And, honestly, you're probably not to blame for this misconception. A lot of preachers and teachers talk about grace in the context of forgiveness and never another context. They talk about grace and the cross and forgiveness. That's GOOD. We need more cross, not less.
But it's not the whole story.
Grace is more than forgiveness - not less than that, but more. In Titus, Paul says grace...
- Brings salvation for all people (those who trust Christ are indeed saved! CROSS!)
- Trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions
- Trains us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives today
- Prompts in us longings for the appearing of Jesus
I see forgiveness there. I really do. But I see a lot more than that. Dallas Willard, a literary hero of mine, says that grace is help. It's God's ability at the point of my inability. I can't get forgiveness from God for my sin - GRACE. I can't live the life I want to live that's holy and righteous - GRACE. I can't say no to sin on my own - GRACE.
You get the idea?
So the question I hope you're asking is how you get in on that grace? The answer is the same for all in every circumstance: by faith. Confidence in Christ leads to His release of help to us.
So wherever you are, trust Him today. Don't just trust Him for eternity (though certainly do that too), trust Him for everything.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...