What Is Grace?

Grace has always been an astonishing notion to me.  There was a time in my life that I was really searching for truth in religion.  I was raised in the church, I was raised “Christian”, but I was still searching.  I studied every religion I could find, and I came to the realization that they were almost all missing “grace”.

 What is so special about grace that makes it so elusive in religion?

Grace is something that is somewhat foreign to humanity.  It isn’t natural to our actions, reactions, thoughts, views, or behaviors.  It is a glimpse into something beyond the walls of this decaying world.  It is something that we have to fight for and struggle with.  It is bigger than us.  It is not as much a cause as it is an effect.  We don’t show grace naturally because it is fueled by a love that is empty of self-gratification.  That is a hard thing for a depraved society to grasp.  Grace cannot be created or imagined.  This is because it is not within the realm of the human imagination.  It can only be dispensated from God who transcends culture, religion, and humanity.  

I don’t believe the definition of grace is too hard to understand.  I believe the application and relevance of grace within our own personal life is what is hard for most people to embrace.  How do you accept something that is outside of the scope of human existence without struggle?  Grace isn’t easy. If we can’t fabricate it within our own logic and reason then it places us in a state of tension, an unresolved point of relation.  How can this be true?  How could God love me?  How could He have given me this gift? We then compare God’s ability to hand us “freely given, unmerited favor and love” with our ability to do the same.  This comparison leaves us in a place of disbelief.  “There is no way that He loves me this way!” “Salvation can’t be that easy.”

If this is the case, then how can this situation be resolved?  The answer is FAITH!  Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.  This is where that tension must end.  We must believe that God will give freely, love unconditionally, and give unmerited favor and love.  We must trust and believe that He will do what He says he will do even if we don’t feel like it.  This is faith. 

In the end, grace is bigger than the religion, philosophy, reason, and logic that we try to use to define it.  It is bigger than us.  It is the result of a love that we cannot be separated from.  It is the bridge that connects a sovereign, providential, personal God with those He loves.  Stop trying to earn what has already been given.  Just believe!

~Nick

Nick Rains is the Lead Pastor at Canvas Church in Lenoir City, TN. Nick’s regular blog posts can be found at NickRains.org.

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One thought on “What Is Grace?

  1. It amazes me how much you are able to tie in psychology and sociology with our ability as humans to grasp faith. I know you were a psych major, so you get it more than most of us. But I think it’s awesome that God is constantly using that part of your learning to help me, a thinker, break it all down. You’re knowledge and God’s grace together rock my face off! Thanks

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