God's nature exudes grace. We can rely upon that truth because we can see that God's deeds exude grace, both in our lives and in Scripture. From start to finish, God's Word reveals His grace to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Even from the first chapter of the Bible, we see that God displayed His grace in His creation of the world, in its plants and animals and, ultimately, in humanity.
God's gift of creation, undeserved and underappreciated by humanity, associates His grace with the gift of life. This, too, seems to be the emphasis of the first explicit mention of grace in the Bible: when Noah found grace—often translated "favor"—in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). This mention of grace comes just after God declared His intention to "blot out" humanity (6:7), making the gift of grace a gift of life to Noah and his family.
Likewise, just as God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, delivered His people from oppressors during the time of the judges, and provided Jonah a fish in the midst of his rebellion, we see in the Old Testament that God's grace regularly provided people with the chance at life—undeterred by bonds within and without.
The New Testament continues this theme. Jesus, whom John described as "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14), came so that we might "have life, and have it abundantly" (10:10). The apostle Paul echoed a similar sentiment in Romans: "Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).
As Paul indicated, grace has both present and future implications. Just as God's grace has impacted people throughout history, God, through His grace, will continue to bring life into the future—when Christ returns, God's people will enter into an eternal life with Him.
Over and over again, the Bible teaches us that grace leads to life—not just some disembodied existence. Indeed, we see fulfilled in grace the promise of life as it was meant to be lived—a life free from bondage to sin, a life free to serve God and others.
John Adair received his master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he also completed his Ph.D. in Historical Theology. He served for seven years as a writer in the Creative Ministries Department of Insight for Living Ministries. John and his wife, Laura, have three children.
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