Grace in the Bible: Meaning and Examples

Build a deeper relationship with the Lord and the people around you by discovering what grace in the Bible means from Scriptural examples.

Grace is a word we use so often in the church today. We encourage each other with words of how God will supply it in times of difficulty and even use it to name our kids. However, many people either don’t fully understand what it entails or have a wrong notion about it.

But understanding God’s grace in the bible is important for us to live as the people The Lord has called us to be. It is only when we understand it, that we can recognize its work in and through our lives. 

This article seeks to explore the origin and the inner workings of Christ’s gift to us, using several examples of grace shown in the Bible.

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Meaning of Grace in the Bible

A bible study on grace would reveal it to be so much more than we think. In the Scriptures, there are two words used which are translated to mean grace. The first is “chesed”. This is an ancient Hebrew word used mainly in the Old Testament to refer to deliverance from enemies and affliction.

The second word is “charis”. This is the word used in the New Testament to refer to God’s mercy shown in the salvation of mankind.

Though these two words refer to two slightly different things, they both point back to the same thing; God’s unending love for mankind. 

Ephesians 2:7-9 says,

“7. so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 

9. not a result of work, so that no one may boast. 

This tells us two things about grace in the Bible. The first is that it is eternal, it’s not something God can run out of. Its riches are immeasurable.

Two, it is a gift, a free one. It can never be a treat we earn by being good. God gives it to everyone regardless of their works.

Let’s see a few examples of grace from Scripture and understand more about it.

Examples Of Grace And Mercy In the Bible

There are about three types of grace in the bible shown to mankind.

  • Common grace.

This type was established by God in creation and preserves the sinful man from self-destruction. This is given to every single person on earth because of God’s goodness. We see this type at work in the case of Cain whose life the Lord preserved despite his wickedness (Genesis 4:15).

  • Saving grace.

This is God’s eternal love shown to us in the provision of salvation.

In the Old Testament, He showed this to the Israelites by delivering them from Egypt and calling them to be His people. Even when they rebelled against Him time and time again, God did not withdraw His kindness from them (Psalm 136:11).

In the New Testament, He was gracious by giving up Jesus to die on the cross for all of mankind (John 3:16). By this He gifted us eternal life, even when we were still sinners.

  • Enabling grace.

This kind empowers the believer to fulfill their God-given purpose. We see this in the case of Joseph. God’s grace for Him gave him the strength to persevere. 

He spoke of it in Genesis 50:20,

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” 

Joseph was despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and forgotten for years. It’s indeed hard to see God’s graciousness in all that. 

But He was right there supplying it to Joseph so that he could persevere until the time for his manifestation came. God made him favored in prison and eventually, He became Prime Minister of all of Egypt.

Another great example of grace in the Bible is Jesus. God strengthened Him to fulfill His purpose of dying on the cross for us (Luke 22:43).

God also singled out certain people in the Bible and showed them His graciousness.

This is described in the Bible as “finding favor in the Lord’s eyes.”

We see this displayed in the case of Noah who was spared from the flood because he had ‘found favor in God’s eyes’ (Genesis 6:8).

It is also illustrated with Moses in Exodus 33:12-13. Even if Moses was a stubborn man with anger issues. He was the only person who saw the form of God and lived. 

Abraham, Jacob, Daniel, Caleb, Ruth, Samuel, and many others in the Old Testament enjoyed this side of God’s graciousness. Not because they were perfect, they were all flawed men, but because God chose to.

Grace In The Old Testament

Many people erroneously believe that grace in the Bible is a New Testament concept. But God has shown undeserved favor to man since the beginning of time. 

In the Old Testament, apart from ‘chesed’, there is also the Hebrew word ‘chen’ which is translated as grace.

It is derived from the root word ‘channan’ which means,

“to bend in kindness to an inferior, to be moved to favor by a petition or request, to show or grant a favor, to graciously show mercy or to pity”

Here are a few instances ;

  • Grace began in the Garden of Eden when God killed an animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).
  • God was gracious to Abraham and Sarah despite Sarah’s unbelief and gave them Isaac. (Genesis 18:13-14).
  • God showed grace to Rahab despite her past sins. She even went on to become the great-grandmother of King David and eventually an ancestor of Jesus (Joshua 2:1-18).
  • David lusted, stole, fornicated, lied, and murdered, and yet God loved him. He even called him a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

How Can We Extend God’s Grace Towards Each Other?

Remember, just as God is gracious and merciful to us, we must also extend it to others. That is how we can help people understand and experience the loving-kindness of God.  This in a way stands as our ministry or reconciliation.

Do little things like celebrating people’s milestones with them e.g giving first communion gifts, forgiveness, soul winning, and helping out without expecting a reward. This is how we can extend God’s grace to others and be good Christians. 

You never know just how much of a difference any of this makes in the life of a person.  

Scriptures About Grace

” But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

“who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,”

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

examples of grace in the bibe

Final Thoughts on Grace in the Bible

Going through these examples of grace in the Bible, these words seem best to capture its entirety. 

“Grace is God’s mercy and favor towards us, unearned and undeserved.”

It shows us the Father’s heart, shields us from evil, strengthens us in difficulty, and empowers us for service. The Christian life would be nearly impossible without God’s grace and this is why He provides it in lofty abundance. Keep swimming in the unforced rhythms of His mercy and love.

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As a religious leader and keeper of sheep, I have the duty to educate my community in the faith in God. In our fast-paced society, finding time to go to church and dedicate to our Lord is nearly impossible for some people. I want to show how technology can be used in the service of God to strengthen our faith.

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