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James Meehan - Why Does Grace Matter?

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    James Meehan - Why Does Grace Matter?
TOPICS: Bible Nerds, Grace

Well, what's up, Bible Nerds? James Meehan here for another edition of Words of the Bible. This time, we're talking about the word grace. Grace is a big deal in the Bible. And it's a big deal in our lives as Christians. But because the word gets used so much, sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what it really means. And when we don't know what a word really means, it can be hard to fully appreciate why it matters. So what is grace? And why is it such a big deal? Those are the questions that we're gonna answer today. So what is grace? Grace is a gift that we can't earn and we don't deserve.

In Ephesians 2:8, the Apostle Paul writes this. He says that God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this because it is a gift from God. God saved us by his grace. And Paul wants us to know that this isn't something we can take credit for, because we aren't the ones who made it happen. It is a gift from God. Think about it like this. Imagine you are walking down the street, when all of a sudden, a random stranger walks up to you and says, "I've got a brand-new PlayStation 5 that I wanna give to you". Now you may ask, "Why me"? Or, "What's the catch"? And they assure you there is no catch. All you have to do is accept it.

Now, you keep pressing them for information but they keep assuring you. It is not because of any reason other than they wanted to bless someone and you happen to be someone. That PlayStation 5 would be a gift. You didn't do anything to earn it. And there's nothing that made you more deserving of it than anyone else on that street. You got it because of the generosity and kindness of the person who gave it. That's what grace is. It's a gift that we can't earn and we don't deserve. Now, the most significant act of grace in all of history is the gift of salvation that God has offered to all of us through the sacrifice of Jesus. We can be saved from our sins and made right with God, not because of what we've done, but because of God's generous love, which is what Paul says in the very next verse, Ephesians 2:9. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. So none of us can boast about it.

Notice, Paul wants to make sure we know that salvation. Forgiveness of our sins isn't something we earn from doing good things. It is a gift from God that he offers because of his great love for us, which is really good news, because if salvation, being made right with God, was really about doing enough good things and not doing too many bad things, then all of us would be out of luck. Just think about last week. Were you 100% completely honest in every conversation you had? Or did you maybe tell a lie, possibly a really tiny lie, to make yourself look better? Were you 100% totally loving to your parents, siblings, and friends? Or was there maybe a time or multiple times where you were rude, disrespectful, or disobedient? Were you 100% absolutely pure in what you looked at, what you said, and what you were thinking? Or did you maybe look at something questionable, say something inappropriate, or think something that was dishonoring to others?

God is not Santa Claus. He's not keeping a list and checking it twice to see who's naughty and nice, which is really good news for us, because we're not perfect. We are far from it. We all fall short. But God still offers us forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus. That's why it's called grace, because it's a gift that we cannot earn and we do not deserve. In the very next verse, the Apostle Paul tells us this. He says in Ephesians 2:10 that we are God's masterpiece. He has created us a new in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. That's how God sees you. He sees you as a masterpiece, a work of art, something special and valuable and worth dying for. And because of Jesus, we're made new. We're made whole. And we can make a difference.

So what do we do? Well, the first thing we do is we believe in Jesus. We believe he is who he said he was. We trust that his death on the cross is big enough to cover all of our sins. We believe what he says and we learn to see ourselves the same way that he sees us, as someone who is dearly loved. The second thing we do is we live for Jesus. You have been rescued from sin and death. Your relationship with God has been repaired. Your purpose has been restored. So choose to live for Jesus. What problems can you solve? What people can you serve? Go out and do it, because of the gift that you've been given. Choose to be a gift for others because that's what grace is. It's a gift that we can't earn and we don't deserve. In John 3:16, here's what we read. We read that this is how God loved the world. He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. It's grace. It's a gift from God that we can't earn and we don't deserve. And because we have received the gracious love of our Father, we are now called to show that same gracious love to others. So take care and stay nerdy.
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