The News that Travels Quickly – by Desmond Ford

Jun 27, 2016 1197

Cans-and-stringGrace is mentioned about 130 times in the New Testament alone. Paul begins and ends each of his epistles with it. Along with one or two literary relatives, it turned the western world upside down in the sixteenth century – we call that event the Reformation.

It gives hope to the hopeless, joy to the sorrowing, faith to the faithless, and life to the dying. The Greek word xaris comes from a root meaning “to be joyful,” and the noun has a wide variety of meanings, all associated with happiness and joy.

Theologically it signifies that God is for us even when we are against him. It is but a term for the active love of God streaming continually and prodigally as sunshine from the sun. Augustine said it is not grace unless it is gratis, that is free. It carries the meaning of generous gifts which, theologically construed, signifies redemption and all that goes with it. It is a word set is contrast to law, works, and human merit.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:6)

The news that travels quickly is either very bad or very good, usually the former. But in this instance, the latter. If the gospel were something trite like “Be good and God might save you,” it would hardly travel outside its hometown – the town of legalism. But if instead the gospel is grace, and the gospel is joy, forgiveness, power, fruitfulness, mercy and a thousand other good things, we can understand how one day when understood it will take wings and cross all barriers.

In other words, when instead of telling people that if, if, if they are good God might love them, tell them of the God who “justifieth the ungodly,” the man who “receiveth sinners,” the One who promised that “all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Tell that, and it will travel at almost the speed of light.

Tell the world that grace is God’s unimaginable generosity. It led Him to give Christ, His unspeakable gift. It made him promise to supply, if we need it,

exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27-32. Adapted from “Grace, the Generous Gift of God”

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