“What is grace?”

Busted. A student in my confirmation gently raised her hand and asked, “What’s grace?”

I toss that word around like it were obvious to everyone. Guess what? It’s not.

  • “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
  • “Stephen, full of grace and power” (Acts 6:8).
  • “We are justified by his grace as a gift” (Romans 3:24).
  • “Grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).
  • “You are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
  • “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you” (1 Cor. 16:23).
  • “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor., 12:9).
  • “By grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:5).

I could go on and on and on. All those verses roll off my tongue like lyrics for a top forty song. My point is, if you’re a Christian and you like to toss around the word “grace,” you better have your elevator definition ready for anyone who asks you, “What is grace?”

My simple answer: when you get what you don’t deserve. A good grade when you really didn’t study all that hard. A close parking spot on a busy shopping day. Another chance to get it right. Forgiveness. Oh, yes, especially forgiveness. No one deserves that. But someone paid dearly so you could have it.

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