God lovingly created man in His image, but man sinned and walked away from God. Ever since the Fall, sin has destroyed man and separated humanity from God. With Jesus’ death on the cross and our faith in Jesus, God gives us undeserved grace by forgiving us our sins, but also transforming us from sinners to saints, so that we become more and more like Jesus, the perfect image of God. This is done by every believer in grace receiving the Spirit of God, who by his holy power begets us anew as children of God and transforms us into the likeness of Jesus. God, then, is both the one who declares man righteous and the one who makes man righteous. Man can do no works of his own to be saved, but only receive salvation freely and for nothing.
“16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn 1:16–17)
“38Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” (Ac 13:38–39)
“21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Ga 2:21)
“6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” (Ro 11:6)
“4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Ga 5:4–5)
“4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:4–9)
“21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Ro 3:21–24)
“14so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” (Ga 3:14)
“17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Co 3:17–18)
“32And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Ac 20:32)
- Have you experienced any change in your life since you were saved?
- Can one do “good works” to receive God’s grace?
- Does faith in Jesus bring righteousness and good works or does faith and good works bring righteousness?
- What does it mean to “fall from grace”?
- In what way are law and grace opposites?
Additional Bible Verses
Luke 18:9-14, Acts 15:7-11, Titus 2:11, Romans 5:20-21, Romans 4:14-16, Romans 5:1-2, Titus 3:4-7, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Romans 5:2, Ephesians 1:7-8, Titus 3:4-7