Ephesians 2:8 says this:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…
And Romans 5:1-2 says this:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Sometimes I think we, well at least I, take grace for granted. As humans, we tend do that with things that we perceive to be free, at least free from our perspective. It is a gift, freely given, but it is not a cheap gift. On the contrary, it is a gift of immeasurable value, bought with the price that not one of us could afford. We also tend to think that because something is free we deserve it. Yet another “on the contrary”, we don’t deserve grace at all. Compared to God, we deserve to burn “… our righteousness is as filthy rags…” God didn’t give us grace because we deserve it, He gave us grace because he loves us, me, that much, and that is Who He is.
Through the grace of Christ we are forgiven. Through grace we are reconciled. Notice, I didn’t say He forgives us because He loves us. That would go against the very nature of God. To paraphrase one of my favorite theologians, Oswald Chambers, if God forgave us just because he loves us, that would put our morality higher than God’s. God is absolutely moral and absolute morality requires payment for sin. That payment for sin was fulfilled through the grace of Jesus Christ, namely His suffering and death on the cross. Grace wasn’t free for Jesus, it cost Him everything he had. It cost Him the Papa God part of His being turning His back on the Savior. Jesus the man was separated from, smitten and forsaken by the Papa God whom He was so intimate with and connected to that He could say “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Grace is not free, it cost my Savior everything He had.
We are forgiven and reconciled by faith (my part) through the grace of Christ (His part). We don’t deserve grace, but it is freely given even though it cost our triune God that which is most precious. He who was sinless, perfect and un-deserving of death, took on all of my sin so that I, a sinner deserving hell, could receive forgiveness and be reconciled to a perfect God. There is nothing I can or could ever do to earn that grace, only the sacrifice of a perfect Savior could make grace freely available.
I need to walk every moment of every day with the cost of His grace ever before me. It may be free for all to receive, but its value is immeasurable
One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He.
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!
One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my belovèd ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!
J. Wilbur Chapman, 1908
Lord God, Holy Father, Your love is amazing! Help me walk each day accepting Your gift of grace, understanding that it cost Your Son, my Savior everything. Your grace is a precious gift to be cherished. May I never allow the tarnish of neglect and dust of devaluation to settle on Your gift to me. Amen