August 06, 2009

By Grace, Through Faith

Ephesians 2:6-10

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith— … it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8


“Amazing Grace” is a popular hymn sung regularly around the world. In some cultures it nearly has the standing of a national anthem.

Certainly in the context of the Christian message grace is amazing. God’s grace, God’s undeserved favor for sinners, is at the very heart of the gospel message. “By grace you have been saved, through faith.” Grace and faith are inseparably connected. Faith is the channel through which grace flows to renew our hearts and transform our lives. Through faith in Jesus Christ and his saving work, we are made alive!

One thing we absolutely have to know about grace is that it’s a gift. We can’t buy it, earn it, or inherit it. The Bible makes clear that grace is truly free. As Paul puts it so that we all understand: we are saved “not by works, so that no one can boast.”

In many societies there’s a lot of stress on personal achievement and earning rewards. If you’re inclined to glorify self-achievement, then it’s incredibly difficult to accept something free. Even the very idea is shocking.

But if grace could be earned, how could it be grace?

Here’s what’s truly amazing about grace! It comes at God’s invitation, and it is received as a gift through faith. Are you experiencing the amazing blessing of divine grace in your life?

Thank you, dear God, for your free gift of grace. Help us acknowledge it as your gift to us. May the Spirit of Christ live in our hearts so that we can grow in grace. Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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