I grew up without a lot of church knowledge, or unique church language. When I came into the church, I found that there are a lot of terms that are used only in church. One word in particular has a completely different meaning inside the church. In my experience outside of church the term “grace” or “graceful” was a term for how a dancer performed or how a horse moved. When I would dine with some of the neighbors, they would often “say grace” before we would be allowed to eat. It wasn’t until I started attending church that I began to hear of “amazing grace.”
So what is it that makes grace so amazing?
When I lived in Arizona, I met a retired cowboy named Dave Long who said, “Once I got a lasso around that grace, I just climbed aboard and hung on!”
In his song “How He Loves”, John Mark McMillion describes God’s grace this way – “If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.”
I believe that grace is probably the most important term in the Bible. It surpasses all the rules and regulations. It is greater than all the parables and proverbs. Simply, without grace, there is no salvation.
The first time the word grace is used in the Bible, is to describe Noah (Genesis 6:8) “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
God was upset with all of creation after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden. God wanted to completely start over, except for Noah and his family. If you read the 5th and 6th chapters of Genesis, you will see that Noah did not do anything special. He just got older and had three sons. But still, he “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” It wasn’t until later that Noah was called on by God to build the ark and gather all the animals on board, and save the human race.
God spoke similar words to another man who had been raised up in the house of God’s enemy. He was a murderer, a fugitive of justice. Yet God told him (Exodus 33:17), “… you have found grace in my sight.” Who was this man? God spoke these words to Moses, just after Moses broke the two tablets on which God had written the 10 commandments. It wasn’t until later, that Moses showed his people the promised land.
To Paul, who was an enemy of all Christianity, who condoned the death of Stephen, who chased down believers and imprisoned them, God said (2 Corinthians 12:9) "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Imperfect people, living in an imperfect world, need God’s perfect grace. As I understand it, God’s grace is the measure of His love He gives and continues to give. But more than just love, grace is the gift of forgiveness wrapped in love.
It is by this grace we are pulled back to God. Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved…”
OK. Let’s get this straight. Noah did not do anything special and got grace. Moses did all kinds of bad things and got grace. Paul was an enemy of Christ and got grace. Can anyone receive grace? Since it says grace is what saves us, I think we all could use a heaping helping of it!
Ephesians 2:8 continues with two words, “For by grace you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH…”
Through faith? Faith in what? Faith in who?
Romans 10:9 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Simply, when you have faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Amazing Grace will be poured out upon you! Grace is God’s mercy. Grace is God’s undeserved favor.
Look at Ephesians 2:8 again: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”
Grace is a gift from God, wrapped in love.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Pastor Jay Merritt writes about God in every day observations.