unmerited favor or divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
Even the definition of grace can be difficult to wrap our arms around. Often it takes the experience of grace to bring the concept to life.
Each of us has had moments of pain, decisions we regret, and seasons where our spirit was crushed. The grace of God is what helped us move forward and realize we could change. With time, we even come to see how God often uses those challenging experiences for something good and to draw us nearer to Him. As our faith matures, we lean into that grace and accept it as a truly special gift from God.
However, this message of grace is countercultural. Many people struggling in sin have a hard time believing it applies to them. The enemy uses everything he can to discourage and deceive those who are feel shame and guilt. Consequently, many people looking for help online struggle to accept God’s grace.
Obviously, online evangelism focuses on sharing the Good News and the Gospel message is one full of grace. We are both saved by grace through faith, but it is also an essential part of God’s character and how we grow our relationship with Him.
The most common reaction to this from unbelievers is one of exclusion and how that grace cannot possibly extend to “all I have done”. For this reason, it may be necessary to share specific stories and verses from scripture for this message to be fully appreciated and accepted. This means we must help guests understand they are not beyond God’s grace, and we all need it.
It is also often helpful to paint the picture of grace as a gift so those struggling can see it is not based on what we deserve, earn, or need to pay back. God’s grace requires no repayment or return by the recipient. It is a gift that is free to us although not to God who offers it. We need to lean into the countless examples of how God’s love, mercy and common blessings reflect His grace to us each day.
This concept of ongoing grace helps us share that favor does not stop once we are saved. God is gracious to us for the rest of our lives, working within and upon us. The Bible encourages us that grace:
- provides us access to a relationship with God
- justifies us before a holy God
- changes how we see life and desire to live
- encourages, comforts, and strengthens us
Grace is not something that is easy to grasp when you have been running from God and don’t know His true nature. But grace is often the concept that starts changing hearts and helping the lost come to see how Christianity and trusting Jesus are different than anything else the world offers.