Maybe I should say it rocks. Anyhoo, it should be the centerpiece of theology–next to Christology, of course (the person and work of Christ). The founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, wrote:
The exact and discriminate meaning of the word grace should be crystal clear to every child of God.
There’s my guiding light.
Here are a couple of my favorite grace verses and a little bit of commentary.
““So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32, NKJV.
- This is Paul’s final farewell to his most beloved church (the Ephesians). You would think he would reserve his finest sentiments for these believers.
- He commends them to “the word of his grace.” That is, to the in-depth teaching of the Word of God, which, rightly taught, expresses the grace-policy of God toward mankind… and when rightly received, builds internal structures of grace-based power in the hearts and minds of disciples.
- That word has a certain power (dunamis, “which is able).
- It has the power to build you up. That means to make you strong, stable, mature, and happy in your life with God.
- It also has the power to give you an inheritance. That means to create in you the maximum possible capacity to enjoy and experience all the grace that God had in mind for you when he saved you.
“that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7, NKJV.
- This verse is a purpose clause; it explains God’s purpose in saving our sorry rear ends. That’s why it begins with “that.”
- This verse also tells us that God is a show-off. He wants to show off something for all the cosmos to see and celebrate. What’s that?
- The exceeding riches… let’s translate that the infinite or immeasurable riches… Human language cannot describe the treasure that God has in store for his saints.
- Of his grace. The riches belong to and come from the source of his grace. If you ever doubt that grace is a divine supply, come to this verse. But we have to ask, “In what way exactly will God show off his immeasurably wealthy grace?”
- The last clause is describes the means of God’s show-off-i-ness. “By means of his kindness toward us.” Hard to imagine a God that good, isn’t it? That’s because we’re such numb-skulls when it comes to grace.
- IN Christ Jesus. By virtue of our union with Christ. Not by virtue of our virtue.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16, NKJV.
- Jesus is Lord. God is king. But what kind of Lord/King is he? His throne is a throne of grace. You figure it out. For all those who want to cram lordship down our throats, I say Amen! He is Lord. He is my Lord of Grace. And his kingdom is a kingdom of Grace. And to submit to him is to submit to grace. I’ll take that deal any day.
- We appreciate both the gift and the Giver. Both/And. I don’t like the facile (legalistic) zingers that tell us to forget the gift and love the Giver. I can’t forget the gift. I love gifts. How about both: we are invited to “obtain” and to “find.” So, I say, obtain and find boldly. What?
- Mercy–God’s kindness toward the pathetic, wretched, and miserable. Grace–God’s kindness toward the undeserving. To help in time of need. God digs our neediness and promises to fill it.
“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.” Psalms 115:1, NKJV.
- The purpose of all creation is to glorify God. Your purpose and mine is to glorify God. Ask a hundred blog-readers how to glorify God. What will they say? Works. Effort. Being nice. Showing love. Doing good. The Sermon on the Mount (sorry, I had to get that dig in). What does God’s Word say?
- The most overlooked truth in biblical Christianity today: God is glorified not by what we do for him (works) but by what he does for us (grace/mercy).
- Therefore, if we want to bring maximum glory to God, our task is to so position our souls that we experience maximum grace from God. How?
- Because of his truth. Sanctify them in the truth; your Word is truth. I commend you to the Word of his Grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance… and that results in maximum glory for God.
Go Grace! Go Grace! Go Grace!
Or in the resounding words of an ancient prophet, cheering on God’s people as they rebuilt a temple:
“‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”” Zechariah 4:7, NKJV.
If we ain’t got grace, we ain’t got nothing. As Spurgeon preached:
. . .If you take away the grace of God from the gospel you have extracted from it its very life-blood, and there is nothing left worth preaching, worth believing, or worth contending for. Grace is the soul of the gospel: without it the gospel is dead.