Grace. It's what we want and the very thing we are so hesitant to extend to others. Is grace important? Stanley points out, "When you read the New Testament, the only thing Jesus stood against consistently was graceless religion." (xiv)
Many are confused about grace because we severely underestimate the impact of sin on our lives and the world. God chose to extend grace to a sin infested world. We wrongly think our attempt at good behavior should fix things. But our only hope is God's offer of grace. It is the only way man can be reconciled to God.
Stanley gives numerous examples of God's grace from the Bible. Even the Law, he reminds us, is an expression of God's grace. From the life of David we find that God's grace has no end, no boundary. From Jonah we learn that God's grace is unpredictable.
Stanley notes that "grace has two sides: It is something to be received. It is something to be extended." (118) Receiving grace is often much easier than dispensing it.
Stanley says, "The grace of God is the life of the Savior coursing through the souls of believers to sustain us through those things that will not or cannot change." (176)
Today, "...the church is God's primary vehicle for dispensing the message of grace..." (197) Stanley took Acts 15:19 to heart when he began his church (North Point Community Church) in 1995. He created the church in Atlanta so that unchurched people would want to attend.
Stanley reminds us, "The church is the steward of his grace." (208) We are the ones God has called to expose our neighbors to God's grace.
This book is a good reminder of our need for and God's willingness to give us His grace.
Nelson, 217 pages.
This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers