Grace – unmerited divine assistance given to man
This is a dictionary definition of grace. I like this definition because of the word unmerited. Grace is a gift of God that we did not merit. Out of his love for us he gave us life giving assistance when we were dead in our sins. I believe that grace is poorly understood by Christians because we are always talking about what we are doing for God, but our testimony should be about what God has done and is doing for us. Our good works are inspired by the grace he has given us.
This passage from Ephesians 2:1-9 provides insight for us:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
I stop before sharing the last verse of this section because we need to stop. The explanation of our salvation is finished.
Then we read about what happens in response to this salvation by grace.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Chris Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Now that our salvation is finished, God has works for us to do. We don’t have to come up with these works. He has already prepared them for us. In humble gratitude, we seek his direction for what to do. Remember: “…it is by grace you have been saved.” “Have been” indicates that it has already happened, and it is ongoing. Relax and enjoy the unmerited assistance that God has given you.