Summary: Grace: It is favor on our lives, it is forgiving mercy, it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is Spiritual Gifts, it is Eternal life, and finally our Responsibility
The Audacity of Grace
Grant van Boeschoten
February 8, 2009
Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
The writer of Amazing Grace, John Newton, had a very good understanding about what the Grace of God is.
He had been a slave trader. He had been the one responsible for herding people as if they were cattle onto his boat, and then putting them in such tight spaces that they could not even fully extend their legs or their arms for long ocean journeys.
He knew what it was to arrive at a new destination, and find firsthand that well over half of the cargo of human slaves had died on the journey, because of his poor care and directions.
And there was a part of John Newton that lived with the shame and the memories of the horrible things that he had done in the name of making a decent income, the income of a slave trader.
But the Grace of God searched out John Newton. The grace of God chased him down and convinced him that God still loved him, that God still had a plan for his life. The grace of God convinced Newton to repent of his sins, and then God, with undeserved kindness, declared John Newton to be righteous. God did this through Jesus Christ as Jesus freed John Newton from the penalty of his sins.
Grace is relentless. It doesn’t take no for an answer. Grace will hunt you down, it will persuade you, and emotionally pull you to the place where you understand just how Great God’s love is for you.
“GRACE — favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that person deserves.” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Many times Grace can be described using the words mercy, patience, love & faithfulness.
This means that when you experience God’s grace, it will be evident in the mercy, patience, love and faithfulness that he provides to your life.
It also means that when you want to be gracious person, that you will share these characteristics as well. You will have mercy, you will have patience, you will be a faithful friend and above all, you will have God’s love working in and through your life.
1. God’s favor
In Genesis 6 we find that the state of the world is in a perilous condition. Sin has overtaken the hearts of the people, and God is so disturbed by what he is seeing that he is sorry that he ever made people, because they broke his heart. There was one man who remained righteous in that very sinful world though, and his name was Noah.
Genesis 6:8 says “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Gen 6:8 (NASB)
That word “favor” is the Hebrew word “chen” and it is directly translated as “favor, grace.”
So Noah found grace and favor in the eyes of God, and God spoke to Noah and gave him plans to build a boat in which Noah and his family and the animals could survive the destructive flood that God was sending to the earth. Grace describes God’s favor.