Surprised by Grace

Testifying to the Gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)

I thought I knew the Gospel and the grace of God. I was converted about 34 years ago and would tell others that I knew God’s grace grabbed me out of the muck and mire of sin. I studied the Scriptures. I thought I knew the Grace of God. I would tell others of God’s grace in my own life but I didn’t truly understand grace. I could define it for you: Grace is undeserved kindness. Grace is an unmerited favor. Somehow, though, what it really meant alluded me…until recently.

See, Grace is really incomprehensible. Grace does not make logical sense. For me, logic directed my theological studies. I had moved from Pentecostalism to Reformed and as any good “reformed girl” logic and systematizing the Word and God Himself into a neat little box was how we were taught to understand God. But…Grace? That was a whole different story. I would speak of grace thinking I understood it. Pointing to the night of my conversion I would share how God forgave my sins and gave me new life. Yet, deep inside, I did not understand grace.

You see, I had this picture, both as a Pentecostal/holiness Christian and then later as Reformed/Calvinist, that God the Father was a big ogre in the sky with a 2x4 with my name on it ready to whack me whenever I sinned or went astray. My view of God the Father was a bit skewed due to both theological systems austere teachings on God.

In Jesus Christ, I understood He was the one to die for me and by his death my sins were atoned for, but the Father, well again that was a whole different story. For over 30 years it just never dawned on me that grace began with the Father sending His Only Begotten to die so that He would forgive us of our sins.

In a brief talk with a sweet sister yesterday at church we talked about how Jesus came to save us from our sins. The angelic host pronounced

Good news of GREAT JOY that will be for ALL people! (Luke