76. Grace: Unmerited favour.
We have heard it being said that grace is 'unmerited favour' which means we cannot claim grace by works but only by faith. Moreover, it is not something that we receive after salvation but before and infact the reason for our salvation. 'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.' (Ephesians 2:8-9) Therefore, there is no way we can earn grace by works. Increasing the number of days we fast doesn't increase grace, and for that matter, no spiritual exercise can earn us grace because it is solely (exclusively, entirely) the gift of God which he gave us when he called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. 'Wherefore he saith, "When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men." Unto everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.' (Ephesians 4:7-8 KJV) Why did Paul remind us of the grace received in the past if it is not relevant in the present? Because it is this measure of grace already apportioned to us, that is now being made perfect in our weakness. We don't need to beg for grace nor earn it because it has already been given. Just as Scripture says that 'by his wounds we have been healed' (1 Peter 2:24) though we are yet to experience healing in the flesh and just as Scriptures says we are 'blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3) and 'his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3) though we are yet to fully experience these blessings in the physical realm, likewise Scripture also says 'grace has been given as Christ apportioned it', though it is yet to be appropriated by faith and perfected in weakness. The reason why God says we have received grace, we have been blessed and we have been healed, when infact we are yet to physically experience them, is because it is in keeping with his nature 'to call things that are not as though they were.' (Romans 4:17) He wants us to think, speak and act like him and it begins by agreeing with God's word. Seeing everything through Scriptures would be like seeing the world through his eyes and it will give us the bigger and better perspective! Amen.