Grace at the Heart

Grace – at the Heart

Grace is a very precious reality. I hope I can show you from the book of Romans what it is and why it is so precious. The word is used 155 times in the New Testament – over 100 of them in the books written by Paul, and almost a fourth of those in Romans (24 times). You cannot understand this book if you don’t understand grace. We will see it again and again. It is at the heart of the book and the heart of the gospel and the heart of God.

What is Grace?

So grace is a reality that comes from God; and comes through Jesus and his work for us. It is not something we have a right to. Jesus obtained it for us. It is unmerited favor that we get it freely because of the obedience and death of another.

How Do We Get Grace?

Paul said that he was set apart for the gospel before he was born (Galatians 1:15; Romans 1:1). Grace is not God’s response to our deserving or meriting. Grace is God’s free gift before we do anything good, and his enabling of us to do anything good. For example, in Romans 4:4 Paul says, “Now to him who works, his wages are not counted as grace, but as debt.” In other words, grace is not what you get when you work for somebody: that’s what he owes you. Grace is never owed. It is always a free bonus from the overflow of God’s goodness. Therefore grace is always received through faith, not earned by works. You can only receive grace as a gift and acknowledge that it comes to you freely; you can’t work for it or earn it. Romans 11:6 states the principle: “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.” Grace would not be grace if you earned it by your works. We receive it through faith. By simply welcoming it as a gift and relying on it.

We don’t just call on the name of the Lord to get something. We call on the name of the Lord so that everything that separates us from the Lord will be overcome by the grace of God and we will have access to the Lord himself, through the Jesus Christ. Being a God-fearing mother or being a servant in a ministry is impossible without the power of grace. So when Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 15:10, that all his apostolic labor is by grace, you insert your own calling: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” The decisive, enabling power for all ministry and all service is God’s grace. God should be the goal of all our longings.

Is this – is He – the goal of your longings? If so, then the gospel of Grace will make sense and you will embrace it. If not, call upon the name of the Lord so that He would open your eyes to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4). The God full of Grace.