Theologians point out that there is a sharp distinction between the use of the word ‘grace’ in the Old and New Testaments.
In the Old Testament, it can be used to designate kindness and graciousness in general, with no particular tie or personal relationship between the individuals involved. It is also used to signify a specific kindness that gives pleasure to both giver and receiver, thereby implying some sort of special relationship between them.
In the New Testament, grace indicates quite specifically God’s redemptive love, which is always active to save a person to keep them in relationship with him. It implies God’s continual, unfailing faithfulness both to his covenant and to his people forever.
Think of grace in terms of a statement: ‘You are accepted.’ You and I are accepted, fully and totally accepted by God, now, always, without condition, without deserving, without question. To be accepted in this way means to be cherished, to be loved, to be guarded from ultimate evil. It means that who we are is valued, honoured and respected. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ.
Grace is God’s initiative. It is an expression of God’s love for us, of God’s desire, of God’s unconditional acceptance, an expression of the very nature of who God is.
Such amazing grace!