Grace simply does not make sense. It is scandalous. It is shocking. It is often appalling. It does not make sense. And yet, it defines the existence of every follower of Jesus Christ. Without grace we have nothing.
I often define grace in the following simple terms. You’ll note the acronym that is created from the word grace. G stands for Guaranteed. R stands for Redemption. A stands for At. C stands for Christ’s. And the E stands for Expense. Grace is guaranteed redemption at Christ’s expense. And how true it is. The salvation and spiritual life that we have as Christians comes because someone paid a great price. Our salvation, free to us, was expensive to another. Christ is that one who paid it. Note that we do not suggest you and/or I participated in that transaction. Our definition of grace does not state “guaranteed redemption at your and my and Christ’s expense. Christ is the exclusive payer.
Moreover, we have been purchased from something. That is what redemption is all about. We are redeemed, which means we have been bought. To redeem is to buy, much like someone might buy a slave out of her slavery so that she might be set free. Were this to happen then she will have been redeemed. Redemption is the reality of having been purchased from something, wherein ownership changes to another.
And it is guaranteed, at least as it relates to Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. Our redemption is sure. It is unmovable; unshakable. It will never change or go away. If so, then one would rightly question whether Jesus’ work was sufficient.
Now the thing from which we are redeemed is the domain of darkness and sin into which we were all born and which has defined us for so long. In that domain shame and fear and filth and guilt dominate our lives. But when Jesus Christ died on the cross he purchased our passage away from that domain into a brand new kind of life—a life marked by honor and power and cleanliness and forgiveness.
He set us free. That is grace. No small wonder he declared just before he gave up his last breath, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The work of redemption was completed in full with Jesus’ death. Nothing need be added. Furthermore, no small wonder the Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2:8-9 penned, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
A guaranteed redemption at Christ’s expense. We who believe Christ are free. The chains are gone.
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“Write This Down…” provides a restatement of selected points or observations from various teaching venues at which Pastor Matthew speaks. The preceding material is from Pastor Matthew’s message entitled, “And So They Ran”, part of the “Galatians: No Other Gospel” series, presented on the weekend of May 6, 2012, at Bethel Church.