The Gift of Grace
Grace: the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowal of blessings.
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses: grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17 NASB)
The grace of God is like an ocean, and He presses it to us in wave after wave of blessing. It is the gift of God, not by any kind or type or measure of works that we perform. God's grace is an element of His glory and not a reward for our effort. Grace is a gift, and the very nature of something being a gift is that one does not have to work for it; it is freely given.
For it is by grace [God's remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law]. So that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. (Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP)
Just as it is impossible for us to earn, or even to hold back, the waves of the sea washing over us, so it is even more impossible for us to earn, or even to hold back, God pouring out wave after wave of His grace into our thirsty hearts.
In the Old Testament, God's people were separated from Him, and protected from His wrath against sin, by the structure of the Law that was given through His servant, Moses. The Law was mediated by priests who performed the function of intercessors between mankind and Almighty God. Only the High Priest could approach the Presence of God, in the Holy of Holies, under very limited and specific circumstances.
However under the New Covenant, grace and truth are realized through Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Testament. In John 8:32, Jesus said that those who believe in Him would know the truth, and that the truth would make us free. This freedom is not the freedom to sin, but it is the freedom to enter in to the Holy of Holies, through the veil of separation, and to have unlimited fellowship with God our heavenly Father, knowing that our standing before God, our righteousness, is not in ourselves but is eternal through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
For this reason He is the Mediator and Negotiator of a new covenant [that is, an entirely new agreement uniting God and man], so that those who have been called [by God], may receive [the fulfillment of] the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has taken place [as the payment] which redeems them from the sins committed under the obsolete first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15 AMP)
In this new and unlimited covenant relationship with God our Father, we may boldly approach His throne of grace to receive every blessing and every help in time of need, through His Holy Spirit, in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 4:16).
In the Old Testament, the sweet psalmist, King David, cried out to God in Psalm 51:11, Cast me not away from Thy Presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. While in the New Testament, Jesus tells us that He will ask our Father, and He will give us another Comforter, His Holy Spirit, Who will abide with us forever (John 14:16) and that He, Jesus, will never leave us nor forsake us so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Grace is the gift of God's unmerited, unearned and eternal favor that we receive when we accept salvation through Jesus' finished work at the cross, and make Him our Lord and Savior. The grace of God is delivered to us through His Holy Spirit, Whom our Father in heaven sends to abide with us forever as our Comforter, Helper and Teacher. He is the Seal of God's Promise of our inheritance in eternal life in Jesus Christ. Once we surrender to the love of God in Christ, nothing can snatch us out of His hand and we will never perish (John 10:28). For God so loved the world, that He gave us the gift of His Beloved Son and of His Holy Spirit, so that we may be in direct relationship with Him, and receive the blessings of all of His promises, forever.
How blessed is he whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that was in them; Who keeps faith forever (Psalm 146:5-6 NASB)