In 1779, while the fledgling colonies of America were in rebellion against the British Empire, one of Britain’s citizens, John Newton, published his hymn, “Amazing Grace.” It has become one of the most recognized of all hymns in the English speaking world. It is played at funerals and sung by congregations; its words are recorded on CDs by any number of artists – both secular and Christian. It is playing in malls when you shop and as background music in other venues.
But grace is indeed amazing!
Paul, in his treatise which we call the Epistle of Romans, introduces the first glimmer of hope in chapter 3:24 when he says, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” The darkness and despair of the first three chapters is exchanged for the light and awe which the grace of God brings. Grace is amazing because:
No Charge leveled against us. We have been justified! We have been made “right” in the sight of God. Our position and relationship with God have been altered. We have been given a new standing. In chapter 5:2, Paul says, “We have access by faith into the grace wherein we stand.” This access is not just when you pray; you have been introduced into an entirely new life and standing and you occupy this place of grace every moment of your life. We have been brought from fear to favor before God! Grace is amazing because:
No Cost incurred by us. This wondrous blessing, this life and eternity altering change has come about without any cost on our part. We stood in chapter 3 guilty and condemned. The gavel had come down with its solemn pronouncement and as we waited for the sentence to be executed, suddenly the chains were removed and the charges were met by another. Bankrupt, penniless, indebted, with nothing to pay; we learned that we did not need to pay. It was all by His grace. Grace is amazing because:
No Cause found in us. Justified “freely” means not only without cost, but without any cause in us. It is the same word used in John 15:25, “They hated Me without a cause.” There was just as much reason in us for God to justify us, as there was basis for men to rightfully hate Christ. Grace is amazing because:
No Compromise to God’s character. It is thrilling to know that God has done all this without the slightest compromise to His holy character. He has not only retained His just character, but has added a fresh glory and luster to His name – He is now a justifier. The cost and the cause were all in Himself. It cost Him the Son of His love. The redemption is in Christ Jesus. Grace is amazing because:
No Comparison with anything else. Grace is indeed amazing. Nothing can compare with it. Little wonder that we shall be “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph 1:6). The very last paragraph of the Bible in Revelation 22 reveals, that to the last, God is still displaying His wondrous grace: “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (v17).