“In Him we have deliverance through His blood — liberation from trespasses — according to the riches of His grace, which abounds to us in all wisdom and understanding,”
A dozen times in this Epistle, Paul speaks of grace. We have already defined it here as “unmerited favor,” but it is worth noting that in these verses, Paul is very clear that this grace is “His grace.” Indeed, this seems to be an obvious connection, but it is important for us to clarify that when it comes to grace, there is nothing in it that is generated by or originates within us. It is unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, and unambiguous. God knows to whom he has extended his grace (election) and the extension of grace is mediated by the work of the Son. For God’s elect it is unalienable and for the eternally reprobate it is unattainable. It is God’s grace and his grace alone to give and he chooses to give it through his Son and in no other ways. It cannot be requested by us and it cannot be either accepted or rejected on our part. For it to be grace it must be sovereignly given.
How often people fall into the error that they think that they can accept or reject the grace of God. How often, the picture is painted of God universally offering grace and waiting upon man to accept it. Yet, beloved, if grace is contingent on our desire for it or upon our willingness to receive it, then it is not truly grace (Romans 11:6). It is something else entirely. Grace is not based on our human will nor is it based on the works we might do; it is based fully and entirely upon God and his mercy towards a fallen people in need of his grace (Romans 9:16). Woe to us when we demean the grace of God with notions of our choosing or of our acceptance. It is His grace and His alone to give. And that which is sovereignly given cannot be rejected on our part…it has been sovereignly given.
Six times in his epistles, Paul makes a point in referring to grace as “His” grace. How important it is for us to pay attention to those little pronouns if we are going to purge ourselves of the ideas of men that so proliferate the churches of our culture. The question is not really one of whether “you have received Jesus in your heart” (notice how that makes it something you do), but whether God has driven you to your knees, broken you of your pride, and brought you to repentance before the saving work of Jesus as an expression of his eternal and sovereign grace. It is not about what you want or do, dear friends, it is about God and what he is doing — whether you want it or not.