The word “charis” means, in its various forms, to give or a gift. The charismatics were those who celebrated the spiritual gifts. But the word means much more than gift. It is the word for “grace.”
So the point of grace is that it is a gift. Let’s go further. Grace is a gift of something you don’t already have, can’t get for yourself, and couldn’t afford if you could find it.
You see, God knows our condition. He knows that we were lost. Everything we know, we learned while we were lost. He has reached into our lives and has saved us, but we still think like lost people and we are still limited in what we can do. For example, we couldn’t save ourselves before and now we still can’t keep ourselves saved. We couldn’t stop sinning before and now we still think we have to do the same things. We couldn’t solve our problems before and now we still can’t solve our problems. In ourselves, we are as weak and helpless as we were before.
So God gives us what we need. He gave us salvation as a free gift and He keeps us saved as a free gift. He delivered us out of sin’s power and He daily gives us victory over sin. He gave us new hearts and a new mind and He gave us His Spirit to guide us into becoming what we are. He graciously gives us everything we need.
You want to be a good parent for your children? Trust the Lord to give you what you need. You want to get rid of some sin in your life? Trust the Lord to deliver you. You want to have victory over your fears? Look to the Lord who cares for you. Everything you need, even the most practical things, are gifts from Him.
How do I know this? Through Peter, the Lord gives us His Word:
. . . His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue 2 Peter 1:3
This has become one of my favorite verses. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Think about that! All things that pertain to life—gifts from Him. All things that pertain to godliness—gifts from Him. He has given us these things.
Jesus said—to us—something wonderful:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
How does He give us rest when we are responsible to be holy and good and righteous? These are gifts He gives us. He has given us holiness and goodness and righteousness. We don’t have to strive to be good enough for Heaven. We just have to trust what He has given for us.
And remember that the word for “gift” is the same word as “grace.” This is what grace is all about. Something you must have, but can’t get by yourself or from others, given to you as a gift from the Lord who loves you.