TOPIC:“This Amazing Word - Grace”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11)
When Franz Haydn, the famous Austrian composer, was asked why his sacred compositions had such a glorious ring, he answered, “I cannot compose anything without it; for I translate into music the state of my very heart. When I think of the grace of God in Jesus Christ my heart is so full of joy that the notes fairly dance and leap from my pen.” That same feeling ought to describe each one of us!
Grace was the great watchword of the Apostle Paul. This Apostle of grace made use of the word in every Epistle that he wrote. Grace was the front cover and back cover of all Paul's writings. It was this life changing, transforming, revolutionizing grace that Paul passionately and prayerfully desired to share with his readers. Surely John Henry Jowett, great English preacher, agreed with Paul when he said: “With all my heart do I believe that the Gospel of redeeming grace is the cardinal necessity of our time.”
Consider, first of all, the MEANING of this word grace. We read in verse 11: “For the grace of God…” Grace is a word filled with wealth and wonder. It us used approximately 165 times in the Bible with a variety of meanings and with much mystery. G. Campbell Morgan, whose writings are widely read, wrote: “There is no word in the New Testament that more baffles the expositor than this word “grace.” Gather up the occasions in which it is found in the New Testament, and read them in their context; and then sit down in the presence of them, and wonder and worship.”
The word grace may mean gracefulness or beauty as used in Proverbs 22:11 where we read: “For the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” It may mean favor as found in Genesis 6:8: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” It may mean loveliness as found in Luke 4:22 where we read of Christ: “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” It may mean thankfulness: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57). A spirit of gratitude is awakened in the heart of one for whom the favor is done.
But most of all grace means the unmerited favor of God on behalf of sinners. It is the free, unmerited, and undeserved love of God in Christ which meets man in his sin and shame. In Greek literature grace signified a favor done out of the generous heart of one Greek for another without any hope of a favor . . .