19th March 2014

What is Grace? 

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14 (NIV) 

Jesus came to earth full of grace – not half full or nearly full, but with as much grace as it is possible to have.  But what does grace really mean?  It’s an attitude of mind and heart which involves doing nice things for other people when they don’t expect it.  But it also carries with it the sense of the recipient being undeserving.  So some practical examples might include: 

  • A bus driver letting you on even though you haven’t quite got enough change for the fare
  • A family member doing something special for you even though you upset them the day before
  • Your boss covering for you when you’re late for a meeting at work, and not saying anything more about it
  • Visiting a relative in hospital even though they haven’t spoken to you for years 

Grace also includes forgiveness.  And it’s in the deepest forgiveness that we start to see the fullest expression of grace.  Because grace is also when: 

  • A spouse forgives their partner for having an affair
  • A prisoner forgives a soldier who mistreated them
  • A victim of crime goes to visit the perpetrator in prison
  • A parent forgives the people who killed their son or daughter in a terrorist attack 

So a good summary definition of grace is: “showing love to other people even when they don’t deserve it.”  And when viewed in this way, grace challenges our natural logic and perceptions of fairness.  It costs everything for the giver and nothing for the recipient.  It comes free of charge, no strings attached. 

In Christ’s life, death and resurrection we have the ultimate expression of grace, showing love to us even though we don’t deserve it, giving us salvation despite what we’ve done.  As it says in Titus 3:4-7: “But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” 

Prayer
Father, thank you so much for your amazing grace, expressed fully in Jesus Christ.  Help us to really appreciate what this means for us, and to live graciously towards others.
Amen
 

Study by Simon Williams

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simonwilliamsAbout the Author:
Simon Williams is active in the Cambridge Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Cambridge
Comberton Village Hall
Green End
Comberton
CAMBRIDGE
CB23 7DY

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:00 pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Bill Lee
Email:  cambridge@wcg.org.uk

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Comments

One Response to “19th March 2014”

  1. Joseph Casey on March 20th, 2014 1:15 pm

    Hi Simon.
    I found your grace article helpful. You take it beyond the theory to ‘where the rubber meets the road’. Your illustrations are clear, and challenging!
    Joseph Casey.

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