Have you noticed how words change in meaning over time? Words are living entities that go through transformations as human beings use them.
Take, for example, the word "Fantastic. " Centuries ago, this word meant "existing only in one's imagination. " Today, it means something incredible. Or what about the word "Sick,” which used to mean ill, but today, it also means something cool or excellent. The word "Awful" was used to mean something that inspired awe. Today, it means something is bad or that someone looks terrible. I could provide more examples, but these are sufficient to show how the meaning of words changes and how, in some cases, they get spoiled.
That’s why I wholeheartedly agree with author Philip Yancey when he describes “grace” as “the last good word” or the “one grand theological word that has not spoiled.” He identifies current uses of the word grace that preserves the original meaning of the word.
Grace is the one word that encompasses all that God requires and provides in Christ. No wonder John refers to Jesus, in his incarnation, as the very personification of God’s grace.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:14,17).
There was a time when dining at upscale restaurants mandated that men wear a suit. However, what would transpire if you were to arrive at such an establishment without the appropriate attire? Your options are as follows:
This serves as an illustration of how the grace of God operates. It is an imperfect illustration, of course, but nonetheless, relevant. It may not be a flawless representation, but it remains pertinent. This portrayal vividly underscores that grace encompasses the entirety of God's expectations and provisions, what He requires and supplies, all through Christ Jesus
Grace furnishes all that we need yet could never attain through our own endeavors. It stands as the unmerited favor of God extended towards us, a willing impoverishment of one for the undeserved enrichment of many. As we have learned in Sunday School, grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
In the words of author Phillip Yancey, “grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more… and grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”
Grace is self-originating and flows from the One who had the freedom not to be gracious. The grace of God is love openly bestowed upon guilty sinners despite their unworthiness and in defiance of their wrongdoings.
Grace even inspired one of the most egregious sinners in history to compose one of the most magnificent songs ever known.
Therefore, we are probably safe in affirming that the most important words in the entire Bible are “By Grace!”