Grace Redefined Essay

Submitted By alwallace78
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Pages: 6

Grace Redefined Everyone has moments when they need grace extended to them and during these times their belief in grace is high and there is a sense of clarity. Then there are the times when the shoe is on the other foot and they must extend grace to someone who has wronged them and it is during these times when grace becomes blurry. After all do they not deserve justice for the wrong that has been done? Grace is a common term thrown around the Christian arena, but often the interpretation from one person to another can vary as much as the direction of the wind. The common factor Christians can agree upon is everyone needs grace. Defining grace though is the age-old debate. The definition of grace for this argument’s sake is an unearned, redeeming gift from God enabling humanity to succeed. The first element of grace lies within the realm of humanity’s worthiness of grace. Webster’s defines grace as unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification. The standard definition accepted amongst the Christian world comes from the Book of Common Prayer from the Anglicans, which says “Grace is God’s favor towards us, unearned and undeserved” (Gould 173). A Baptist theologian Augustus Strong purported salvation is “a matter of grace, or unmerited favor” (Gould 173). Even the Catholics echo the same sentiment with their definition of grace as “the free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the Salvation of sinners” (Gould 374). Grace being unearned or undeserved favor is the common thread among the different schools of thought.
How then does bad things happen to good people? If grace is an unearned favor then why is there sickness or injustice in the world? If humanity is worthy of God’s grace, then why would he let evil happen? When God created the heavens and earth and everything in it, including mankind, he said it is good. Then because of mankind’s disobedience to the one rule God gave them, they were cursed and the good world God created was no more. Evil entered the world from the disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve. Therefore the response can be found in Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:45 he says, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (King James Bible). It is not so much that God purposes to cause pain and injustice in the world, but more so a result of the fallen state dating back to the days of Adam and Even.
However, because of God’s grace He created a way to woo mankind back to him. The second defining characteristic of grace is it’s redeeming power. Grace could be better understood by the acronym God’s righteousness at Christ’s expense. But what exactly does that mean? When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, they deserved death because God told them if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they would surely die. Yet, God did not keep his promise of death to them, instead he banished them from the garden and all the blessings it encompassed. When mankind deserved justice, God instead chose His goodness attribute to redeem humanity back to Him. The path He chose for redemption was through the sacrificial offering of His Son—Jesus Christ. Through Christ’s death on the cross, He took away the sins of the world and reopened the door of relationship with God. The beauty of the redemptive plan of grace is Christ’s sacrificial death did not turn a blind eye to sin, but instead acknowledges sin without condemning the person. God does not condemn the world for their sin, but says I know what you did and it does not matter, I still love you.
A proper perspective is required to understand how God distributes grace. The next part of the definition of grace establishes grace as a gift (Dollard 12-13). Apostle Paul says, in Ephesians 3:7, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working