Viewpoint from Adam Bradley 30/03/2018
Team Leader, Kingsgate Community Church
as published in the Yarmouth Mercury
WHAT IS GRACE?
What is grace? This is a question that I get asked on a reasonably regular basis. However, it’s also a question that I believe needs answering again and again as I would suggest we live in a culture that is grace-starved (or at least seriously grace-hungry). So what is grace?
Grace is one of the most wonderful words in the whole universe! It assures me that I don’t have to try to earn the love of God (Ephesians 2:4-5), but rather, He absolutely loves me, always has and always will (Ephesians 1:4b-5). Grace is the activity of lavish, extravagant and perhaps even wasteful love (Luke 15:11-32). Grace risks all, even the life of the Son of God, in order to restore relationships (Ephesians 1:7). Grace, as Philip Yancey put describes, that like “water, flows to the lowest parts”. Grace, as Bono from the Band U2 so eloquently put it, “makes beauty out of ugly things [or situations]”
Grace reminds me that new life and restored relationship with God has nothing to do with me (Ephesians 2:7-9). It’s God’s work and a gift of sovereign choice (Romans 9). It flows solely from the character of God and has nothing to do with my attempts to try to please God (Ephesians 2)
Grace is outrageous, thankfully unfair (because I deserve none of its wonderful benefits), and utterly satisfying
Grace is absolutely alien to me. Almost everything of our culture programmes me to believe that I must contribute at least something towards my restoration and ongoing relationship with God. But grace reminds me that I contribute nothing at all
Grace is so alien that I need to hear this: grace sets me free to fail, flunk and fumble, and my net worth – my value in the eyes of God – does not change one iota. Grace is extravagant, outrageous and is the only thing that will truly silence the oppressive voice that so often tries to persuade us that our value is linked to our own performance
What is grace? The stunning answer to the deepest human need!
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