God is a God of perfect holiness. Each human being is a sinner. Herein lies the problem.
Fortunately for us, God is also a God of love. And it is out of this love that He extends mercy to each human being. This mercy takes the form of Him not immediately passing the sentence of physical death and eternal damnation that each human’s sins warrant by violating His holiness.
But God doesn’t stop at being merciful. No, He takes things one step further by offering grace to each sinner (Titus 2:11). Grace is nothing less than undeserved favor. So now we’ve gone from God’s holiness, to His love, to His mercy, to (potentially) His undeserved favor.
You’ll note that I worked in the word “potentially” there. Why did I do that? It’s because the grace that God offers doesn’t just magically wash over us as we sleep. Instead, it must be purposefully accepted.
And how do you accept it? You do so by accepting (placing your belief/faith in) Jesus Christ — God in the flesh who died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the human race and then arose from the dead — as your personal Savior. John 1:18 says that grace came through Jesus. Romans 1:5 says that we receive grace through Jesus. Acts 15:11 says that salvation comes through Jesus’ grace.
Once you have accepted God’s grace by accepting Jesus, the channel of that grace, you are afforded all kinds of spiritual privileges by that grace. These privileges are referred to as “the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). For example:
- you are saved — saved from the eternal punishment your sins deserve — by grace (Ephesians 2:5,8)
- you are justified — declared righteous — by grace (Romans 3:24)
- you are given everlasting consolation and good hope by grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
- you are guaranteed to spend eternity with Jesus by grace (1 Peter 1:13)
- God’s holy throne becomes a throne of grace to you (Hebrews 4:16)
- you stand in grace (Romans 5:2)
With such spiritual privileges granted to the person who has placed belief/faith in Jesus as Savior, you would think that everyone would take God up on the offer. Tragically, though, this is far from the case. And if an individual will not accept God’s grace by accepting Jesus, then all that is left for that individual is God’s eternal wrath, which stems from His holiness. And so now we are back to the original problem: God is a God of perfect holiness, and each human being is a born sinner. God has done His part to remedy that problem. Have you?