Grace is divine, unmerited favor available to the sinner for salvation and the redeemed for victorious living. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” This is what unmerited means–you didn’t earn it. It was a gift.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Isn’t that interesting?
The other day I was out shopping in another city and suddenly a good friend from my hometown popped out in front of me. I didn’t know she was going to be there. She just “appeared” suddenly –much like grace.
Before I became a Christian, I wasn’t looking for grace. But I know now, grace was looking for me.
And this is what the scripture means when it says grace that brings salvation has “appeared” to all men. It’s as if grace was a homing missile and you were its target. I can look back over my life now and recognize the different times and places God not only showed me grace, but attempted to reveal salvation to me.
Think about it… “And God is able to make ALL GRACE abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). You can’t run. You can’t hide. God is able to make His grace abound toward you! YOU ARE HIS TARGET!
The word justification found in scripture has its roots in grace. God justified you and I (freeing us from the penalty of our sins) through grace. So, if grace intentionally targeted us for salvation, how much more will God justify us also?
But understand this, we receive by faith.
Notice, Ephesians said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” If God could save us without faith, we’d all be saved. But instead, He offered a partnership (or a covenant). He provided forgiveness of sins in exchange for our belief in His Son. This was a crazy exchange! It’s like the kid on the playground who offers a marble in exchange for an iPhone! But this is why it’s called grace–the exchange wasn’t even. We received much, much more than we offered.
And this is also where justification comes in to play. Justification is defined as God’s declaration that the believing sinner is righteous and acceptable before Him.
Notice who receives justification: the “believing” sinner. In other words, when we were lost in our sins, at the bottom of the bottom, something caused us to look up and call on God. You and I were ignorant of God’s plan. We didn’t know what we’d receive in exchange for believing in God and asking Him to save us. But we accepted it nonetheless. And it was at that moment, when our heart made a choice to believe, when grace found its target!
Aren’t you glad?!