What is grace?
According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition the definition for “grace” is: goodwill, favor, mercy, clemency. Because of His love, goodness and compassion towards us Jesus did you and me a favor in taking our place on the cross.
“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7
“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.” Ephesians 2:4-7
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” II Peter 1:2
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, least any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9
Does Grace do away with obedience?
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:14-16
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:21-27
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Samuel 15:22
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
“And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” Luke 12:47
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” II Thessalonians 1:7-9
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God; but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” I John 2:1-6
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” I Peter 2:21
God is for us, not against us. His joy is in bringing us happiness every day. In order for Him to help us to have contentment, we need to obey Him.
Everything that our Father does is for our best interest. Obeying Him is a way of shielding us from the snares of the devil and from the wickedness of this world. Obedience will enlarge our love for Him and our fellowmen.
This world would be a great place to live in if everyone had a wish to obey God and bring their lives into agreement with His law of love. The sorrow and stress would go away. Everyone would take a delight in being kind to those around them.
Think about it for a moment, dear reader. Before Adam and Eve sinned they lived in the Garden of Eden with not a care in the world. Every day they were content, and all around them was the beauty that God created for them to enjoy. They didn’t have to be concerned about what tomorrow holds for them. Their friend, Jesus, supplied all their needs.
The best time of the day for them was when Jesus came by in the cool of the evening to visit with them. They could visit with Him face to face. It was a joy obeying Him because they loved Him, so. Obeying Him gave them and the animals wonderful freedom. No sign of evil anywhere, no decay, no death, no sorrow, no hardships, no trials to bear. Nothing but freedom from all of that day after day because they took a delight in obeying His laws. They did not know what sin was!
But, one day Satan tricked them. He is so sly and cruel. He got them to transgress the law of God. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4 Adam and Eve sinned, willfully. They did not have to, they chose to. And now the result of their disobedience is everywhere in this world. Now, there is no freedom for us from all the evil, decay, death, sorrow, hardships and trials. No more freedom until Jesus comes and creates a New Heaven and Earth where we will be able to enjoy seeing Him face to face again and take delight in living in a flawless world.
Why can’t people see that this world is in the mess that it is in because of disobedience? Disobeying God’s Ten Commandments brings utter chaos, eventually. Harmony, peace and contentment comes to us through obedience.
“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12
“If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14
What is works?
Friend, works is obedience. Jesus always did those things that pleased His heavenly Father. “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” John 8:29
“Also unto thee, oh Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.” Psalm 62:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12
“If thou sayest, behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?” Proverbs 24:12
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14
“Who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is not respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:6-11
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:14-17
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” Titus 3:8, 14
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31
We are saved by “grace” which is “unmerited favor”. Jesus did us a favor and took your place and my place on the cross. He was our substitute. He took our sins upon Himself and died the death that you, friend, and I should have experienced. Because of His tremendous love for us and His wanting us to have more than this life, He was willing to pay the price for each of us. He chose to do that for us. The wages of “sin is death “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 and because we all our sinners “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, we should die for our own sins. But, Jesus did not want that to happen. So, He and our Heavenly Father decided to let Jesus come to this earth and die that horrible death on the cross for us. And, because of our Lord doing that for us, we can now have eternal life. It is a free gift.
But, what is sad is that most do not want that free gift. They don’t even want to say, “Thank you, Jesus, for making it possible for me to have eternal life.” They don’t want to read His word or repent of their sinful ways or go to Him in prayer asking Him to help them to surrender their lives to Him and to help them to believe in Him.
Because we are saved by “grace”, we want to do those things that please Him. We love Him and appreciate that He was willing to take our place on the cross. He did us a favor. Because we are saved by “grace”, we want to walk in His footsteps. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” I John 2:6
Reading the Bible will help us to understand what Jesus was like, and we can understand for ourselves, through His word, the ways in which He pleased His heavenly Father. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10