Grace Works. Works Won’t.

Grace is the “unmerited favor of God”. Grace is powerful, audacious, and dangerous! If we ever choose to truly believe, receive, and give biblical grace free reign in our lives or in our churches, it would begin a rapid and radical transformation process.

Most of us, if we were completely honest, function as if God were stingy with His grace. We fear His blame and punishment. Yet, God already knows who did what and who’s to blame, and he still loves us anyway. His interest is in redeeming us, not in keeping us on the hook for our sins. That is grace.

Unfortunately, many Christians live their lives as if they are still on the hook, and as if they have to keep everyone else on the hook. We use weapons of the flesh; the sarcastic comment, the angry stare, the cold shoulder, the threat, etc, all designed to get people to straighten up and live right. God freely gives us grace, yet we tend to withhold grace from others.

Let’s consider the story of the woman at the well in John 4. This woman was living in sin. She had lived a rough life, made many bad choices, and to top it off she was a “Samarian”. Jewish people despised Samarians. Jesus spoke directly to her with full knowledge of her sin. Instead of looking at her with judgment, he demonstrated grace, forgiveness, and acceptance.

When she went back to her village, after meeting Jesus and says, “Come see a man who knows me inside and out.” Nothing is hidden from him, and yet he communicates with her in such a fashion that she leaves the well feeling loved and accepted. That’s grace.

Did she get away with her sins? No. They cost Jesus plenty, yet you don’t see him lording it over her, or putting a guilt trip on her, or even using the time for a lecture on ethics. Jesus trusts that once she is confronted with God’s generosity and His underserved grace, that she will be eager to change and conform to God’s commands.

It’s a classic Christian paradox, isn’t it? Just when you think it’s time to pull out the Law and read someone the riot act, Jesus shows by his behavior that it’s better to embrace that person with a costly love. And grace does cost. It obviously cost the Son of God everything, and for you to extend grace will cost you and I.

Walk in God’s grace this week. Understanding God’s grace is crucial to understanding who He is, how he loves us, and wants us to love others. Grace is a multi-faceted gift from God. Religion wants us to just keep the rules, but God’s grace will rush to the point of our need.

God’s grace is unlimited in its width, depth, scope, and power. Grace is God’s gift to you. It is His undeserved kindness, generosity, and favor. Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Grace is a free gift that makes salvation possible. Grace works. Works won’t.

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