(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Written by: Alfred Burgess
When my boys were very young, I found myself telling them often, “I will give you grace this time.” It was something I admittedly held over their heads. I wasn’t extending grace, but rather postponing a punishment that would come later in the day. As I have grown as a dad and find myself on the receiving end of grace, I am in a position to offer these thoughts.
Grace is a misused word that we get wrong more often than we get right. Grace in its most basic definition is God’s forgiveness to us. We deserve death, but instead we receive favor. When I think about God’s favor, I go back to my own children. I would do anything to give them my favor in the face of what they often do not deserve. I am so humbled that God’s favor—His grace—on me is 1,000 times greater. The Bible repeatedly calls grace “a gift.” I love gifts that are unexpected and cause a feeling of contentment and joy when received.
So, what is the proper way to use the word “grace” in our vocabulary? We talk daily about extending grace to people. We offer grace in certain situations. Our grace is given when we feel wronged.
Pulling back and giving the reverence this word demands would not be a negative. I would love to see us dig in and allow God’s word to educate and teach us. Grace is amazing and it certainly is the only thing that can redeem our wretched souls.
Think of the words to the song “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.”
Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin. How shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin? Taking away my burden. Setting my spirit free. For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.