ESV - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
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God initiated the work of salvation by giving us His son while we were still sinners. We were not good and in most cases not seeking to please Him. Yet, seeing our need to be saved, He sent us His son to be the atonement for our sins. This extension of good will to an undeserving human race is the definition of grace.
The Grace of God, is the free and unmerited favor of God to mankind, and as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. The grace of God is all involving, and an important kindness that indicates a good relationship with man (eg, like that of a father to children). Romans 5:1-2: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. The Lords' Grace assures Christians of the hope in our faith, and the need to support faith with good works. Sinners have no part in the kingdom of God, and the Lord's teaching is always to prevent believers from going along the dangerous path. Grace also encourages on the great benefits of being virtuous. Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Human virtues form the soul with the habits of mind and will that support moral behavior, control passions, and avoid sin. Virtues guide our conduct according to the dictates of faith and reason, leading us toward freedom based on self-control and toward joy in living a good moral life. Compassion, responsibility, a sense of duty, self-discipline and restraint, honesty, loyalty, friendship, courage, and persistence are examples of desirable virtues for sustaining a moral life.
Great question, Robert! The grace of God is the quality of God's character by which he shows himself compassionate, accepting, and generous to sinful human beings, shielding them from his wrath, forgiving them, and bestowing on them his righteousness so that they can live and grow in faith and obedience. Grace is primarily shown through Jesus Christ's atoning death on the cross. God's grace is made known in Jesus Christ (John 1:16-17) Grace dominates Rom 3-6, especially in thesis (Ro 3:24), while the same use is found in Eph 2:5,8 and 2 Tim 1:9. God's grace and mercy are always unearned and unmerited (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) Salvation comes by grace (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 1:9-10) This is ultimately shown in the cross of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24 again, and in Rom 3:25). See also Romans 5:8. “I'm just a sinner Saved by grace When I stood condemned to death He took my place Now I live and breathe in freedom With each breath of life I take Loved and forgivin Backed with a living I'm just a sinner Saved by grace.” --Gaither Vocal Band - Sinner Saved By Grace
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