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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Five Solas: Sola Gratia

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5

Of the five Solas the next, Sola Gratia, Only Grace, may indeed be the most beautiful to behold while the most difficult to define. It is apparent that grace births grace in many forms, but we focus on that primary grace which oozes from the heart of God. As Charles Swindoll (The Grace Awakening Guide, Page 3) says, “It is on this great theological word that our eternal destiny hangs, for the undeserved favor of God is our only hope of being accepted by Him.”

The Greek word for grace, charis, speaks of unmerited favor (mercy) shown to us by God. It is a gift, totally undeserved yet gladly given. Think of where we were: dead in transgressions. Adam and Eve fell out of God’s good grace with one careless action. How different am I?

Yet because of his great love for us God extended His grace to us down through the ages, through the wanderings and rebellions and exiles and returns, to the birth of His Son, to the hanging on a cross, through all my sins, be they unintentional or willful.

That is original grace, God’s grace, rich in mercy and compassion and tenderness and love, in abundance to the point of overflowing. Grace big enough to pull me out of the world’s muck into heaven, should I grab hold of it.

It is obvious to me that, apart from grace I would not know the majesty of the Lord, nor the sacrifice of Jesus. Why not love? Well, love can be tough. Why not mercy? Because mercy can stop with forgiveness, falling short of restoring relationship. Grace extends both love and mercy into eternity: And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6-7).

Ah, grace. What words can describe you? What beauty embodies you! Sola Gratia it is. Thank you Almighty God. Thank you Jesus.

Nancy P

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