When we think of God’s grace towards us, how often are we quick to attribute it to our ability to deserve it? If we look at the definition of grace, we ultimately have to acknowledge that in it’s very definition it claims to be un-merited favor. Therefore it can’t possibly be about merit or our ability to deserve as it has to be rooted in something else than ourselves.
Simply put, God didn’t die for you so He could love you. He loves you so therefore He died for you! In the Bible, God loves the world and so He sends His Son to save it (John 3:16–17). In the Bible, it’s because of His great love for us that God makes dead-hearted rebels alive (Eph. 2:4). In the Bible, God demonstrates His love for us through His Son’s death for His powerless, ungodly, sinful enemies (Rom. 5:6–11).
Do you see what these verses are saying? God loves and so He saves. It does not say God saves and so He loves.
Glen Scrivener puts it best when he says:
“Our salvation—won through his blood alone—proves his love for us. His love isn’t a bonus for the godly; it’s aimed at his enemies. And such love is the very ground of all he does. If we’re looking at the Son lifted up on the cross, then we’re seeing God’s love for us, because there we’re seeing our salvation. It’s in this that we see infallible proof of God’s immovable, inexhaustible, unfathomable affection for us.”
Often at times, we’ll even misread Scripture in a way that makes it seem like a biblical character was worthy of God’s grace when, it was never about them in the first place. God had favor on Noah when he says in Genesis 6:
“Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.” – Genesis 6:8-9
However, to be clear, blameless doesn’t mean sinless. Rather it means they followed the law and atoned for their sins when necessary leaving them in good standing with God. There is no way he could’ve been sinless because he was a human born after the fall and the only human to ever live a sinless life was Jesus. This story is not about how good Noah was, it had everything to do with God’s mercy and grace on Noah and his family.
A shining example of this occurs when we read about the first Passover in Genesis 12 as it details the Jews near the end of their time as slaves in Egypt and as God is plaguing the nation, Moses tells the people to kill a lamb or a goat and place their blood on the doorpost so that the Holy Spirit would pass over their homes. This would mean that they would be unaffected by this horrible plague that was about to take every firstborn son away from every family in that area.
However, something always stuck out to me about that story. Did you notice that the Holy Spirit never checked who was inside the homes? The only qualification for being saved from the plague was to have the lamb/goat blood on your doorpost so theoretically, an Egyptian and his family could’ve hidden inside the house with the Jews and would’ve been safe from the plague. The Holy Spirit only checked that there was blood on the doorpost. Of course, I hope that you recognize that the imagery of the Passover is a foreshadowing of what our salvation looks like as the blood of another lamb (Jesus) was spilt on wood so that we may not face the consequences of our sin.
R.C. Sproul so brilliantly reminds us of our security in God’s presence when he says:
“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us.”
If you’ve ever crossed the street with a child, usually you’ll put out your hand and say, “Hold on tight,” and the child will grasp your hand as tightly as they can. Of course, we would never depend on their grasp. It is our grip on their hand that holds them and keeps them secure. So Paul also communicates this same idea the book of Philippians when he says, “Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
One thing is certain: It is not our grip on God that keeps us safe, but the power of Jesus’ grasp. No one can take us out of His grasp — not the devil, not even ourselves. Once we’re in His hands, He will not let go.