You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim. 2:1-2).
Why make a big deal about grace? Don’t Christians hear the message of grace enough?
The message of God’s unconditional love is carefully and lovingly unpacked throughout Scripture. The word, grace, appears many times. And there are hundreds of examples of God providing for those who cannot provide for themselves. Does God overdo it by repeating the message of grace so much?
The answer is no, but why is that so? The reason becomes clear in the Apostle Paul’s instructions. Paul is approaching the end of life and emphasizing what is most important for the strength to live for God.
What is most important? “Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” The message of grace is so counter to human instincts of how we secure affection, that it is hard to overemphasize. Preachers know that even when we preach grace, people hear law, presuming God’s love is based on measuring up to his standards.
People who believe that God’s love is based on their performance inevitably fall into pride or despair. Doing good works just to keep God at bay furthers the gap between us and him.
It takes regular doses of grace from mature Christians to help counter our instincts. Grace is not a license to sin; it is strengthening the heart for godly service out of love for a sacrificial Savior.
Lord, strengthen my love by the message of your grace so that I will live for you and help future generations to do the same out of love for the One who gave himself for them.