Grace is the precursor to grace. Grace is the entry point to the grace journey. And grace will deposit us to the front steps of heaven. It is a past, present and future companion. Understanding the purposeful expansion of grace into our lives Peter once said this: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ~2 Peter 3:18.
Here a definition of grace is helpful. Some have thought it to mean the forgiveness of sins. It is that but it is so much more. If we limit grace to forgiveness of sins then it follows that we must sin in order to receive more grace. Paul swatted down that specious argument in the Book of Romans when he said: What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? ~Romans 6:1 Sounds like a fun theology but one that is totally misinformed as to the nature and meaning of grace. Moreover, the Scriptures tell us this about Jesus: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14 If we give allegiance to the sinless nature and life of Christ, we cannot then define grace as the forgiveness of sins. No, it is something altogether different than that. So, what is the definition?
The one that I like and use is “the empowering presence of God.” Certainly that happens the moment one becomes a Christian and our sins are swept away. But that’s not the end of the Christian story. The small blip of conversion, while a big deal, is almost incidental to the greater purpose. We must start the car to begin the journey. But starting the car without engaging the transmission is a waste of the purpose for which the car was built. Idling is not the purpose of a car or a Christian.