Andrew Knott / October 20, 2017
Why is understanding “Grace Alone” so important? In short, because nothing is more vital to Christianity than rightly understanding grace. Requiring the addition of our own works topples grace entirely because grace begins with people who are “dead in the trespasses and sins,” not capable of any good. These sinners are not only spiritually dead but follow Satan and spend their life pursuing the “passions of [their] flesh.” Grace is needed because sinful men and women created in God’s image willfully reject Him and are by nature “children of wrath.”
Grace, then, rises up in the wondrous words: “But God being rich in mercy.” Mankind rejected God and yet God unexplainably loved His people “when we were yet dead in our trespasses.” God comes to seek and save the lost by sending His only Son to take the place of sinners in their own judgement. Jesus bears the wrath of sin and pays the penalty that God’s people deserved. And not only that, He also makes us alive once again. Grace can only be described as a gift, freely given to the sinner, with no merit of his own to add “so that no one may boast.”
Once given, this gift called “grace” keeps giving by transforming the life of the redeemed, filling him with gratitude and thankfulness to God. Grace is evident day by day in the life of the believer “for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.” And so even the good works a believer does can only be attributed to the grace of God’s ongoing transforming work.
The Reformation was nothing short of a rediscovery of grace! The Reformation breathed life into people who for years were bound to the false notion that they must add their own works to their accounts in order to be saved. But to require man’s cooperation to achieve salvation destroys the Gospel! When people shed this burden, understanding that they were entirely dead in sin, but that God had provided the complete and full way of salvation, then they embraced grace – no longer something to be bought or earned, only received as a gift.