Today we move onto the third sola which is Sola gratia ‘Grace alone’.
John Piper writes something useful on the topic of grace ‘Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.’
I find this really amazing because somewhere in our thinking, we believe that if we do not sin, we will some how earn more of God’s love, but the reality is that even our ability not to sin is the power of His grace in our lives.
So as Jonathan Edwards wrote: In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest. But God does all, and we do all. God produces all, we act all. For that is what produces, viz. our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active.
It is because of God’s grace in our lives that Paul could say in Romans 6:14 – “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.” These are beautiful words for the Christian. It means that instead of the Law holding us back, it is ‘The love of Christ constrains us….”(2 Corinthians 5:14). “It is Grace which instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age….” (Titus 2:11-12).
God’s gift of grace brings amazing freedom in our lives. If we could only keep ourselves from trying to add to the work he has already done. Someone once said that every time we try to add something to the cross, we take away a little of his Grace. The amazing fact about Grace is this – There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more or to love us less. His love towards us is already a perfect, furious, overwhelming love, because of his Grace.
- Have you been trying to add to God’s gift of grace?
- How would you describe grace to someone?
Father, Thank you for your grace. Thank you that empower us to live for you. Help us to understand what it means to be in grace and to praise you for it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.