What is grace? Depending upon your worldview, you may understand grace to be elegance, a nice gesture, or a prayer before dinner. As a Christian, grace is something much more to me than all of those things. Grace is a gift from the creator of the Universe. It is a gift that we don’t deserve. I will begin by explaining my understanding of grace from a biblical perspective and then I will conclude with the application and importance of God’s grace in my life.
As humans, I believe we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This sin has separated us from God. It is for this reason we all struggle with various things in our lives such as sickness, death, defeat, failure, imperfection, confidence, emptiness, or whatever it may be. Of course, we can try to work our way out of this, but there is still something missing.
We can tally up our good works, but all of our “righteous works” are nothing more than “filthy rags” or “polluted garments” to God. There is “no one righteous” before God. Even worse, the wages of sin is death. Therefore, if we want salvation and freedom, then a self-made purchase isn’t the way to go about it.
Thanks be to God, the “good news” is that a purchase was made, but I wasn’t the one who did the purchasing – and neither were you. As a Christian, I have been purchased by, and through, the blood of Jesus Christ. This is why the Bible says that the “free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). It is a gift that God the Father purchased for us, through Jesus. It isn’t a gift we purchased ourselves.
In fact, Christians have been given the Holy Spirit as a down payment and we have the promise of eternal life until we acquire full possession of it after the resurrection.
God’s love and holiness find their perfect harmonization at the cross. The justice of God demanded death. The mercy of God demanded compassion. He gave us something we didn’t deserve – Himself as a sacrifice! He became our substitute for us on the cross and died for our sins in our place. The grace of God provided a gift for us – eternal life. This gift is received (not earned) through our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation. So, why is this so important to me and what are the implications and applications?
First, this means that I don’t have to carry the weight of my guilt and shame around any longer. How nice does that sound? God remembers my sins no more and has casts them as far as the East is from the West. I have found someone who accepts me, despite my shortcomings (Of which I have many!).
Second, it means that I can have a perspective about my life that isn’t confined to just the temporary. As a Christian, I can find joy in trials. I don’t fear bad news or worry about the future. The reason? Because I believe that all things are ultimately working out for the best. In other words, I don’t worry about the future because I can’t control it and when bad things do happen, I can still find joy.
Finally, I don’t fear death. I believe that I have eternal life in heaven with my Savior and with all other believers who have trusted in Jesus. This means that, whether I live or die, I find myself in a “win-win” situation.
So, what is grace? Well, it depends upon your belief and perspective. But grace, as I understand it, has completely transformed my life, my actions, my belief, and my perspective. I hope one day you can experience this joy and peace that passes all understanding if you have yet to find it. “Come, experience that the Lord is good.”
 Rom. 3:23
 Isa. 59:1-2
 Isa. 64:6
 Rom. 3:10
 Rom. 6:23
 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Col. 1:14; Rom. 5:6-11; 8:31-39; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:12-21
 Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Jn. 2:25; 1 Cor. 15:50-56
 Rom. 6:23; Isa. 53:10; Heb. 2:17; Mt. 27:46
 Lk. 23:15; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:6-11
 Eph. 2:8-10
 Heb. 8:12; Psa. 103:12
 2 Cor. 4:18
 Ja. 1:2-4
 Psa. 112:7; Mt. 6:32
 Rom. 8:28
 Heb. 2:15
 1 Jn. 4:18; Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 15
 Phil. 1:21
 Titus 2:11-13
 Phil. 4:7
 Psa. 34:8
Kevin Pendergras, 34, lives in Shawnee, OK. He worked in full-time ministry for over 13 years and graduated from the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies in 2008. He and his wife, Bethany, now own a promotional product company, Pendergrass Promos, Inc.