Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I’ve been reading a little booklet called The Grace and Truth Paradox. It’s quite a challenging little book for its 92 pages. It has challenged me to think, or rethink some of the ramifications things about grace and truth. In our daily lives, I doubt if very many of us seen grace and truth as interdependent. They seemingly have nothing to do with one another. But John 1:14 says that, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In other words, Jesus came to earth as a man to show the grace of God! But He also didn’t hide the truth either. Today, I’d like to talk some about the grace side of the paradox. Lord willing, in the next blog, we can talk about truth and how it should affect us.
If I were to ask you to define grace, I would expect that more than half of you would say it is “unmerited favor.” That’s true. In fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines grace as, “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their re:generation or sanctification.” That is a good re:generation definition if I ever heard one. We are all aware of this definition. Our redemption was totally made possible because the grace of God. And how did He do this? “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Another verse that talks about this if 1 Corinthians 15;3, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance to the scriptures.” This is true grace! We can take absolutely no credit for our salvation. It was all because of God’s grace and He alone should get the credit.
So how should this wonderful news of the grace of God affect us? Do we thank Him for the grace he gave us? I think one of our problems is that some of these great acts of grace on God’s part, become mundane and secondary. In fact, we even tend to change things so that we don’t look so helpless and pitiful in this. As an example of this let me tell you a story from my little book I am reading. In the book, the writer told a story of a conference he attended. One of his favorite songs is Amazing Grace, and during the worship portion one day, a singer started to sing this song, and it was beautiful, for the first nine words. As the singer started the song, they sang, ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a SOUL like me.” The word WRETCH had been changed to SOUL. This seemingly harmless change really hurt the writer of my book because it took the power out of redemption! It changed our position from that of a total helpless and depraved individual to one that really isn’t so bad after all. It changed us from a wretched individual to one who has at least had a modicum of respectability. We just don’t like to think of ourselves as wretched or depraved, so instead, we in essence, try to lower God to our level.
Brothers and sisters, unless we come to the place where we can see ourselves in the truth of the Word, we diminish God’s amazing act of grace. As I said above, we don’t like to think of us a depraved or helpless. It’s too narrow minded. We tend to think that we have something worthy within ourselves that should make God like us more. Or worse yet, that our good works will outweigh the bad, so that God will save us.
God’s grace should astonish us! To think that an all-powerful, all-knowing or all loving God would reach down and save wretched souls like us is totally amazing as to be beyond comprehension If our response to all this is anything less than falling on our knees and worshiping and praising God, then we have missed the understanding of God’s grace. May that never be the case! May God draw us closer to Him!