From the moment that I sat down and began to read this book: The Grace of God, which was a gift from a stranger at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, I realized that I would never see grace in the same way. My understanding was so limited so small! Andy Stanley takes the subject of God’s grace and introduces the reader to grace in the Old Testament. In fact, the first chapter’s title is “In the Beginning, