Most people understand that the fundamental basis of "grace" is unmerited favor. Grace is based on the principal that a person gets something they don't deserve. When a person takes this truth into account through a Biblical context, the definition is the same but its much bigger. The Bible teaches that the sufficiency of all mankind is in the grace of God. In other words, God's favor is so great, and people are so undeserving of the favor that He gives, that one's understanding of this truth should bring total satisfaction in life. The Bible is sure to provide snapshots of God's grace being delivered in both the Old and New Testaments, so that one can observe the favor of God compared to the folly of mankind. When one examines these testimonies, the grace of God can be appreciated much more!
In Genesis 35:1-15 the Bible reveals a powerful testimony of God's grace. The previous portion of scripture showed Jacob and his family handling the defilement of Dinah in poor ways since they didn't seek God's wisdom an direction to address the situation. The scriptures reveal that Jacob's sons ended up killing and plundering the city of the people who violated their sister, but many people who had nothing to do with the situation were killed. Yet, the very next portion of scripture shows God initiating contact with Jacob. Though Jacob's fear and foolishness resulted in many deaths through the circumstances surrounding his daughter, God continued to engage with Jacob. When one considers Jacob's sin, one could make the argument that God should have cut Jacob off. Nevertheless, God is faithful to His own promises, and so continued to show Jacob and his family favor in spite of his sin.
This reality does not excuse Jacob from his sin. Scripture will reveal that Jacob and his family will pay the consequences for their sin. However, it is important to recognize that one's failure does not cause God to cut the line of communication and favor. God is patient with His people in the midst of their failures. God is determined to work with His people in the midst of their failures, but is focused on purifying His people from their failures. In Genesis 35:1-15 God commanded Jacob to go to Bethel - the place Jacob went where God appeared to him in a vision when Jacob was fleeing from Esau. God desired to have some one-on-one time with Jacob in that place, and God wanted Jacob to be reminded of the things He promised Jacob in that place.
The Bible provides more details regarding the grace of God within this command. The Bible explains that when God instructed Jacob to take his family to Bethel, Jacob responded with obedience, but had to tell his children to put away all of the foreign gods and idols that they had collected from their plundering in Shechem. Jacob's children had murdered the people of Shechem, plundered their goods, and then adopted their gods and idols and brought them into their homes! The Bible is candid to reveal the extent of sin that Jacob's family was engaged in. Though God had made a series of intense promises to Jacob and his family, Jacob's family sought to worship false gods and idols instead of the Living God. Once again, if there was an opportunity for God to take back His promises, it would have been at this moment in scripture, and God would have been just to do so. Nevertheless, God desired to meet with Jacob in Bethel.
The Bible explains that upon hearing the voice of God, Jacob made his children get rid of the idols. He would not allow them to be taken to Bethel. Jacob collected all of them and buried them under a tree before they left. Upon arriving at Bethel, the scriptures explain that God spoke to Jacob again. God reminded Jacob of his identity as God's child. God reminded Jacob that his name was changed to Israel, which means, "God prevails." God reminded Jacob that He prevails. God stated this to explain to Jacob that, no matter the sin that was in the lives of Jacob and his family, God would prevail in His plan. The sin of Jacob's family would not be such to the extent that God would be unable to fulfill His eternally unconditional promises. This does not mean that the sin of Jacob's family was excused, but that God is able to work in such a way to correct sin so that His promises can be fulfilled.
Genesis 35:1-15 explains that when God addressed Jacob in Bethel, He reminded Jacob that He is the Lord God Almighty! Sin does not affect God and does not affect His plans. Sin does not cause God to go back on His promises. Sin does not affect the faithfulness and patience of God. Once more, this does not suggest that God is tolerant to sin. Rather, God is patient with sin, and is able to exercise His almighty nature to destroy sin in order that He can fulfill His promises. Consider that it was the voice of God in the context of grace that caused Jacob to remove the false gods and idols from his household. Once those false gods and idols were removed, God revealed Himself to Jacob as the Lord God Almighty, and scripture explains that God spoke with Jacob, reminding him of the promises that were made to Abraham and Isaac.
Genesis 35:1-15 reveals God's grace in that God sought out Jacob even though Jacob and his family sinned. Though God is perfect, righteous, and holy, God sought to draw His people to Himself. This is God's favor. God's favor was given to Jacob even though Jacob didn't deserve it. The grace of God caused Jacob to respond to the voice and command of God so that Jacob sought to purify Himself according to God's own righteous standards. Thus, Jacob made his family get rid of their false gods and idols, then went to the place he was commanded to go. Upon practicing obedience to God's commands, Jacob was able to commune with God, Who then revealed Himself as the Lord God Almighty. Finally, The Lord God Almighty confirmed and repeated His eternally unconditional promises, reminding Jacob of the extent of His grace. Hence, scripture reveals that it is one's recognition of God's grace that causes one to be pure, receive God's revelation, commune with God, and be encouraged by His promises. By extension, one must understand the nature of God's grace to receive the benefits that God has to offer in His grace. The Bible plainly teaches that the essence of God's grace is Jesus Christ.