Summary: Grace is what we all need but some don’t even know what their missing because they don’t know or want this gift called grace.
What is Grace?
Thesis: Grace is what we all need but some don’t even know what their missing because they don’t know or want this gift called grace.
Opening Illustration: Video clip on asking people on the street “What is Grace?”
We have just observed a man asking people on the street “What is Grace?”
The responses were very mixed a lot said “I don’t know!” some refused to answer they were in a big hurry to do something. Some immediately became defensive others tried to answer but could not. As I watched this clip I thought to myself many people have no clue to what Grace is or is about.
I then recalled Barna’s statistic that stated about 80% of the United States claims to be Christian.
I then asked myself the big question, “Can you be a Christian and not know about grace?” Other questions then started to flood into my mind:
Is grace that secretive?
Is grace not powerful enough to affect Christian lives?
Is grace a forgotten act of God?
Is grace confused with saying grace before a meal?
Is grace only related to my neighbor, whose name is grace?
Is grace real?
Is grace just someone who is eloquent?
Is grace recognizable?
Is grace being modeled or mishandled?
Has grace been aced from our minds?
Has grace been redefined?
Has grace lost its meaning?
Has grace been replaced?
Has grace been misplaced?
Has grace lost the race?
What ever happened to talking about grace?
What ever happened to knowing what grace is?
How did this Christian nation of ours misplace grace?
Who aced out grace from the human race?
The thoughts kept coming in like a flood and I have to admit I became worried that most people don’t know what grace looks like, acts like or even is. So today I would like to point us back to grace and remind us all what grace is. Let’s first read how grace came to the earth a few thousand years ago:
6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
In John’s text above we discovered that grace came to us by the life of Jesus - the Word. This grace is defined as one that gives unmerited favor to one who does not deserve it. It’s a gift given to the person who places their life in Christ - this gift is salvation – good standing with God - eternal life even though they don’t deserve it. It comes to them because Jesus paid their price for their sins on the cross. Grace is directly related to the cross. When you speak of the cross you speak and relate about grace. Grace came as a result of the cross, grace was birthed on the cross by Christ’s death. Prior to Jesus arrival to earth you never heard of the word grace. Jesus birthed the word and gave it meaning. He never used the word he just role modeled it to a fallen a world and this new word was created.
Charles Swindoll has this to say about this gift called grace that came from Jesus:
To show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve it and can never earn it. Receiving God’s acceptance by grace always stands in sharp contrast to earning it on the basis of works. Every time the thought of grace appears, there is the idea of its being undeserved. In no way is the recipient getting what he or she deserves. Favor is being extended simply out of the goodness of the heart of the giver (9).