It is commonplace to hear “by the grace of God…” as a part of our response to daily inquiries of how one is faring. Indeed, it has almost become an unwritten requirement to proper behavior and good social etiquette. So much so that even non-Christians unwittingly use this expression on daily basis. Alas, grace to the Ghanaian is nothing more than a proper diction in our everyday lingo.
However, to the Christian, Grace is laden with meaning and significance. Grace has been and continues to be the theme to many a sermon. It has served as the title to many ancient hymns and contemporary songs. Books that discuss and attempt to unravel grace as a theme are never in short supply. It usually comes up as the topic of conversation among believers and often strikes feelings of awe and adoration toward the One from who grace proceeds.
The Christian acknowledges he is the result of grace. He understands grace is the mark of distinction between him and the unbeliever. Imagine this: You stole from the house of a judge, got arrested and brought before the judge in his courtroom. The judge finds you guilty and pronounces a just judgment meet for the crime you committed. The penalty for your crime is burdensome. It is impossible for you to pay this penalty because of your penurious status. But then something happens. The judge opts to pay the fine for your crime. So not only are you pardoned, but the judgement due you has been absorbed by the judge.
O! The Grace of God.
Though this analogy may be greatly inadequate, it attempts to give a glimpse into what grace entails — undeserved, unsought and unmerited favor. If you were the one in the above analogy, what will your reaction and attitude toward the judge be? Will you spurn this undeserved gesture from the judge or will you in humble awe turn to him expressing your profuse appreciation for his graciousness toward you?
This is where good works comes in. It is the natural consequence of this amazing work of the Father. Good works in themselves don’t make us merit the father’s favor. If it did, it would cease being a favor. It will be wages earned for one’s meritorious deeds. And that is not grace!
Therefore, focusing and reveling in the favor of God produces good works and as we grow in grace, so will our good works grow in commensurate proportions.
G. S. Bishop aptly encapsulates the subject thus:
Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the axe of justice, so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures, so averse to God that they cannot turn to Him, so blind that they cannot see Him, so deaf that they cannot hear Him, and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and lift them into resurrection.
Let us think on the grace of our Lord and let us see its ripple effects in all aspects of our hopes.
Oh how the grace of God amazes me.
Soli Deo Gloria!!!