Charles Swindoll said once that the subject of grace is kind of like riding a whale – “a big subject to try and get your arms around or to get a hold on.”
In one sense, it is easy. We all have some idea of what it means have grace. It is a word that still has a lot beauty attached to it; we speak of “graceful” dancers, or a “grace period” after a due date; an honored guest, we may say, will “grace us with her presence”. Even being “grateful” (derived from the same Latin word, gratus) shows insight into how we think of grace. It is a pleasing concept to us, this idea that we are showed favor where none is merited.
On other hand, the extent of God’s grace towards us is really mind boggling. Why should he just give us anything? Why should we accept it? Some of us don’t – like the brothers in the Parable of the River, we might try earn God’s favor with our deeds, or hope that if we aren’t as bad as someone else God won’t notice our sin, or even just forget God altogether, trading in His great promises for the mud hut of selfish living.
By looking at Titus 3:5-7 and many other verses, we see that God’s grace is for all time. From 2 Cor 12:9 and Heb 4:16, we learn that grace is also for this time, this life, the here and now
Here are a few resources to help understand grace better.
- In 1935, Fiorella LaGuardia showed grace to a woman who had stolen.
Discussion question: How did LaGuardia carry out justice and mercy at the same time?
- In the 1700’s, John Newton was a slave trader whose life was transformed when he met Christ. To describe the vastness of God’s mercy on him, he wrote the hymn Amazing Grace.
Discussion question: Does knowing Newton’s story change how you think of the hymn? How does it affect the way you think of God’s grace?
- The Grace Series from www.acts17-11.com is enjoyable for deeper study, especially the final entry on the Power of Grace.
- To find many more verses about grace in the Bible, type the word “Grace” into the search box below.