Understanding Grace

A Picture of Grace

For those of us who have long been in the church, it is easy to take grace for granted or forget the life-changing impact it has had on us. This dramatic illustration illustrates the powerful implications of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.

We understand God’s love and mercy most profoundly when we experience great forgiveness rather than when it is carefully explained. Justin Holcomb is an Episcopalian priest, seminary professor and author of On the Grace of God. Listen as he tells the story of how he came to understand the depth of kindness and peace that rests in grace.

Grace is "the undeserved, unmerited love of God for those who were undeserving and not faithful to God," and, as Justin said, this is best understood in the stories of God's pursuit of His people.

2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)

13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

What is the best picture of grace you have seen in your life? What did this do for your understanding of grace and your life in grace going forward?
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What old things do you still struggle with even though you are new in Christ?
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Grace is a greater motivator for good behavior than fear of punishment. How is this true in your life?
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A Definition of Grace

We have previously said that grace is best understood through the experience of God’s mercy and forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a clear definition of grace. In this next video, Justin sets us up for clearly understanding grace by contrasting the world’s definition against the biblical use of the word.

How are you personally affected by the world of earning and deserving? Is there an aspect of your life that is based entirely on merit? How does this affect the way you perform and the stress you feel in that environment?
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Where do you most profoundly feel the soothing, calming pleasure of God’s grace? How does this change or affect the way you live?
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How do you give and share grace to the lost and hurting with whom you have influence?
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We live in a world of earning and deserving, but that is not the way that God operates. We can never work hard enough to earn the Lord’s favor, yet He freely lavishes it on us out of His great love for us. Rest in the thought that our God loves to give us His amazing grace.