Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. – Ephesians 1:1-10
What if God’s grace is truly the ultimate cause for praise? What if God’s grace is the sine qua non for life? What if God’s grace is more precious than gold or silver? What if God’s grace is an inexhaustible source of hope, joy, peace, purpose, meaning, and significance? What if we fail to view life through the lens of God’s grace we become like pagans: in search of a means by which we may manipulate God to do good for us, and get him on our side? What if God’s grace is all there is to keep us from a life of abject hopelessness, meaninglessness, and insignificance?
What if, indeed. Paul lists here a number of spiritual blessings that flow from our God of grace: we are chosen, destined for holiness, blamelessness, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, and lavished by his love, kindness, mercy, and grace. What an amazing list of blessings! Any one of them would be enough to fill the hearts of the most sinful man or woman. But we have them all! By God’s grace.
Grace may be defined as:
Those riches are abundant. And this is a wonderful way to think of grace. But we have only scratched the surface of the meaning of this rich word.
Wikipedia defines grace as, “a gift from Heavenly Father given through His Son, Jesus Christ. The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to enabling power and spiritual healing offered through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. … No one can return to the presence of God without divine grace.” Not bad. But if you want a fuller exploration of the term, consider this article from the Bible Study tools website.
The New Testament term, charis [χάρις], is rich in meaning. Unmerited favor, kindness, and good will freely given and without merit on the part of those who receive it. Grace is completely dependent on and flowing from God. He is the source of grace and the One who provides it richly to all people. Those who receive this grace are saved (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9). Moreover, Jesus is the one full of grace and truth.
How does this relate to everyday life? We need look no farther than Paul himself who wrote so eloquently and emphatically about grace.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
God’s grace sustains us in times of trial and trouble and is the source of blessings and joy we experience each day. If you would read the article referenced above from the Bible Study Tools website, you might begin to appreciate this rich gift more fully. In the meantime it is enough that we look at all of life through the lens of God’s grace.