Maybe you’ve never said this out aloud but I wonder if you’ve ever thought to yourself – what exactly is grace? Grace is mentioned constantly throughout the New Testament of the Bible. Our understanding of what grace is as a concept really important in us understanding the gospel. It’s important to understanding God’s character and His heart towards us in the cross of Christ. It’s important if we want to live out lives as Christians who imitate Him. The Bible even calls the gospel, the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24). Even if you feel you have a good theological grip on grace, this book certainly invites us to celebrate the many layers of its’ beauty. So what is so amazing about grace? What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey was first published by Zondervan in 1997. It had a 4.2 rating on Goodreads and a 4.7 rating on Amazon at the time of research. This book is written so beautifully and so engagingly. Get ready for a book that conveys it’s message with narrative, fables, metaphors, real-life events and some well-placed quotes.
1. If you don’t discuss or hear about grace on a consistent basis.
The Bible mentions grace so many times so it really is vital that we too remind ourselves of what it means that our God is a gracious God. Every preacher and teacher has certain leanings in their messages and sometimes this means that we don’t hear about grace often from the pulpit or our brothers and sisters in Christ – though, as Yancey points out, grace is around us all of the time, inviting us to notice it!
2. Are you struggling to forgive anyone?
It is kind of awkward when Jesus forgives us but we won’t forgive others. Forgiveness is not always easy. What’s So Amazing about Grace? fully explores the relationship between grace and forgiveness. Yancey does this in such a gentle manner, fully acknowledging the pain and difficulty that we might face when we need to forgive someone.
3. If you think to yourself, doesn’t forgiveness just lead to more room for sin?
If you have ever justified not forgiving someone with the thought: ‘maybe they’ll just do it again. I can’t just forgive them for something so obviously wrong.’ Christians are called to forgive but sometimes it just feels so unnatural! Grace is sometimes called scandalous because it seems to leave room for those on the receiving end of grace to trip up again - whilst punishment which seeks to halt all offenses. Mr Yancey covers this beautifully in his chapter called ‘Loopholes.’
4. If you ask yourself – why are Christians so ‘judgey’?
If you have ever been on the receiving end of someone’s harsh criticism for something you’ve done, you know how much it can hurt. When we feel others are critical of us, we can feel rejected. If you are someone who finds that Christians are ‘clicky’, self-righteous and hypocritical – What’s so Amazing about Grace? sheds a light on how the church can better respond to people in grace, rather than with harsh judgement towards slipups. On the first page Mr Yancey references a story he told in another one of his books, The Jesus I Never Knew, about a woman in dire straits who said she would never even think about going to the church for help because they would ‘make her feel worse’. Ouch.
5. If you think Grace means “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense”
Grace is so much more than blessing and favour. It is the healing we desperately need. Many teachers today convince believers that grace means that we can have all and everything we have ever wanted. Grace is wonderfully deeper and wider than just about our fleeting human desires. This book flies in the face of false teachings, so it’s a great gift for a brother or sister in Christ who needs a reminder of the true definition of the grace of God! Read the first few pages of What’s so Amazing About Grace? on Amazon.
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