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Ephesians 2:8 NLT 
2018-04-21Written by Bob and Debby Gass
Gift of grace
Celebrations often involve gift-giving. We get presents on our birthday. Our parents might give us a gift when we graduate. When we get married, family and friends give us gifts to help us begin a new chapter of life. And when we make the decision to believe and accept salvation, God celebrates with us by giving us the gift of grace. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul wrote, 'God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God' (NLT). The word 'grace' comes from the Greek word charis, meaning 'pure joy.' Although none of us deserve God's grace, He considers saving us to be a 'pure joy'. In John's Gospel, the Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery. The law of Moses was clear; she had to be stoned. And the Pharisees were ready to do it. She didn't have anyone to defend her or to be a character witness. The woman probably thought that Jesus, being righteous, would agree with the Pharisees. But suddenly Jesus stooped down and began to write in the sand. We don't know what He wrote, but when He looked up, the woman's accusers had gone. There was nobody left to condemn her. He said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more' (John 8:11 NKJV). That day Jesus lifted her from a position of undeniable guilt to one of unconditional pardon. She didn't deserve that grace; she probably didn't even know it was possible. We could all say something similar about ourselves. We've all done things that deserve condemnation and punishment, but God's amazing gift of grace means that we're lifted up and receive love and forgiveness instead.
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