What does the Bible say about grace?
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. God pours out His favor upon sinners like us who deserve the worst. The Father gave His Son the punishment that we deserve. Grace can be summed up as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
You can’t run away from the grace of God. God’s grace can’t be stopped. God’s love for the ungodly cannot be contained. His grace penetrates our hearts until we say, “enough! If I don’t get to the cross today I’ll never get to it.” God’s grace never quits.
Every good thing in this life is by God’s grace. All our accomplishments are by His grace alone. People say, “you can’t do God’s work without the grace of God.” I say, “you can do nothing without the grace of God.” Without His grace you wouldn’t be able to breath!
Grace gives no stipulations. Jesus ripped your contract in half. You’re free! Colossians 2:14 tells us when Christ died on the cross He took away our debt. By the blood of Christ there is no more legal debt. Grace has won the battle against sin.
Christian quotes about grace
“Grace carried me here and by grace I’ll carry on.”
“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” – John Piper
“I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, One who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted for me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.” J.I. Packer
“Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” – Dwight L. Moody
For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them. St. Augustine
“Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected.” – Jonathan Edwards
“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”
“I believe that there are essential tenets of the faith that must remain infallible – namely the resurrection of Jesus as atonement for our sins and the doctrine that we are saved by God’s grace through our faith.” Al Bynum
“If grace does not make us differ from other men, it is not the grace which God gives His elect.” Charles Spurgeon
“Good men do not always have grace and favor, lest they should be puffed up, and grow insolent and proud.” John Chrystostom
“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.” – Philip Yancey
“Grace is God’s best idea. His decision to ravage a people by love, to rescue passionately, and to restore justly – what rivals it? Of all his wondrous works, grace, in my estimation, is the magnum opus.” Max Lucado
“Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores – more than abundantly – what it takes away.” Jim Elliot
“We believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistable grace of God.” Charles Spurgeon
The story of Jesus and Barabbas!
Let’s take a look at Luke Chapter 23 starting on verse 15. This is one of the most jaw-dropping chapters in the Bible. Barabbas was a rebel, a violent murderer, and a known criminal among the people. Pontius Pilate found that Jesus was not guilty of any crime. He looked for a way to free Jesus. It was blasphemy! It was ludicrous! Jesus did nothing wrong. Jesus raised the dead, He delivered people, He fed the hungry, He healed the sick, He opened the eyes of the blind. The same people who were with Him in the beginning were chanting, “Crucify, crucify Him.”
Pilate declares Jesus’ innocence not once not twice, but three times. The mob of people had a choice of who they wanted to set free between Jesus and the wicked Barabbas. The mob screamed for Barabbas to be set free. Let’s take a moment to think about what Barabbas does. He knows he is a criminal but he is set free by the guards. That is grace. That is unmerited favor. There is no mention of Barabbas being grateful and there is no mention of him thanking Jesus. There is no record of what happened to Barabbas, but there is a strong chance that he went on to live a perverted life even though Christ took his place.
Don’t you see the gospel? You’re Barabbas! I’m Barabbas! While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Jesus loved Barabbas. He set Barabbas free and Jesus took his place. Picture yourself being Barabbas. Picture yourself being set free while Jesus looks you in the eyes and says, “I love you.” Picture Christ then walking ahead of you being whipped and beaten.
Barabbas look at your Savior bloody and battered. Jesus did nothing to deserve such a beating! He was sinless. He put your sins on His back because of His great love for you. No wonder we don’t hear about Barabbas. Jesus says, “Go. I set you free now go, run! Get out of here!” We are Barabbas and Jesus says, “I’ve set you free. I’ve saved you from the wrath to come. I love you.” Most people are going to reject such an amazing act of grace.
Most people are going to reject the Son of God and remain in chains. However, for those who put their trust in what Jesus did on the cross they are given the right to become the children of God. That is love. That is grace. By the blood of Christ alone wicked people can be reconciled to God. Run Barabbas! Run from the shackles that say that you must do good works to be right with God. You can’t repay Him. Run from the shackles of sin. Repent and believe that Jesus took your place. Rely upon His blood. Rely upon His perfect merit and not your own. His blood is enough.
1. Luke 23:15-25 “No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner. But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” “But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.”
2. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Grace changes you
By the grace of God believers are transformed. In pulpits across America a cheap grace is being promoted. This cheap grace does not have the power to set believers free from sin. This cheap grace says, “just believe and get saved. Who cares about repentance?” We treat the grace of God as if it were nothing. As if it were powerless. It is the grace of God that turns a murderer like Paul into a saint. It is the grace of God that turns a greedy chief tax collector by the name of Zacchaeus into a saint.
How do wicked people living like the devil their whole life miraculously just change? Why has the church of Jesus Christ forgotten the power of grace? False believers say, “I’m under grace I can live like the devil.” Genuine believers say, “If grace be this good let me be holy.” There is a genuine desire for righteousness. There is a genuine desire to follow Christ. We obey not out of obligation, but out of thankfulness for the amazing grace that was shown to us on the cross.
You remember how wicked you were before Christ! You were in chains. You were a prisoner to your sins. You were lost and you were never trying to be found. An innocent man took away your chains. The God-Man Jesus Christ took away your death sentence. The God-Man Jesus Christ gave you a new life. You did nothing to deserve such a great and powerful gift.
We have watered down the gospel and when you water down the gospel you get in return a watered-down grace. Salvation is not saying a prayer. After many people say the Sinner’s Prayer, they go straight to Hell. How dare these preachers water down the blood of Jesus Christ! A grace that doesn’t change your life and give you new affections for Christ is not grace at all.
3. Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
4. Romans 6:1-3 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”
5. 2 Corinthians 6:1 “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
6. Colossians 1:21-22 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
7. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
There is no sin so great that God’s grace can’t forgive it.
Believers do not desire to sin, we do not practice sin, and we wage war against sin. With these things taken into consideration that does not mean that we won’t have severe battles against sin or that we can’t backslide. There is a difference between genuinely struggling with sin and having a hunger for righteousness and being dead in sin. There are many believers who are fighting an intense battle. The struggle is real but never forget that God is real as well.
Some of you have confessed your sins and you said you would never do it again but you sinned that same sin and you are wondering, “is there hope for me?” Yes, there is hope for you! Don’t go back to those chains Barabbas. All you have is Jesus. Believe Him, trust in Him, fall upon Him. Don’t you ever doubt the love that God has for you. I’ve been there before. I know how it feels when you sin the same sin over again. I know how it feels when you backslide and Satan says, “you’ve gone too far this time! He’s not going to take you back. You messed up His plan for you.” Remind Satan that there is nothing stronger than God’s grace. It was grace that brought the prodigal son back.
Why do we condemn ourselves in our struggle against sin? We want God to punish us. We want God to put us in the penalty box. We want to go to our previous chains. We say, “God strike me down. Discipline me I’m waiting for it, but please make it quick and don’t go too hard on me.” What a terrible state of mind to live in. Once again I’ve been there before. Due to your struggles, you start expecting a trial to happen.
What makes everything even worse is that we try to do good works to get back in right standing with God. We start to become more religious. We start to look at what we can do instead of what God has done for us. It’s so hard to believe the gospel of redeeming grace in the light of our sin. How can criminals such as us be let free? How can God’s love be so great towards us?
How awesome is His grace? In the words of Paul Washer, “Your weakness should drive you immediately to God.” Satan says, “you’re just a hypocrite you can’t go back yet you just asked for forgiveness yesterday.” Don’t listen to these lies. Often these are the times when God reassures us of His great love for us and when He pours out more grace. Don’t wait. Keep on running to God for forgiveness.
8. Psalm 103:10-11 “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”
9. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
10. Romans 5:20 “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
11. Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Grace vs obligation
We must be careful because there are many groups who pose as Christian, but they teach a works based salvation. To teach that someone must stop sinning in order to be saved is heresy. To teach that someone has to do something to maintain a good relationship with God is heresy. Scripture teaches us that repentance is a result of genuine faith. Unbelievers are dead in sin, by nature children of wrath, haters of God, enemies of God, etc. We will never truly comprehend how far we were from God.
Do you truly understand how holy God is? An enemy of the Almighty God does not deserve mercy. He deserves God’s wrath. He deserves eternal torment. Instead of giving him what he deserves God lavishly pours out His grace. You cannot do what God requires you to do. God crushed His Son so that evil people like us can live. God not only saved us but He gave us a new heart. You say, “it’s because I’m good.” The Bible teaches us that no one is good. You say, “it’s because I love God.” The Bible teaches us that unbelievers are haters of God. You say, “God always knew my heart.” The Bible teaches us that the heart is desperately sick and evil.
