God’s grace can only be received through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Grace is, therefore, not something we can earn. It is rather the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes God’s grace and mercy available to us. He is the means to be justified by God because “God put Him forward as a propitiation by His blood” (Romans 3:25a).
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).
Complete surrender to Him
A condition for receiving and experiencing His grace fully is our complete surrender to Him. Your thoughts, actions and feelings will have to make way for His Spirit. By doing so, you exchange your old life for God’s way of life. When we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His grace will manifest itself in various ways as an invigorating shower in our lives! As the apostle Paul puts it: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In this way, the Spirit teaches us to leave behind sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:19-23).
Our own strength
We cannot rely on our own strength, but “we worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). We do not have reason to boast in our own righteousness, holiness, and achievements, because God’s grace is at work in us. That makes us new people, as Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). The more we put our trust in God, the more His grace overflows in us: “He gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
God’s grace is sufficient
God’s grace is always sufficient. Consider for example the life of Paul. God had allowed a certain torment (a stinging thorn in the flesh) to ensure that he did not become proud. It was not taken away, but the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Paul was even pleased in these difficult circumstances because they revealed God’s strength through his own weakness. When we are weak and rely on the Lord, His grace will overflow in us.
Abuse God’s grace
It is possible to abuse God’s grace, as we are warned in 2 Corinthians 6:1: “Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain”. God’s grace is a great and wonderful gift that should be received with gratitude and servitude. We can only do this by leaving behind our own selfish and sinful desires. Therefore, we need to live according to a new rule of life: by the Spirit of God, Who wants to dwell in us and teach us love, peace, humility and kindness. We should not resist, quench or grieve the Spirit of God (Isaiah 63:10, Ephesians 4:30-31, Acts 7:51, Mark 3:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Paul experienced God’s grace in an overwhelming way. He wrote: “The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 1:14).
Grace for you
The same grace is available to you, and can give you a wonderful life filled with faith and love. That will make you in turn an instrument of God’s grace for others.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Did you receive the grace of God by faith?