A few years ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about Grace. She maintained that Grace is all we need to gain salvation, while I adamantly maintained that it wasn’t. The next day, another friend who had listened in, said, “I don’t think people rely on Grace enough.” I hadn’t thought much more on the subject until yesterday, when another friend repeated the same phrase: I don’t think people rely on Grace enough.
Here is a definition that sums up the explanations for Grace that I found on a number of mainstream Christian websites: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor. That is, grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. Because of God’s grace, I receive eternal life and a promise of heaven though I do not deserve them.”
Because this is the mindset I’ve always heard, even though I know that we’re only saved by Grace after all we can do, I just assumed I was supposed to do all that I could, and then Grace was some intangible thing that would make up for it all in the end.
Then, yesterday, I learned what Grace really is! So now, I can also make the statement “I don’t think people rely enough on Grace”, but I would like to add to it: People don’t rely on Grace enough because they don’t understand it!
Grace: The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ… It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts… However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”
Isn’t that awesome? Grace gives us the power to do even more than we thought we could!