Summary: Grace is sometimes hard to understand and can seem rather uncomfortable at times. But living a life of grace is what Jesus Christ has called us to.
The Grace – Giver
What does the Christian Church have to offer that the world cannot offer?
What sets Christianity apart from any other religion, society or group?
Gordon MacDonald, a Christian author once said this, “The world can do almost anything as well as or even better than the church. You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.”
Grace is what sets us apart from the ways of the world. The gospel of Jesus Christ, is the gospel of GRACE. My favorite writer and theologian is C.S Lewis. He was once invited to a British conference on comparative religions, where experts around the world debated what, if any belief was unique to the Christian faith. I can imagine some of these philosophers and theologians sitting around a table for hours discussing such topics as the virgin birth or the Incarnation of Christ. As the story has been told in “What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Philip Yancey, C.S Lewis wanders into the room, and says in his very British accent, “What is all the rumpus about?” They reply, obviously saying that they are discussing the uniqueness of Christianity. Lewis quickly responds, “Oh, that’s easy, It is Grace.”
Unfortunately, many Christians have no idea what it means to live in Grace.
We need to make one thing clear before we continue any further. As Pastor Rick has led us through the first chapter of Galatians, we have seen that we are saved by grace, through faith. It is not grace plus something that brings salvation; It is by Grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ.
So we are saved by grace, and so now the question is, how then do we live? Today we aren’t going to talk so much about saving grace, but living in Grace.
What does it mean to be a Grace- Giver?
Jesus has called to a life of grace. So we need to find out what GRACE is all about.
Here’s an example of the lack of grace that can quickly permeate our churches.
A columnist Erma Bombeck wrote this:
“In church the other Sunday I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. HE WAS JUST SMILING. Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, “Stop that grinning! You’re in church!”
With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers…”
The author continues writing: “Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if you’re not, then you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us…By tradition, one wears faith and solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.