Rev. Ross Helgeton
Faith and Reflection
Evangelist Dwight L. Moody decided one day that he should spend some time studying the subject of grace, so he set aside one day to do just that. At the end of that day he realized he needed a second day and at the end of the second day he realized he needed a third day. By mid afternoon of the third day he realized that three days were not adequate, but decided that he should tell someone about what he had learned about grace. He left his home, stepped out into the street and accosting the first person he came across said, “My friend, do you know anything about grace?” The startled man looked at Moody and replied, “Grace who?”
The account is humorous, but it does beg the question, what do we know about grace? Of course it is not who Grace is, but what grace is. Grace can be defined as the unmerited favour of God. To expand slightly, grace means God’s love in action towards those who are essentially undeserving of it. To theologically expand upon this somewhat, grace is God sending His Son to save sinners who were totally incapable of saving themselves.
Paul has been referred to by some as “the apostle of grace.” Others have contested the title saying that there were those both before and after Paul who also emphasized and taught grace.
Actually both points of view are quite valid. It is true that the doctrine and teaching of grace is not exclusive to Paul and grace continues to be believed in and taught in Christian churches to this day. However, calling Paul the apostle of grace is by no means a misnomer, for he employed the word for grace 145 times in his epistles.
Titus 2:11–14 (one of Paul’s epistles) provides a powerful testimonial to grace. It tells us that God’s grace brought salvation for the lost, taught devotion for the found and wrought joyful anticipation for Christ’s return for committed believers.
When someone works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay, that is a wage. When a person competes against an opponent and receives a trophy for his effort, that is a prize. When an individual receives appropriate recognition for distinguished service or a lofty achievement, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, has won no prize and deserves no award, yet receives a gift anyway … well, that is a picture of God’s grace!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God … .” (Ephesians 2:8)
“Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected.” – Jonathan Edwards