Meaning of Grace
So often we are taught that grace is God showing His love to us even when we are sinners. His hug of acceptance you could say. And though this is true, it is an insufficient view of the power of Manifold Grace.
Manifold means that there are many folds. Like a cloth that is folded over and over in creases, so grace has many layers to its significance.
Yes, grace is the unmerited favor of God, but it goes beyond simply favor.
Picture it like this; you are stuck in your mud and muck of sin, unable to pull yourself out. God comes with His grace and chooses to love you even when you are in your mud and muck. However, He does not leave you there. He instead raps His arms around you in that hug of unearned love and pulls you out of your sin, placing you on solid ground. He then takes your filthy clothes and gives you a garment of pure white righteousness. Now transformed from your old self, God walks with you along the path you call life and guides you away from pits of mud and muck. This Is grace!
Grace is the power of God that works in us making us into His workmanship. Grace is given by God, yet it is Jesus who provides the mean by which we enter into Grace (salvation), while the Holy Spirit is the One who actually brings this grace into our lives.
We have this power of grace given to us by the Holy Spirit as we stand in Christ alone. This grace is an attribute of God and is therefore apart of God, holding the power of God. For this reason, we ought to live in this grace with the confidence that nothing can keep us from being transformed by its work. If God is grace and nothing can stand against God then nothing can stand against His power of grace in our lives.
How dare I question whether I can become all God promises I am. How dare I put more faith in my inability to withstand the temptations of sin, then in the grace of God to overcome these areas in my life. How dare I use grace as an excuse to live a lesser life, twisting it into meaning that God will forgive me as I live in the flesh.
Grace is the power to overcome sin not the excuse the remain in it.