The Grace of Jesus Christ

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
waterfalllgrace.pngGrace is free or it is no grace at all (see Romans 11:6). We can do nothing to deserve God’s grace. No act of ours can obligate the Lord to grant salvation. “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b; see 3:24 NET).
To be saved, all must go through the grace of Jesus Christ, be they Jew or Gentile (Acts 15:11), husband or wife (1 Peter 3:7), for his death was an act of grace (Hebrews 2:9). In the New Testament sense, when applied to salvation, the term “grace” means unmerited favor or gift. Something given, not because the receiver (human being) deserves it, but because the giver (God) desires to share it. Grace says more about the source than the target. It describes the benevolence of the God who desires to give humanity the blessing of his presence. Grace draws us near to God (Hebrews 4:16).
Grace does not imperceptibly invade the soul nor fall from heaven without asking. Grace is transmitted by means of a message, the Good News (Acts 14:3; 20:24, 32), heard and understood by the hearers (Colossians 1:6). Grace must be accessed, and the door of entry is faith (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:4-10) — faith that is more than mere consent or mental process, but “faith working through love (Galatians 5:6). Faith must be surrounded by love, service and perseverance in order to evoke the praise of Christ (Revelation 2:19). God gives grace only to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
Grace is big enough to cover any sin (Romans 5:20-21), if one repents and abandons the sin (Romans 6:1ff), and sufficient for any and all weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God gives greater grace than any demand or requirement of exclusive service to him (James 4:6).
One must continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43), for it’s possible to fall from grace in separation from Christ (Galatians 5:4). That means one can lose God’s grace so as to lose eternal life. So grace then is received in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1; see 1 Corinthians 15:10), and is annulled (Galatians 2:21). It’s possible to exclude oneself from God’s grace (Hebrews 12:15).
That there exists “the true grace of God” (1 Peter 5:12) suggests that some preach a false grace, like the libertinism that turns its back on the holy commandment of the Lord (2 Peter 2; Jude 4) and denies the necessity of obedience for salvation (Hebrews 5:9).
Grace gives wisdom to speak edifying truth (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 4:29). It equips the body of Christ for service (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 3:10). Grace directs, motivates and empowers simple and sincere conduct (2 Corinthians 1:12). So grace not only saves but fully provides.
The goal of grace is to glorify “the name of our Lord Jesus,” and us in him, by fulfilling every good desire and every work of faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
The grace of God, which is the same as that of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:12), is essential, then, for our salvation, for our communion with God, for our eternal hope.
That is why we sing the words of Haldor Lillenas:
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!

10 Replies to “The Grace of Jesus Christ”

  1. I appreciate the work of those of you behind the Forthright web site and your efforts to proclaim the gospel. Is there a typo in the sentence that begins, “That there exists ‘the truth grace of God’ ( 2 Peter 3:18)”? I checked a few translations and can’t find that rendering. Thanks.

  2. Does he believe that a covenant Christian who is saved by Grace, through faith, is lost if he dies after he sins without repenting? (Hopefully, he knows what repentance is).
    Just a simple yes or no will suffice, without all the smoke and mirrors of scriptures not pertaining to the question

  3. As the question is phrased, there is no simple yes or no answer that will suffice. If the sin is committed rebelliously, yes, that person will lose his soul in eternity far from God. NOw, we all sin, even faithful Christians, and God continues to cleanse us through the blood of Christ if we walk in the light (1 John 1:9). So that caveat must be made, to say that sin does not automatically exclude one from eternal life. If so, none could be saved.
    One can be lost after receiving God’s grace. This is abundantly clear in Scripture. One cannot, for example, fall from grace (lose grace) and be separated from Christ and still hope for eternal life (Galatians 5:4-6). Calvin’s doctrine, therefore, of the “perseverance of the saints” (misnomer if there ever was one) is shown to be false.

  4. Good morning Preacher,
    Your article is very well done, however I have some questions:
    – 3rd para. from top: I do not understand your reference to Revelation 2:18 in regard to “Faith must be surrounded by love, service, and perseverance in order to evoke the praise of Christ” Revelation 2:18 says, “And to the angel of the church of Thyatira write, “These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire,and His feet like fine brass” (NKJV). )Please explain.
    – 4th para. from top: There is no 2 Corinthians 19:9. Typo??
    – 7th para. from top: Please explain how your reference (2 Peter 3:18) relates to your statement “That there exists “the true grace of God” (2 Peter 3:18). 2 Peter 3:18 says, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (NKJV)
    Thanks…

  5. Looks like the editor needed an editor yesterday, doesn’t it? Below are the proper citations, which have been made in the article above.
    Revelation 2:18 should be Revelation 2:19.
    2 Corinthians 19:9 should be 2 Corinthians 12:9.
    2 Peter 3:18 should be 1 Peter 5:12.
    I was translating from the first draft of a Portuguese article I’d written for a publication here. Appears I was paying more attention to the translation than the citations. Thanks for pointing these out.
    I’m glad to know someone’s paying attention to the references.

  6. Thank you…however, I still have a problem with the 2 Corinthians 12:9 reference in the first instance. Do you mean that 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (NKJV) is the reference for “if one repents and abandons the sin” as well as for the last part of that sentence?
    I do not understand how 2 Corinthians 12:9 pertains to two of the three statements in that sentence…please explain.
    Thank you…

  7. Brother, that was another error of mine. In the first instance of the 2 Corinthians 12:9 reference, it should read Romans 6:1ff. I have changed that in the article above.
    And it makes me wonder if I should turn in my editor badge.
    Thanks for yet another correction.

  8. “And it makes me wonder if I should turn in my editor badge.”
    LOL…not hardly! It does look like, though, that you are very busy.
    Thanks for all you do…may the Lord be with you!

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