Attributes of God: Grace

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 14, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week I talked about how God is a God of mercy. There is another attribute that is very closely associated to mercy and that is grace. Many people confuse these two attributes, but they are distinct and unique. Mercy is simply described as “not getting what you do deserve.” Grace on the other hand is “getting what you do not deserve.” God is very merciful and you can read about it in my post from last week. Now let’s look at grace.

Many confuse grace with mercy. When a defendant in court pleads for mercy, it is because he knows he is guilty, and without mercy he cannot escape his punishment. But there are times where a judge would not merely give mercy, but actually give grace. A merciful judge will simply either reduce or forgive the defendant. A graceful judge will not merely give the defendant mercy, he will go above and beyond and provide the means for the defendant to get his life back in order.

In the big picture, we see mercy and grace reveal itself in the Gospel. Mercy is when Jesus paid the penalty for sin and dealt with the problem of sin. Grace is when he took it so much further. He doesn’t just forgive us; he adopts us as his children. He trains us, prepares us, and sends us out as ambassadors for his Kingdom. This also means he gives us the authority to represent him. That also means we have diplomatic immunity for we live and represent a higher standard and a higher authority. He also trains us for battle so that the forces of darkness will not endure.

God’s grace is beyond what we can imagine. It is by grace that we even have life. It is by grace that we have a planet and a universe that is suited for us to live in. It is by grace that we had people to take care of us as we grew up. What about those who did not have that? The orphans, the destitute, etc. Much can be said about that, but let me just say that sin plays a role and God lets the consequences of sin take their toll. While God gives all we need, there is also a need to manage the resources he’s given us. When children starve to death, it is not because God did not provide. It is because someone stole what was meant for them.

It is by grace that we have food to eat. It is by grace that we have shelter. It is by grace that we have clothing (that is a whole sermon in itself; check out my first Worldview Warriors blog post for that). This is part of why Jesus told us in Matthew 6 to not worry about what we will wear, what we will eat, or about tomorrow. Because God’s grace is sufficient.

Paul dealt with a personal issue. It could have been a health issue or something else. He called it a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ God responded to Paul’s request to remove it by saying: “My grace is sufficient for you.” God is our provider, Jehovah Jireh. He gives us precisely what we need and when we need it. He is never late, but he is rarely early. When we go through trials and tribulations, God’s grace grows. He will give us that grace with abundance beyond what we could imagine.

It is by grace that Peter had the courage to be crucified upside down. It is by grace that John survived being boiled in oil so he could write the last few books of the New Testament. It is by grace that Paul withstood five beatings, two stonings, numerous threats to his life, a shipwreck, and a snake bite, all to bring the Gospel to Asia Minor, Jerusalem, and Rome. It is by grace that the saints of God in the last 2000 years have been able to do what we have done. It is by grace that missionaries like Hudson Taylor and CT Stud could travel through Africa and Asia to preach the Gospel despite several health issues. It is by grace that the United States has been as prosperous as it has been so that we could send out more missionaries in its history than the rest of the world combined. It is by grace that Worldview Warriors has been able to run as the ministry that we are today. And it is also by grace that when God’s judgment comes, it does its work.

It is by grace that we have the strength and the courage to stand against anything the world throws at us. It is by grace that food multiplies. It is by grace that the sick are healed, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the blind see, and the dead rise. And it is by grace that God allows us to join him to expand his Kingdom and turn this world around. Check out this short video by Eric Ludy about the kind of grace God deals out. Are we willing to go out and do God’s bidding? A great phrase I have heard that addresses this is: “God’s will… God’s bill.” If God wants us to do something, he will do as Oswald Chambers said: “He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist you with all his almighty power.” God has given us grace beyond our wildest dreams. Let us not waste it.

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