Grace — God’s Righteous Attributes Continually Expressed

To “say grace” means to pray over a meal. “Grace” is sometimes a woman’s name. “Amazing Grace” may be the most popular hymn of all time.  A popular acrostic says:  “Grace — God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”

But what does “grace” mean? The most common and popular definition seems to be: “unmerited favor”. In most Christian circles this is taken to mean: “the right to go to Heaven when you die, based on having prayed a prayer asking Jesus into your heart.”

However, I thing grace involves much more than that.  Here’s an alternative acrostic for grace:  God’s Righteous Attributes Continually Expressed (in our lives).

One thing for sure, grace is not earned. Whatever it is, it is given freely. I guess the question is: Is grace for when you die (to get you into Heaven) or is grace for this earthly life (to enable you to live your life in a Christian lifestyle)?

Maybe grace is not “either-or”. Maybe it is both. Maybe if you have received genuine grace, you not only will go to Heaven when you die, but you will also live a godly, moral lifestyle here and now. If all I have is the right to enter Heaven after I die, but I can’t or won’t obey God on earth, maybe I don’t really have God’s grace at all. Is that possible?

Like the song says: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” The writer, John Newton (a former slave trader) is saying that he is no longer living a wretched lifestyle. Amazing grace didn’t just give him a future in Heaven, but changed his way of life on earth. Now that is grace–a changed lifestyle!

I want to have God’s Righteous Attributes Continually Expressed in my life. But I can’t earn a Christian lifestyle. I need supernatural power in order to obey Jesus daily. I can’t do it by myself–I must have grace in order to live godly.

But when God gives me His grace–when God opens the door, I must go through. I must not excuse sin in myself by saying: “I’m going to Heaven anyway so my sin doesn’t matter.” One final question: If grace cannot save us from the power and dominion of sin in this earthy life, why do we suppose it can get us into a holy Heaven?

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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3 Responses to Grace — God’s Righteous Attributes Continually Expressed

  1. David says:

    great article steve!

  2. One of the few things I took away from nearly 45 years in church was the definition of Grace – God’s Redemption at Christ’s Expense.

    The years have past and after all of those previous years, I finally discovered the true source of grace – it was and remains, God’s reponse to the sinner asking for help. He touched me, oh yes, He really did touch me, and so it is I have been motivated to remain at His side for what has become a wonder filled life. Nothing compares to the touch of the Master’s hand.

    Another truism, but you must experience it to realize how real it is.

    Gone are the impulses to do it my way – I listened to Frank Sinatra’s song for far too long.

    No matter how nice and often informative church is, it is a personal relationship wiht the One who loved us do much He died to redeeem us from the ravages of sin. If you haven’t reached that point, you need to stop and reconsider what it is you actually believe. Dying to self can be difficult, but it remains, the only way to understand grace.

  3. Pingback: The Right To Grab Some Grace (Is An Oxymoron) | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

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