Grace: What’s It All About?
Grace? A woman’s name? A prayer that religious people say before meals?
We believe there’s more to it than that.
It’s All About Jesus
The Bible says: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16, NIV)
God loved the world. God loves you. He even likes you!
God loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth on a mission to rescue you. When Jesus died, nailed to a wooden cross by Roman soldiers in about 30 AD, He took all your sin — everything wrong about you that cuts you off from God — upon Himself. Jesus’ death was a sacrifice and a substitution: because He died you can have a relationship with God that lasts forever.
When Jesus came back to life from the dead three days later He proved that God had accepted what He had done on the cross. The transaction was complete. Nothing more was needed.
Jesus’ final words before He died were “It is finished!” (John 19: 30, NIV). Not a cry of resignation, not a cry of defeat, but a triumphant declaration of the completion of His mission.
Anything that we might try to add to what Jesus has done is pointless. It’s even an insult.
It’s Not About Religion
Grace means unearned, undeserved favour. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for you, not because you did anything to earn it, not because you did anything to deserve it, but just because He loves you.
Religion is an attempt by human beings to please God: to get on the right side of Him or to stop Him being angry with us. But what’s the point? Jesus has put you on the right side of God already! God is not angry with you! He loves you!
Grace means enjoying what Jesus has already done for you, and not wasting your effort trying to add anything from yourself. There is nothing you can do that will make God love you any more, and there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you any less.
It’s About Freedom and Forgiveness
Jesus said, “If the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV).
Paul, a writer of the New Testament of the Bible, wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5: 1, NIV).
Grace sets you free from the burden of trying to reach God by your own efforts. It sets you free from the anxiety of wondering whether you will go to heaven. And it sets you free from the struggle for perfection that was ingrained into you from childhood.
All your sins (wrong actions, words and thoughts, or the failure to do the right thing), past, present and future, were forgiven when Jesus died on the cross.
It’s Not Automatic But It Couldn’t Be Simpler
Who benefits from this almost too good to be true deal?
Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3: 7, NIV).
Paul wrote: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5: 17, NKJV).
The Bible shows us that all that we need to do is enter into a relationship with Jesus by putting our trust in what He has already accomplished on the cross, decisively turning our back on life without Him, and welcoming Him as the supreme authority over our life. That’s all: no ceremonies, no qualifications needed.
It’s For Everyone
This is the message of grace. It is for all human beings for all time. It is for people of any religion or none because it puts an end to religion. It is for you.