What is the biblical definition of grace?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
| The media player is loading…
|Why is it important to be sure where you will spend eternity? Is the faith that people have in God going to get them into Heaven? Matthew 7 says, “I’m sorry. I never knew you,’ here’s what His message is.” What are two ways that Jesus talked about misplaced faith.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS1
Keywords: God’s unmerited favor, dead in sin, grace, Ephesians 2:1, 3-5
Ankerberg: I think that you’re right on the target. So the people would say, “You know, Erwin, I’m starting to smell here that you’ve got a different definition of grace than I’m holding. And I don’t even know what yours is. Now, you’re the pastor of Moody Memorial Church and I’m just going to throw this one to you now. What is your definition – which you’re saying is in the Bible – what is this definition of grace that has not even been discussed yet? You’re saying all these others are wrong, so what is grace as you define it?”
Lutzer: Let me just turn to the Bible here. We’re in Ephesians 2. Paul says, “We are dead in trespasses and sins” [v. 1] and then he says in verse 3, “We were by nature the objects of wrath” and in verses 4-5, “but because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions – it is by grace that you have been saved.”
The point that I’m making is this, John. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, but it’s not His unmerited favor that just helps us to be better people or adds to what we have already done. Grace is entirely God’s work when it comes to salvation. When Jesus was standing at the tomb of Lazarus He didn’t say, “Well, now, Lazarus, you do part of this and I’ll do part of it. If you wiggle your hand, I’ll do the rest.” He had to do it all. And the Bible says that salvation, from beginning to end, is God’s. But I can understand, John, someone who is listening today who says, “Yeah, but at least I have to believe,” and that’s true; but even that belief is God-given. So if there’s someone listening today who wants to believe, that’s wonderful. And we should pray that they would. But they have to understand that it is all of God. Our contribution… don’t you contribute anything? Yes, we do. We contribute our sin. But when we come to the table, we bring nothing except our great need. Grace means I don’t come just to be better, I come for a miracle. Grace means I don’t come simply because I think that I can do with a little bit of help. I need to be rescued. And that’s why grace is so incredibly amazing.