Much is said about the grace of God in our world today, but it seems that grace is treated more like a commodity than an experience.
Commodity, according to Merriam-Webster’s, is something that affords ease, convenience or advantage. A simple, honest look at our world today will cause us to admit that grace is treated as a convenience or some cure-all drug that allows us to pursue our own way, desires and plans.
When life gets rough, we reach for grace — like the antacid ads that tell us it’s OK to indulge in foods that cause indigestion because we can pop a few tablets to make ourselves well again.
The ad should end by telling us to stop eating junk that makes us sick, but two things stop them from giving such a warning. First, they understand human nature. Man wants to do his own thing and never be held accountable for his actions. Second, they want to keep selling their temporary cure.
To make sure that we do not err in our understanding of God’s grace we must turn to the word of God. In the book of Titus 2:11-15, we learn that grace is not something we obtain to bring temporary relief for the evils of life, but rather it is an experience one encounters from God that completely transforms the whole nature of a sinful man.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
We notice three things here in verse 11:
• Grace comes from God. In order to experience grace, we must experience God. God is righteous, pure and holy. When sinful man and this holy God meet, God does not take on the attributes of man, but a transformation takes place in man.
• This grace brings salvation. Mr. Webster can help us with the word “salvation.” It means “the act of saving; preservation from destruction, danger or great calamity; the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness.”
• “Hath appeared to all men.” God’s grace is extended to all men. If you have not experienced God’s grace, you can. It is offered to all. The devil is the one who separates man by how much money we make, by education or by the color of our skin. God looks at all men the same and says we all need grace.
Look what verse 12 tells us grace will do: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Grace will teach us to deny everything that is not like God and to live soberly, righteously and godly right now. Dear reader, have you experienced God’s grace?
Bradeen is pastor of House of Prayer Christian Church and Bible Seminary and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.