What Is Sovereign Grace?

God is not only an all-powerful god but a gracious god. But what does his sovereign grace refer to?

Contributing Writer
Updated Oct 25, 2022
What Is Sovereign Grace?

What is sovereign grace? Have you ever shown grace to another person? Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of grace. When forgiveness is given, showing grace and mercy can provide the opportunity to help others know God. God’s sovereign grace is more abundant and special than we can ever comprehend.

What Does the Term Sovereign Grace Mean?

The words “sovereign grace” have significant meaning, individually and together. The sovereignty of God can be defined as God’s ability to exercise His power over creation. Along with God’s sovereignty is His grace. Biblical grace can be defined as God’s unmerited favor toward His creations. God offers grace in every moment.

Christians can find peace and comfort in knowing God is always in control. Does that mean God always answers prayers the way we want them answered and in our timing? No. God answers prayers according to His plan and in His timing. The assurance that God’s plan is best and that He is in control can bring peace.

The question “Why do bad things happen?” is one that is spoken and read throughout the world. “Why didn’t God stop that awful event?” We seek answers when our hearts are broken. Yet, through those experiences, tears, and possibly anger, we have the opportunity to develop a close relationship with God. God’s love for us is unchanging.

What Makes it Sovereign Grace?

God’s sovereign grace is only given by Him. We can’t earn that grace through our words and actions. However, living for God by sharing His love and forgiveness can help others know the Father.

In the Old Testament, Scripture shares how a woman put her trust in God when life was overwhelming with worry. Debt collectors were on the way to gather her sons and enslave them. The woman asked Elisha for help. Elisha told her to trust in God (2 Kings 4:1-7 NIV). The sovereign grace of God was shown in the opportunity for the woman to trust in God.

The New Testament shares about the grace of God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV). God’s grace is a gift that only He can give.

Our words and actions in every moment can bring His light to the darkness in the world. 

Do Any of Us Deserve Sovereign Grace?

Sin. We are all filled with sin. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, we repent and ask for forgiveness from God. Does that mean we will never sin again? No. Sin persists in this world. When we realize sin has filled our minds, we can pray to the Father and ask for His forgiveness. Recognize the sin, repent of the sin, and seek His forgiveness and sovereign grace.

Christians want to find “favor” in the eyes of God. The Ten Commandments and the Bible have been given as guide and direction. God provided writers to record words of importance so that the coming generations may know about the past and have promises for the future.

God decides how grace will be shown. “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’” (Romans 9:14-15 NIV)

What Might Sovereign Grace Look Like in Our Lives?

In our lives, sovereign grace can be expressed through following the direction God has for us. Instead of wishing harm or retaliation for someone who has hurt us through actions or words, we can forgive. At times, forgiveness may be difficult. We may have trouble forgetting the harm done to us. In those situations, go to God and seek guidance. Pray and ask for wisdom, discernment, and revelation on how to handle your emotions. Trust in God.

Show the grace of God in every situation. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19 NIV)

Is There A Difference Between the Grace God Gives and the Grace we Give Each Other?

The grace of God is sovereign. That grace is His and His alone to give. The grace we give to each other allows us to forgive and show love even when times are difficult.

Have you ever needed the grace of God? Have you ever asked for grace from someone?

We all make mistakes and can seek the forgiveness and grace of God. When possible, there may be an opportunity to ask for forgiveness and grace from those we have hurt.

5 Scriptures about Grace

1. “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” (Ephesians 4:7 NIV)

2. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

3. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8 NIV)

4. “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.: (Revelation 22:21 NIV)

5. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV)

10 Prayers Thanking God for Sovereign Grace

1. Dear God, thank You for Your sovereign grace. We are undeserving, yet You pour out love and grace on us. May we always love others and show Your grace. Amen.

2. Heavenly Father, thank You for the sovereign grace only You can provide. Amen.

3. Lord of all creation, we give thanks for Your sovereign grace. May we always remember Your grace is sufficient. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

4. God, we come before You and ask for grace. We have sinned and fallen short of Your plan. Help us to seek You at all times. Thank You for Your sovereign grace. Amen.

5. Father, as we greet the new day, may we show others love, mercy, and grace. Your sovereign grace is needed and desired. Thank You. Amen.

6. Lord, when we don’t know what to pray, help us to remember Your sovereign grace. Guide us to open our hearts, minds, and souls to receive the love and grace You have for creation. Thank You. In His Name, Amen.

7. Abba Father, the grace You give is more than we can ever understand. We sit at Your feet and ask for Your sovereign grace. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

8. Dear Lord, help us to show grace to others. Thank You for the guidance and wisdom so we may be humble and extend grace in all situations. Amen.

9. God, maker of Heaven and earth, we thank You for Your sovereign grace. What a wonderful blessing to know You love us. Amen.

10. Dear Lord, thank You for Your sovereign grace. In times of trouble, when we have a hard time giving grace to others, help us to remember the grace You give to us. Amen.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Have you shown grace to others today?

In His Name,

Melissa Henderson

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/FREDERICA ABAN

Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

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