χάρις, charis; it means “grace, undeserved favor, graciousness, goodwill, kindness”. It is the gracious or merciful behavior of a more powerful person toward another. It implies acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, gracious, joy, liberality, pleasure, and thanks.
Grace is displayed by the Master Jesus toward humankind and by people towards each other in the Old Covenant. Used to describe God or the Messiah in their merciful character or actions toward humankind in the New Covenant.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Messiah [Christ] (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in the Messiah Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in the Messiah [Christ] Yeshua [Jesus]. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Ephesians 2:4–8 (NASB)
Why it matters: By nature, “God is love”. But God would love even if there were no sinners, because love is a part of His very being. Theologians call love one of God’s attributes. But God has two kinds of attributes: those that He possesses of Himself (intrinsic attributes, such as life, love, holiness), and those by which He relates to His creation, especially to man (relative attributes). For example, by nature God is truth; but when He relates to man, God’s truth becomes faithfulness. God is by nature holy; and when He relates that holiness to man, it becomes justice.
God is good: It is hard to describe how good God is. When we combine love, grace, mercy and salvation all into one, it is amazing. Love is one of God’s intrinsic attributes, but when this love is related to sinners, it becomes grace and mercy. God is “rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4) and in “grace” (Eph. 2:7), and these riches make it possible for sinners to be saved. It comes as a shock to some people when they discover that we are not saved “by God’s love,” but by God’s mercy and grace.
The bottom line: In His mercy, He does not give us what we do deserve; and in His grace He gives us what we do not deserve. And all of this is made possible because of the death of Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah [Christ] on the cross. It was at Calvary that God displayed His hatred for sin and His love for sinners. It is through His kindness and gift to us that he has blotted out what we deserve.
- 2 Samuel 24:14 — 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the Master for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
- Psalm 69:13 — 13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Master, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth.
- Psalm 84:11 — 11 For the Master God is a sun and shield; The Master gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
- Psalm 102:13 — 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come.
- Romans 2:4 — 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
- Romans 5:17 — 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus the Messiah.
- Romans 9:23 — 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
- 1 Timothy 1:14 — 14 and the grace of our Master was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in the Messiah Jesus.
- Ephesians 2:4–8 — 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in the Messiah Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in the Messiah Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;