We must have heard the word, Grace at one time or the other being described as unmerited favour. But, what exactly does unmerited favour mean? For example, in your office, its promotion season. Overlooking the person that had been in the employment for over 3 years, the most efficient worker, obviously the best person deserving to be promoted etc. they go ahead and promote the person who just got there 6 months ago that nobody really knows. Not because of anything but because of grace.
Going by procedure, this shouldn’t be. Under the law, you must work for a certain period of time before you’re even considered for any promotion. But then, grace comes to break protocol. Not because you earned or worked for it, but simply because, favour that you did not deserve was exercised.
It’s the same way in Christianity. With the 10 commandments we had to work hard to make sure that our life and actions fell within those 10. When grace came onto the scene however, we no longer had to work for righteousness. With the law, no matter how much man tried, we could never be righteous. However, with grace, we no longer have to work for that righteousness because upon salvation we receive the very nature of God which is righteousness (Ephesians 4: 24). This is an act of grace. Not because we deserve it but because someone already paid the price for it.
Yes, the Bible says work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 12). Grace doesn’t flout this verse. Grace puts you in a position in which you would ordinarily not be in, everything being equal (Romans 11: 6). We are already righteous, so no matter how many works of righteousness we engage in, they won’t make us more righteous. Nothing you do could ever make you righteous. We are righteous only because God gave His Son to die for us. Righteousness is thus the nature of the child of God. After all, by grace are we saved through faith (Ephesians 2: 8 – 9).