God’s Amazing Grace

Romans 1:7

I am among those authors who, when they set about the task of writing, have difficulty with beginnings and endings. Paul had no such problem. In his epistles he followed the stylized form of Greek letter writing. But though his beginnings and endings were written according to the transient conventions of his time, they were always filled with the eternal content of his faith. For example, almost without exception they contain the hallowed words, grace and peace, which ring through his writing like the melodious peal of a carillon.

The actual greeting which follows Paul’s salutation in Romans is more than a mere greeting. It is a prayer of blessing containing a promise and a pledge:

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ”

(Romans 1:7). The grace of Christ was unveiled to Paul on the Damascus Road and remained the source of his achievements ever after.

When he speaks of the grace of the Lord, he means the unconstrained and undeserved favor and mercy of God toward needy, sinful man and the fact that Christ Himself is the sacrificial expression of that divine grace. (Ephesians 2:4-9). Grace is the master word and key to Paul’s theology. It appears 88 times in his writings and is actually one of the most significant words in the New Testament, for it indicates the nature of God and sums up all that He has done for us through Jesus Christ.

God’s grace is not conditioned by the worth of its object. It is shown in His tender regard for the person who lives in sin.

Though grace comes to us while we are yet sinners through the convicting Spirit, it can be resisted and spurned. The dictionary gives eight different uses of the word grace, and among them is one that stirred my memory—”a short prayer of thanksgiving before or after a meal.” As far back as I can recall, prayer at mealtime was an institution in my parents’ home. This defense, available to every Christian family, helps to hold it together and protect it from hostile external influences. As a family altar, it is the heart of the home where the family gathers about God’s Word and communes with the heavenly Father. There, children are taught the things of God and learn how to pray. A family at prayer is a sign of grace.

Clarence D. Wiseman, The Desert Road to Glory

 

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