22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; Romans 3:22-24, NASB
Grace is the undeserved love and favor God has for us. Grace is a gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Grace is not something that we can do on our own. Ephesians 2:7-9, tells us that God thought of us “7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
One evening while watching “Perry Mason” an idea of what grace looks like came to me. “Perry Mason” is this old black and white legal drama. Every episode pretty much follows the same pattern. There is always one person who will be murdered. This is usually the person who makes everyone else’s life miserable. Perry Mason always defends the person who is accused of the murder. Because of the time the show aired, Perry’s client always faced the death penalty if found guilty of murder. All of his clients have done something wrong before they seek his legal advice. Worse yet, they keep secrets from Perry. The secrets that the client keeps eventually gets used by the prosecutor to make him or her look even more guilty of the murder. In the end the client has to tell Perry everything. When the client tells him everything, Perry is able to solve the murder.
Some of you are saying, how is this similar to my situation? Like Perry Mason’s clients, we all have done something wrong. For those of us who are perfectionists, that could be as simple as not treating our neighbor as ourselves, Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 26:36-40; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27. So “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Like the clients Perry defends, we were on the path to death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:23, 8:2. We realize that God is seeking us and this is the love we needed our entire lives, this is grace. We don’t deserve it, but we accept the love. When we give up our secrets to our all-knowing loving God, we grow in the Lord and we begin a lifetime of healing. Like in the “Perry Mason” episodes after we are no longer on the path to death and destruction, we may still have some things that we have done wrong to clear up. We may have to ask others for forgiveness or even pay our debt to society. Throughout all stages of the murder trial, Perry does not leave his clients. Once we accept God’s grace, we may still go through some suffering. God has not promised us a life of non-suffering, but God has promised never to forsake us, Deuteronomy 31:8; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. God’s grace, we don’t deserve it, but I am glad we have it. Not only is grace available to everyone, but it is free.