When people speak about the grace of God or try to define what it is, often times, the first definition or description they give is that it is “unmerited favor” or getting what one does not deserve. While this is definitely “part” of what God’s grace is, it does not tell the whole story. As we read in Paul’s letter to Titus, grace is much more than unmerited favor. It is more than getting what you do not deserve. Grace, according to the Bible, is the Courier of our salvation, the Teacher of living a life that is pleasing to a holy and righteous God, as well as the Inspirer of hope for the return of our Lord Jesus!
According to the New Testament Greek Lexicon, the word “grace” is defined as, “of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.” Grace is the reason that any person can experience the saving power of God in Christ Jesus. Wesleyan’s call this “prevenient grace.” It is that God has taking the first step in providing and securing salvation for humanity. The grace of God, in this sense and according to Paul, is the Courier of salvation. Paul says that “the grace of God has appeared, BRINGING salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). (While grace has brought salvation to all men, not all men will take that salvation to themselves.)
When grace appears and brings salvation, it teaches what one must do in order to live in such a way that pleases God. Grace “kindles [a person] to the exercise of the Christian virtues” by ” instructing [them] to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). This is much more than getting what one does not deserve. As one experiences the salvation which grace brings and begins to live the life which grace has instructed, they then find hope and assurance in the fact that Christ will return (Titus 2:13). Grace inspires Christians to look beyond the “here and now” and to rejoice in the fact that Jesus will return for His people that they might live in His presence for all eternity!
Yes, it is true, God has shown favor to the world by giving the world what it does not deserve. Because of God’s grace, every person can experience salvation and have their lives totally and radically transformed. When the grace of God appears to you – LOOK UP, because He is carrying something that could change your life forever.