Does the definition of ‘grace’ come easy to you? If you’re anything like me, it does not. It’s hard for me to convey ‘grace’ in just a few words. And as much as the word is used in its various forms, it is probably one of the most variably defined words in the Bible (ie. common grace, saving grace, means of grace, all of these theological terms). That doesn’t make it any easier.
He gives us glimpses of His grace through our life experiences in order that we might rightly perceive it.
For myself, grace is far more than a term that needs to be defined accurately, it is a gift that needs to be received and experienced to wholly understand. For the Christian, understanding grace is foundational to being content in Christ. And being content in Christ is foundational for everyday Christian living. Fortunately for us, God’s grace is truly abundant and He gives it freely. Rightly knowing that we have this in Christ will almost certainly change the way we live our lives as it has for me this past year.
Still, defining grace — or at least trying to — is important . I’ve heard this: “Grace is receiving something (positive) you do not deserve.” For example, if we did not receive salvation from the Lord and all went to hell forever on Judgement Day, wouldn’t that be righteous since we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)? But through Christ, we have what we do not deserve, namely, eternal life (positive), through the grace of God.
Glimpses of God’s Grace
Looking back on this past year, grace has certainly been shown to me in a variety of forms. I’ve received stirring encouragement when I deserved harsh criticism. I’ve received unconditional forgiveness when I deserved the cold shoulder. I’ve received an incredible amount of trust when I did not do enough to earn it. For all these things, I am thankful because every single instance of grace that has been granted to me helps me understand the grace of God all the more. To know that I have heaven instead of hell because of Christ helps me to become more content in the Redeemer. This is another way that God is amazing: He gives us glimpses of His grace through our life experiences in order that we might rightly perceive it. Think about the most gracious thing anyone has ever done for you. God’s grace is infinitely more beautiful and more abundant (see Romans 5:12-21).
Redeemer’s Grace, More Than a Name
I don’t believe it is any accident our church is named “Redeemer’s Grace”. I would hope that our church will be characterized by those who show grace. Not because it’s an ‘honorable’ thing to do but because we were first shown grace by God. Who knows? Maybe because of that, God can use us to help others understand His grace more. Now wouldn’t that be something?