Christians accept, through faith, that they are freed
from the costs of sins or wrongdoing through
the grace of God.
And how God’s grace affects their 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, within our relationships with him as Christians.
And importantly, it ‘encapsulates’ the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross to each one of us individually. The commonly used Christian terms “justification” and “saved” are both related to the greatest gift that God offers to each of us: eternal life.
God can also apply his ‘grace’ to our present Christian lives, giving us its benefits there. That is also explained later in this article.
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!
2. JUSTIFIED AND SAVED
Most Christians believe that Jesus, by dying on the cross out of God’s grace, paid for all their wrong doings or sins. This ‘paves their way’ to heaven after physical death. That is, through grace, they receive his forgiveness.
The Biblical terms “saved” and “salvation”, “justified” and “justification”, “redeemed” and “redemption” relate to that understanding.
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 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 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 of course, (that is through ‘faith’) to enable this to happen. In summary, faith in Jesus as such is much more important, as far as being saved, than leading a perfect sin-free life OR even doing good deeds for others.
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.
3.1 Help in everyday life
In many circumstances, God helps us to achieve our needs through his unconditional gifts of love; his grace. For example, he wants to ‘guide us‘ in life to what is in our absolute best interests. And when we follow that guidance, then he applies a ‘helping hand‘ to our life’s endeavours. God also answers our everyday ‘prayers‘, through his grace, although we do need to know our limits there. As such grace can make our lives, as committed Christians, so much more ‘contented‘ than we would normally expect.
3.2 Assist us to change our ways
God also assists us to put our wrongdoings behind us. He helps us in this manner (e.g. by providing us with personal inner-strength), sometimes without us even asking for it. 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. 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.
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.
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