Perhaps one of he most well know Christian hymns is Amazing Grace. The first line is a testimony of John Newton, slave trader turned minister. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…..Though he lived centuries earlier the apostle Paul wrote similar words:
For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
What is it that Paul and Newton mean by grace? What is God’s grace? Basically grace describes the attribute of God in which He freely, sovereignly, and unconditionally bestows favor on the undeserving. From a biblical perspective that is everyone. God gives us what we don’t deserve and what we cannot earn and the ultimate demonstration of His grace is salvation.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)
In reading through the Gospel of Luke recently I was once again reminded how Jesus gave grace to people, people that few others cared about or for whom was there little, if any compassion. The bible says of Jesus for the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ (John 1:6).
Grace is one of God’s “communicable” attributes which means that as His children we are to display the same attribute. That means we who are grace receivers are to also be grace givers. To do so means that when it come to our relationships with others we remember that we too are sinners, saved only by His grace. Amazing grace how sweet the sound!