Appraising Grace

If the story of Jesus has become so common to you, it might be time to consider it with a fresh perspective. Appraising the depth of God’s grace is the most essential consideration we can make.

Jesus altered everything. In His life, He obeyed God in a way that none of us could do. Through His death, He took our place by dying an undeserving death in the place of guilty sinners. By His resurrection, He proved His power to help us return to life. 

The Bible tells us how God made everything in creation good, how we distorted everything by our sins, and how Jesus turned it all around by sacrificing Himself. If you’ve heard the story before, there’s a blessing and a danger in that. The blessing is having people who prioritized the gospel to share it with you.

The only danger in that scenario (and it’s not nearly as bad as the alternative) is that you have grown accustomed to the story of Jesus. Maybe you’ve known the narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection from such an early age that you don’t remember what it was like before you heard it. The perfect Son of God leaving heaven on a rescue mission to sacrifice Himself for people like us should never be something we get used to. Yet, somehow, we do.


Missionaries reach people with the gospel. They focus on areas where people have never heard the news of Jesus. Many of them center their teachings on a Creation to Christ approach. They share the big stories of the Bible in the way in which they happened without revealing it all at once.

In certain areas, missionaries have reported that people fall in love with Jesus as they hear more about Him. They become amazed at what He did, challenged by what He said, and excited to hear what happened next. One such missionary shared that when he taught about Judas’ betrayal, the disciples’ abandonment, and Jesus’ crucifixion, they were brokenhearted. The people began to weep. How could this tragedy happen to one who had done so much good? Even in their grief, they were enthralled by how Jesus seemed to have been able to get off the cross but chose not to for the sake of others.

When they first heard the news, it was life-changing for them. They were much like the original disciples. In shock, they wondered what would happen next. While you know the story of Jesus, read a passage about His death like it was the first time. Take a moment and slowly read through Ephesians 2:1-10, noticing keywords and phrases about our condition and Christ’s commitment.

2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Sin didn’t make us sick; it struck us dead. Dead people can’t help themselves. We had acted like the people of the world and didn’t realize that we were following the devil through our patterns of sin (2:1-2). Since we aligned ourselves with wickedness, we were rebels like our enemy. The only rightful conclusion for our defiance is that we would experience punishment. We deserved the wrath of God (2:3).

”But God, who is rich in mercy,” did what He didn’t have to do (2:4)! Instead of leaving us in our sin, He sent His Son to pay for our sins. He didn’t do it out of obligation. He actually loves us deeply and brought us back to life by His saving grace (2:4-5). 

It doesn’t end there! Not only are we saved now, but we are saved for eternity (2:6-7). Following Jesus on earth now guarantees you will be with Him in heaven forever. 

Be amazed by this message, as if it was the first time you had heard it. A compassionate and loving God made us to be like Him, but we decided we would rather try to be Him. Our sins prove that we thought we knew better than God and tried to create our standard of right and wrong. Such rebellion had to receive just punishment. While we deserved God’s judgment, Jesus came on a rescue mission. He lived 33 years on earth and never sinned. He never did what was wrong but always did what was right. He fulfilled all of the prophecies about the Messiah.

The religious leaders conspired with the government authorities, and they had Jesus arrested, beaten, and crucified. Jesus’ reputation had many people wondering if He could or would get off the cross, but He didn’t even try. Why would He get off the very thing He came down for in the first place? Jesus came looking for the cross! He wanted to pay for your sins so that you could receive His grace.


We are saved by His work on the cross, not our failed works trying to earn salvation (2:8-9). Salvation is God’s gift through Jesus’ finished work on the cross. And now, we can do good things because we want to since Christ has changed us (2:10).

Amazing grace! How we need to appraise it for its worth!

Who knows how often you have heard or read about what Jesus did for you? But, what should you do with it today?

Do you reject this message? Are you still not convinced that it is true, or that you want to believe it?

Do you rejoice over it? Even though you have been following Jesus for some time, can you take some time this morning to thank Him for it?

Do you receive it now? There’s no reason you can’t follow Jesus as you read this article. 

What do you need to do today? How will you respond to Jesus?