Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Grace, the gift of right relationship with God

ONE of the profoundest word-gifts I’ve ever been given was when I was told to ‘enjoy the gift God has given you’.[1] Astoundingly simple, unfathomably deep. The gift.
As Christians, we do not make as much of the concept of grace as truly we should. That is because we cannot wrap our heads and hearts around it. There is too much theology to contain it. Grace is too much to contemplate. The gift is too gargantuan to comprehend. Grace is a gift that gives a spiritual reality of overwhelming eternal abundance.
But indeed, we’re blessed by studies like the one in present focus — that God’s positive work of redeeming humankind has not an iota of recrimination about it. Although we should rightly be condemned, and without Christ we were, our justification at the hand of Christ has now no longer anything to do with our criminality.
We are bequeathed right relationship with our God, just as if God looks at us and sees Jesus — no spot nor wrinkle of sin, though we’re still spotted and wrinkled; no condemnation, though we know we still deserve it. How irrevocably good is this gift?
For the matter of putting Christ at the head of our lives, to live according to the faith of trust in Jesus, right relationship with God is the decreed consequence. This is the good news. Not that we’re given easy lives nor are we promised joy at every turn, but, much more meaningful, that we’re ascribed worth as sons and daughters of God.

Acknowledgement to Dr Richard Moore whose life work has involved the study of Paul’s Concept of Justification: God’s Gift of a Right Relationship and the production of the first New Testament in Australian English.

[1] With credit to Elaine Olley, wife of Old Testament scholar, Dr John Olley.

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