Dear Junior: In case you wonder, no, I am not talking about a little dog named Grace, much as I would like to.
The word “grace” is the most important word as far as you are concerned right now as you are preparing your baptism lessons. Your forthcoming baptism is a confirmation of your decision to accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. It is in accordance with what Jesus has taught His disciples to do. It means you are declaring that you are saved. You have received salvation when you received Jesus into your life.
So today we talk about salvation by grace. If you remember, Jesus taught a parable about two persons praying, a religious pharisee and a tax collector (who was considered a sinner in Jesus’ time). What was this tax collector’s prayer? “God be merciful to me; I am a sinner! (Read Luke 18:13) Jesus then told the disciples: ” Luke 18:14 – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Why was the tax collector declared righteous and not the Pharisee? Because he humbled himself before God. The Pharisee was full of pride; he didn’t think he needed a Savior.
This is what grace means. This tax collector didn’t deserve anything from God, but he found God’s favor because he humbled himself. Grace means “undeserved favour”. God has forgiven him and given him free pardon. Before God, all men have sinned and fallen short of His glory. (Read Romans 3:23) The only way to be forgiven is through faith in Jesus. The tax collector acknowledged he was a sinner and repented. Thus he received grace. Salvation cannot be earned. It comes from Jesus. John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Grace is a gift.
I pray that you remember this truth and treasure this wonderful gift all the days of your life.
Love of God from an ancient Christian senior.