Christians accept, through faith, that they are
freed from the costs of sin or wrongdoing
through God’s unconditional love for us.
God is ready to ALSO APPLY HIS GRACE to our lives.
The term “grace” is of GREAT importance within Christianity. It refers to the essence of God’s love for us humans, both individually and as a whole, in our relationships with him as Christians.
Firstly, and importantly, it ‘sums up’ the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross to each one of us individually. (Explained under Heading 2). It clearly demonstrates just how deeply he loves each one of us.
And secondly, our Lord is just as willing to apply his ‘grace’ to our present day Christian lives, giving us the benefits of his boundless love there. In other words we don’t have to wait to die to be on the receiving end of his unconditional love; his grace! The subject of “grace in our lives” is also explained later in this article (under Heading 3).
Now, if all this seems a bit too much for you … say if you are even struggling with the possible existence of God … please begin by reading the article, “Can I really believe in God?”. Trust me on this one: if you are ready to believe, then you can! (I am from a senior auditing background and the majority of my advisory team are Christian clergy. To glimpse the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
2. JUSTIFIED AND SAVED
Most Christians believe that Jesus (God in human form), paid for all their wrongdoings or sins by dying on the cross, i.e. out of God’s grace. This ‘paves their way’ to heaven after physical death. That is, through grace – God’s deep love and goodwill towards us – they receive his forgiveness.
The Biblical terms “saved” and “salvation”, “justified” and “justification”, “redeemed” and “redemption” relate to that understanding. And I shall explain.
God has ‘wiped our slate clean’ with regards to our sins; redeeming the cost of wrongdoing (i.e. paying for it himself), thereby justifying our right to eternal life. In effect, our ‘clean slate’ means that we can enter the Kingdom of God (Heaven) after physical death, so as to enjoy eternal life.
The term “saved” relates to faithful Christians who are assured of that eternal life with God. Essentially, we are ‘saved from death’ IF we believe it is so! The term often used in the New Testament is “saved by faith” [examples are Ephesians 2:8, Galations 2:15, 3:22-25].
In other words, we are expected to accept Jesus as our saviour, and our Lord God of course, (that is through ‘faith’) to enable this to happen.
Jesus’ own resurrection and then ascension to heaven – three days after crucifixion – actually demonstrated what God has on offer for us after death.
The effect of religious rules and laws on Christians is presented in the article, “Rules, laws and commandments”. I recommend you read that article to fully understand their ‘context’ within Christianity. The major principles and beliefs of Christianity are summarised in the lead article of this section of the website, “Christianity explained”.
3. GRACE IN OUR LIVES
God also applies his “grace”, through his freely giving and loving nature, to our individual Christian lives. He is there, able to make his presence known, as he graciously helps us within our day-to-day-lives. That includes assisting us: with everyday life issues; ‘during hard or tough times’ as they arise; even when we lose our way through ‘poor choices in life’. These issues are all explained below.
3.1 Help in everyday life
In many circumstances, God helps us to achieve our needs through his gifts of love and goodwill; his grace. For example, he wants to ‘guide us‘ in life to what is in our absolute best interests. Which of course relates to our real needs, and not our wishlists. And when we follow that guidance, he then applies a ‘helping hand‘ to our life’s endeavours.
God also answers our everyday ‘prayers‘, through his grace, although we do again need to ‘know our limits‘ there. As such grace can make our lives, as faithful Christians, so much more ‘purposeful and contented‘ than we would normally expect. Of course, God expects us all to live faithful lives. We should try hard to follow his guidance; live our lives as explained in the Bible. Of course, every Christian is expected to try to live in a manner that is not “all about me”!
And bear in mind, the more we ‘trust the Lord with our lives‘, then the more successfully he can apply his grace upon us.
3.2 Help us during tough times
Now issues like this one (tough times) may not face you at this time. But bear in mind that the Lord is also always ready and willing to apply his loving care when we do find ourselves in hard times. We need only ask for his grace to be applied, within our tough times in life. As a minimum he will strengthen us, so as to help us to cope with challenging events.
Please access the article, “God during hard times” for an explanation.
3.3 Help us to change our ways
God also assists us to put our wrongdoings behind us. He often helps us in this manner, e.g. by providing us with personal inner-strength. He does so because he loves us and wants us to love him fully in return. Although maybe not obvious to a beginner Christian, a life that is as free from wrongdoing, as it can be, enables us to have the closest possible bond with God.
And when I try to improve myself, in this regard, I do clearly recognise God’s grace at work, assisting me. What I am trying to say is that, in my experience, grace can be an obvious force in the life of a Christian when this help is needed. See the article, “God’s tough love” for an explanation.
The beautiful old Christian hymn “Amazing Grace”, that has been popular for more than three centuries, is based on grace at work in times like this.
The actions of God, as represented by the terms explained in this article, sit at the core of accepted Christian beliefs. An excellent example of all the terms ‘in action’ can actually be found in Romans 3:21-24.
Again, please see the article, “Christianity explained” to place these actions of grace, justification and being saved into perspective with the religion itself. They are essentially what sets Christianity apart from its monotheist ‘siblings’, Judaism and Islam.