Grace may be unmerited but there is a requirement. We do not determine the requirement, God does. This means of course that people we think are undeserving will gain access into God’s favor. I love love the way my Pastor put it on Sunday – “God does not need my permission to bless you.” That is a very liberating thought.
Grace is why the woman caught in the act went free – her accusers, the religious Pharisees did not determine her justification, God did. Grace is why a murderer on the cross who has not had time to amend his ways would gain access to Paradise. Every gift of God is of grace and human beings do not determine access to it, God does. Jesus said whores and notable sinners will enter God’s kingdom ahead of Pharisees.
You may think you deserve to be blessed but be disqualified like the Pharisees because you do not fulfill the requirement for obtaining God’s grace. I may think you are undeserving but you may enter God’s grace if you fulfill the requirement, which has nothing to do with your past but everything to do with your faith, your trust in the qualifier, the justifier, the savior, the blesser. He has every right to determine how things work in his universe.
The other side of grace is chilling and makes one’s heart cry. People who “deserve” to be blessed will not be blessed. People who have “worked” for God will be disgraced. People who do not deserve to perish will. Why? We do not determine the qualification, God does. God’s requirement is clear and immutable – we are restored, saved, justified, blessed by grace through faith, not by what we do or don’t do.
True faith does not exist without corresponding actions but our actions do not grant us access to grace, our faith does, thank God. Otherwise, none of us will qualify. With grace, faith is both a leveler and a distinction.