The Shape Of Grace [SERIES]
September 8, 2017
Grace is a word that gets used a lot. The bank gives us a grace period. Politicians fall from grace. The host of a party might be described as gracious. A dancer can be described as graceful. We use the word as a name for baby girls and hospitals. We use it as a name for a pre-meal prayer. The word grace comes up all the time at church – we talk about common grace and sing about amazing grace. It’s a word that comes up all the time in the Bible, and a word we frequently hear in the sermons. We talk about grace all the time. But what exactly is grace? What is the shape of grace?
During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods' appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. "What's the rumpus about?" he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, "Oh, that's easy. It's grace." If Lewis was right and grace really is that central, it only makes sense to immerse ourselves in a study of it.
In many ways, grace is like a diamond. Each turn of the diamond reveals a previously hidden facet that helps us see the stunning beauty of grace. The more we look at grace, the more impressive it becomes. The Bible is the story of grace from beginning to end, but within that one story are countless smaller stories of God’s grace in the lives of people as diverse as we could imagine. This series will explore a Baker’s Dozen of such stories – seven from the Old Testament and six from the New Testament. Each of these stories functions like a turn of the diamond and reveals the inexhaustible nature of God’s grace.
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