as well as our big brother, Jesus Christ, has for us.
Once we understand that God’s grace and His gift of salvation aren’t a result of anything we’ve done to earn them, does that mean we sit around and think about how much we don’t deserve them? No way! God exhorts us to do just the opposite. When we look to God’s Word, we see He wants us to take full advantage of the divine favor He’s freely shown us. We see in II Timothy 2:1, God wants us to be strong in His grace. He encourages us to grow in grace in II Peter 3:18. II Corinthians 9:8 shows that we can abound in God’s grace. We’re exhorted to be good stewards of His grace in I Peter 4:10. And we find in II Corinthians 6:1 that we’re not to receive God’s grace in vain, or to no purpose. God wants His grace to be an integral part of our everyday lives.
God has freely extended His grace, His divine favor without expectation of return, to us. This includes making available to us salvation by way of His Son’s accomplishments. There is nothing we can do to deserve God’s grace or salvation. Out of His great love for us and by way of Jesus Christ’s accomplishments, God has given His favor as a gift. And now we have the privilege of putting His wonderful grace into action by heeding His encouragements. We can be strong in God’s grace. We can grow in God’s grace. We can abound in God’s grace. We can be good stewards of God’s grace. And we can make sure we don’t receive it in vain, or to no purpose. May our lives be wonderful witnesses of the grace of God!