There are things in life that cannot exist without the elements that make them up.  For instance there are common compounds we deal with daily that cease to be if a portion of them are removed.  For example, if you remove the hydrogen from H2O it would no longer be water.  Likewise, if you take sodium from sodium chloride it would no longer be salt.  Each of these two examples is dependent upon those things that make them up.  Grace is much the same, in that there are elements in its make-up that when removed, nullify its existence.

Let’s begin looking at the elements of grace by first reviewing need.  That need is correcting the separating nature our sin has on our relationship with God. (Isaiah 59:2)  Without sin there is no need for grace.  Imagine being called to the local courthouse to hear a verdict of ‘not guilty’ for a crime you had not been accused of.  It does not happen!  Second, grace cannot be extended without seeing the need and fortunately God sees all.  Proverbs 15:3 tells us, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”  If a need goes unnoticed it is likely to remain unmet.  Praise God that He sees and knows our need and that He can do something about it, for grace cannot exist without one able to provide it.  Biblical examples of this knowledge include Daniel’s friends before being cast into a furnace.  Daniel 3:17 records their words, “If it be {so,} our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.”  Do we believe in God’s power as much as Shadrach and his friends?  Next we see that grace calls for action because words are not enough when a deed is needed.  James 2:16 shows us how useless kind words are without backing them up with action or goods.  God did not only tell us He loves us, He gave us the gift of His Son!  Last, but not least grace cannot exist without a receiver.  A gift involves a giver and a receiver and is extended from one to the other.  The tragedy in this comes when the receiver does not accept the gift!  In the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 11-12 we read this about Jesus… “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name.”

Grace, with all that it means, cannot exist without these things we have reviewed.  Take away any one of these elements and it cannot be fulfilled.  Let’s do all we can to be blessed of God with His grace and mercy!

Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter — Derived from “Sufficient Grace, Jim O’Connor”

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