21 October 2009

The Goodness of Rightness: the Magnetic Power of Grace

Dallas Willard on spoke on "grace" as used in II Corinthians 12: 9:
"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (NKJV).
Willard said,“We don’t understand grace, generally because it remains an abstraction-hanging out in space in our minds as a word without any mental hooks.”
He added that we often have difficulty in having a very clear understanding of grace for more than one reason.
He isolated at least two reasons:1) grace is used in many and varying contexts, and 2) the knowledge of grace is so very experiential, which Willard says is “true biblical knowledge.’ (as opposed to head knowledge). With regard to this verse (II Cor 12:9) in particular, Willard claimed that it presents at least three points about grace.

1 Provision: Grace is the reality of God acting in relationship to our lives. “Adequately cared for…” Willard says, “Trust God for your next sandwich...”

2 Power: God gives you grace to do what’s right, while holiness is when you do what you ought from the right motives. Willard’s one line is a summary of the magnetic power of grace: “You will come to know the “goodness of rightness.”

3 With the grace of God things happen that cannot be accounted for by our own talent or ability. (Think of the numerous ways that God has worked in your life or in the lives of others which we could never statistically or scientifically work out.)