In the Old Testament, grace was known as the grace of forgiveness of sins. The relationship between man and God was between a master and his slave. God’s image was a master who forgives the sins of his servant. In the New Testament, God’s true image has been revealed in His Incarnated Son, Jesus Christ. God is love who has a plan to restore man who has been created in His image and likeness. He sent His Son to change our sinful nature. We are now the children of God in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and no more enslaved people. St. Athanasius the Great defines grace as the blessing of sharing and being partakers in the Word (that is, in Christ). The Early Fathers of the church called it “the uncreated grace.” St. Paul, in his second epistle to the Corinthians, said that God’s love to us was declared in sending His grace to us, His Son Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, “God’s love and the grace of the only begotten Son and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The grace of the New Testament is the grace of sharing in the Son Himself, from whom and through whom all the holy gifts are bestowed upon the Church. Thus, we understand the main difference between believing in Christ as a rational theoretical fact, and believing in Christ in a way that leads us to accept His love, to be submissive to Him and to be in unity with Him. So we can say that grace is the gift of Father God to humanity. He has sent His Son to save us from the grip of sin and change our sinful nature. Through Christ, Father God has shown His love, favor, and mercy toward humanity. In Christ, He brought us out of the depths of sin and despair and has raised us to be alive with Him.“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. …16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace”(John 1:14,16).
Through Christ we have the hope of salvation. We see this from the words of our Lord to the woman at the well in Samaria. "Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
So Grace of God comes only through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, reconciles us, delivers us, justifies us, and glorifies us. He has come to our realm and made his home in one body like ours. Consequently, the whole conspiracy of the enemy against humanity is beaten off, and the corruption of death which previously overcame them is finished. The human race would have gone to ruin if the Lord and Savior of all, the Son of God, had not come among us to meet the end of death. No work done by man alone can ever remove the power of sin or gain eternal salvation. This was the point that Paul was making in that verse in Ephesians, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air…. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:1-8).
God's grace, which comes through Jesus Christ, is extended to all, not just to a select people; Paul said that "the Grace of God brings salvation" (Titus 2:11). This grace is not limited; it has appeared so that all men might have an opportunity to be partakers of the divine life in Jesus Christ. How did God's Grace "appear" to all men? It has appeared in the Incarnated Son Jesus Christ, His birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Although the Grace of God has appeared to all men, this does not mean that all men are saved. It means that all possess an opportunity to take advantage of the gift of God, which is Jesus Christ. Our salvation comes through our faith in Him, accepting and receiving Him, and when we do what grace demands. Paul teaches that we all have sinned and come short of God's glory. “Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory,” (Romans 3:23). As such, we are in our sins and in need of salvation. Our salvation can come only through Jesus Christ “God didn’t choose us to receive his anger. He chooses us to receive salvation because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done,” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). To receive the benefits of the grace that God offers, we must go to Christ.
So thank God for giving us His Son, who in Him we have God’s life which is His life eternal. What a grace had been given to all who believe, receive, and obey Father God’s Son and gift Jesus Christ.