How many times in your life have you heard the song "Amazing Grace?" Growing up in a Baptist church, this song was played frequently in our services. At Pankeyville, we often sing "Amazing Grace" when someone comes to the altar and gives his/her life over to Jesus Christ. We also sing a more modern version of this song called, "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone" by a great Christian singer named Chris Tomlinson.
As you read through your Bible, the word "grace" and its related words appear some 200 times. The first reference can be found in Genesis 6:8: "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." The final appearance is found in Revelation 22:21: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." So what is so amazing about this concept of grace?
The first amazing fact about grace is that it is freely given. But while it is freely given to us, grace came with a cost to our Heavenly Father. He gave His only Son not only for those who would love Him, but also for those who would hate Him. Romans 5:8 says, "God commanded His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
It is easy to understand God giving a gift to someone who loves Him, as we often will give a gift to someone who we love. How many times do you give a highly valuable gift to someone who cannot stand the sight of you? The amazing part is in God giving a gift to someone who curses and hates Him! God's love extends to the vilest sinner just as much as his love extends to those closest to Him.
Another amazing aspect of grace is that it is all sufficient. Bayer Aspirin has been called "The Wonder Drug." When it was introduced into our lives, aspirin was the answer to just about any physical ailment. I can remember as a child my mom would give me a "baby aspirin" if I had a headache or a stubbed toe. Today, I keep aspirin on hand to be used for an array of aches or pains. I have found that the older I get, the bigger the bottle I purchase!
As great a discovery as aspirin is, however, it cannot cure the spiritual disease of sin. The only remedy for a sin- sick soul is the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ. While aspirin may give us relief in this life, it certainly has no curative qualities for the life that lies ahead of us. The grace of Jesus Christ will help us in this life and will give us assurance for the life that is to come.
Finally, God's grace is amazing because it is universal. It works the same regardless of the color of one's skin or the gender of the individual. It works for the child in grade school and it works for the elderly in the nursing home. It works for the missionary in Africa and it works for the murderer on death row. It will work for that person who thinks he is too bad to be saved. It will even work on that person who thinks he is too good to be saved!
I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. I can, however, give you a prescription to alleviate the pain of sin. Take one dose of God's grace and call on him every morning!
• Ernie Fowler is the associate pastor of Pankeyville Baptist Church.