Grace is my wife’s middle name... and, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful word in the English language. Grace.
It means undeserved acceptance and love issued by one that is greater to one that is lesser.
“Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8, ESV), as did Moses (Exodus 33:12), Gideon (Judges 6:17), Samuel (I Samuel 2:26), and the exiled Israelites (Ezra 9:8).
“The grace of God appeared, bringing salvation” (Titus 2:11, ESV), we’re “justified by his grace” (Romans 3:23, ESV), and it is only “by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8, ESV).
Paul clearly understood that it is was only due to the grace of God that he could be saved from eternal destruction and called into the King’s service. He wrote, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (I Corinthians 15:9-10, ESV).
Paul also declared, “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 1:12-14, ESV).
So pervasive was Paul’s sense of grace that he referred to this incredible truth at the beginning and end of each of his thirteen epistles. “Grace to you...” and “The grace of the Lord be with you” (Romans 1:7; 16:20, ESV). “Grace to you...” and “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.” (I Corinthians 1:3; 16:23, ESV). Every letter begins and ends with grace. By the way, Paul’s not just using polite language. He’s obviously passionate about God’s great grace!
The story of Jesus is the story of grace: He “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 14:6, ESV). So, it’s appropriate that the New Testament closes with: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).
Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see.
Was Grace that taught my heart to fear, And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear, The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, We have already come. T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far, And Grace will lead us home
Let’s be amazed ... grace!