It is as if the New Testament is literally bathed in grace. (Getty Images)

The word grace appears in the Old Testament only 37 times. But you will find it 122 times in the New Testament. Every epistle penned by the apostle Paul opens with the greeting, “Grace to you,” and closes with similar words. It is as if the New Testament is literally bathed in grace. Notice the trend:

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7b).

  • “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rom. 16:24).

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:3).

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Gal. 1:3).

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2).

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:2).

  • “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (1 Thess. 5:28).

  • “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Philem. 1:25).

  • Grace to you and peace be multiplied” (1 Pet. 1:2).

  • Grace to you and peace” (Rev. 1:4b).

And the closing words of the Bible are the same, in Revelation 22:21: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.”

Why this continual flood of grace? John’s Gospel reveals the secret when he writes: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The Old Covenant couldn’t give us true victory over sin because it was based on man’s obedience to rules; the New Covenant guarantees forgiveness because it is based on the obedience of Jesus alone, not on our performance.

This is the essence of Christianity. We have been saved by grace through faith. Yet I meet so many Christians who struggle to receive grace, even though the Bible is dripping with it on every page. We find it difficult to believe that God really and truly loves us because we are so aware of our sinful past, our recurring sinful habits and our blatant weaknesses.

If you are struggling to understand true grace, open your heart and read the words below, and imagine that Jesus, the Lover of Our Souls, is saying them to you directly:

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SOURCE: Charisma News
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.