series of articles, each answering one big question in 300 words. Can I do it? Read on …
1: What is grace?
Today I’m kicking off a new series called 1 in 300, which is my attempt to try and answer a big and meaty question in just 300 words. Yes, you read that right: Adam is only going to use 300 words! (And please note that these introductory words have not been included in the word count …)
I want to start with a vital but utterly impossible question to fully answer: What is grace?
Grace is one of the most wonderful words in the whole universe! It assures me that I don’t have to try to earn the love of God (Ephesians 2:4-5), but rather, he absolutely loves me, always has and always will (Ephesians 1:4b-5). Grace is the activity of lavish, extravagant and perhaps even wasteful love (Luke 15:11-32). Grace risks all, even the life of the Son of God, in order to restore relationships (Ephesians 1:7).
Grace reminds me that new life and restored relationship with God has nothing to do with me (Ephesians 2:7-9). It’s God’s work and a gift of sovereign choice (Romans 9). It flows solely from the character of God and has nothing to do with my attempts to try to please God (Ephesians 2).
Grace is outrageous, thankfully unfair (because I deserve none of its wonderful benefits), and utterly satisfying.
Grace is absolutely alien to me. Almost everything of our culture programmes me to believe that I must contribute at least something towards my restoration and ongoing relationship with God. But grace reminds me that I contribute nothing at all.
Grace is so alien that I need to hear this: grace sets me free to fail, flunk and fumble, and my net worth – my value in the eyes of God – does not change one iota. Grace is extravagant, outrageous and is the only thing that will truly silence the oppressive voice that so often tries to persuade us that our value is linked to our own performance.
Let the grace of God do its work right now by drinking in these wonderful truths!