Christianese Defined: "Grace"
You hear Christians talking about grace a lot. They even name their children Grace...and “say grace” before meals! Why do Christians stake their claim on this word so much?“For it is by GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8Grace is getting something you don’t deserve. For example, when you are given a “grace period” to finish an assignment, you are getting extra time that you don’t deserve to complete it.The Greek word for grace (charis) appears 154 times in the New Testament. That means if you were to read through the New Testament in a year, you would come across the theme of grace almost every other day! The reason why this word is so important to Christians is that when we put our faith in Jesus to save us, God the Father freely gives us Jesus’ righteous, perfect and sinless record, when what we actually deserve is His wrath, condemnation and to be eternally separated from Him in hell. Theologians call this “double imputation”. Through faith, my sin is imputed to Jesus while His righteousness is imputed to me!Not only that, but He graciously draws rebellious sinners to Himself. He graciously reveals Himself to us through His creation. He shows grace to all mankind by allowing us to experience things like love, beauty, taste, touch, joy, breath, color, etc. Theologians call that “common grace”.I can not communicate to you with words how deep the “rabbit hole” of God’s grace goes. The more a Christian grows in their relationship with Christ and becomes more aware of how unlike Christ they actually are, the more they realize the depths of the riches of God’s grace toward them.Here’s a personal example. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, He summed up the entire law with two statements. 1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. 2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:28-34) I have been a Christian since I was 5 years old. I’ve essentially been “saved” (see Christianese Defined: Saved) for my entire life. As I think back over the course of my life, I can’t think of a SINGLE MOMENT where I’ve loved the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul OR strength...much less all at the same time! And, if I’m honest with myself, my best attempts at “loving my neighbor as myself” are shrouded in self-interest or tainted by a desire to be liked or feel better about myself. What I’m saying here is that I’ve lived my entire life, as a Christian mind you, in outright rebellion of God’s law! And God, sovereignly knowing that would be the case, STILL chose to save me, suffer and die for my sin, bring me into right relationship with Him and when He looks on me, He sees Jesus’ perfection! Now THAT’S grace!Another way to define grace as a Christian is this acrostic:God’sRichesAtChrist’sExpenseWhat do you think? How would you define grace?