Why would God save people like us? A good judge would never let a criminal go free so how does God let us go free? God came down from His throne in the form of a man. Jesus the God-Man carried out the perfection that His Father desired and bore your sins on His back. He was forsaken so you and I could be forgiven. He died, He was buried, and He was resurrected for our sins defeating sin and death.
We have nothing to offer God. God doesn’t need us. Religion teaches you to obey to remain saved. If you have to work, then that is saying that Jesus didn’t take away your debts. Your salvation is no longer a free gift it’s something that you have to keep on paying off. When we truly understand grace it leads us to have a greater appreciation for Christ and His Word.
Christians obey not because obeying saves us or helps us maintain our salvation. We obey because we are so grateful for the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. God’s grace reaches into our hearts and changes everything about us. If you find yourself in a state of dullness and religiousness, then you must set your heart back on the grace of God.
12. Romans 4:4-5 “Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
13. Romans 11:6 “And if it is by grace, then it is no longer by works. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.”
14. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
15. Romans 3:24 “and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
16. John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Because of God’s grace we can go to the Lord with confidence.
We were once a people separated from God and through Christ we have been reconciled to the Father. From the foundation of the world God wanted to have an intimate relationship with us. That is unimaginable that the God of the universe would wait in anticipation for us. Imagine yourself as the poorest man in the world.
Now imagine that the richest man in the world went out of his way every day for the rest of your life to spend time with you, get to know you intimately, provide for you, comfort you, etc. You would think to yourself, “why does he want to be with me?” God is not saying, “It’s him again.” No! God wants you to come and expect forgiveness. God wants you to come and expect Him to answer your prayers. God wants you!
God’s heart jumps as your heart turns in His direction. Grace allows us to communicate with the living God and not only that but it allows us to wrestle with the living God in prayer. Grace allows our prayers to be answered even when we feel like we least deserve it. Allow nothing to stop you from drawing on the grace of God daily.
17. Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
18. Ephesians 1:6 “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
God’s grace is enough
We always talk about the grace of God, but do we truly know the power of His grace? The Bible tells us that the Lord is full of grace. God offers an unlimited source of grace. There is so much comfort in knowing that every day of our lives God pours out an abundance of grace upon us.
When you’re in the worst pain, His grace is enough. When you’re about to die, His grace is enough. When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, His grace is enough. When you’re about to lose everything, His grace is enough. When you feel like you can’t go any further, His grace is enough. When you’re struggling with that certain sin, His grace is enough. When you feel like you can never come back to God, His grace is enough. When your marriage is on the rocks, His grace is enough.
Some of you are wondering how you made it this far. Some of you are wondering why didn’t you quit a long time ago. It is because of God’s grace. We will never fully understand the powerful grace of God. How can it be that we can actually pray for more grace? Lately, I have been finding myself praying for more grace and I urge you to do the same.
Pray for the graces needed in your situation. It is God’s grace that is going to carry us in the hard times. It is God’s grace that is going to put our minds back on the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s grace eases the pain and removes the discouragement that we might have. Grace gives us an overwhelming unexplainable comfort. You’re missing out! Never underestimate how the grace of God can change your situation today. Don’t be afraid to ask for more grace! In Matthew God tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you.”
19. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
20. John 1:14-16 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
21. James 4:6 “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
22. 1 Peter 1:2 “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”
Grace will produce generosity and motivate your good works.
The gospel produces generosity in our lives if we allow it to produce generosity. Is the cross of Christ helping you to become gracious and selfless?
23. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
24. 2 Corinthians 8:7-9 “But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Grace changes our perspective on our situation.
- “God why did I get into a car accident?” By God’s grace you’re still alive.
- “God I’ve been praying why am I suffering?” By God’s grace He will do something with that suffering. Good will come out of it.
- “God why didn’t I get that promotion?” By God’s grace He has something better for you.
- “God I’m going through so much pain.” Grace helps us to fully rely upon the Lord when we are in pain as He reassures us that His grace is sufficient.
Grace touches your deepest thoughts and it changes your entire outlook on your situation and it gives you a greater appreciation for Christ. Grace allows you to see His beauty in your darkest hours.
25. Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Examples of grace in the Bible
26. Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
27. Galatians 1:3-4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”
28. Titus 3:7-9 “so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
29. 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
30. 2 Timothy 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”