This is a practically a dissertation on grace. Yancey pulls no punches as he dissects how we view grace, how we abuse grace and what is true grace.
Yancey is a wordsmith and definitely has a way of turning a phrase:
- If the world could have been saved by good bookkeeping, it would have been saved by Moses, not Jesus.
- Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.
- God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.
- Grace is free only because the giver himself has borne the cost.
- By striving to prove how much they deserve God’s love, legalists miss the whole point of the gospel, that it is a gift from God to people who don’t deserve it. The solution to sin is not to impose an ever-stricter code of behavior. It is to know God.
- C. S. Lewis observed that almost all crimes of Christian history have come about when religion is confused with politics. Politics, which always runs by the rules of ungrace, allures us to trade away grace for power, a temptation the church has often been unable to resist.
- Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God’s family.
I have had a long time running battle with guilt. I’m first in line for a dose of guilt. I can feel guilty over things that aren’t even remotely my fault.
Or, at least that’s how I was before I read this book. This book unveiled true grace; what grace really means.
I think that a quote from C.S. Lewis, that Yancey uses, sums up what grace truly is: To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
Others in my life have also helped me on this journey to living guilt free. One was a pastor who in a sermon said that the reality of the gospel is that I am more sinful and flawed than I ever believed and I am more loved and accepted than I dared hope. This statement by Tommy Overton, resonated with me to the core of my being. I knew I was more sinful and flawed than I let on to others; the missing part of the formula, for me, was the realization that I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope.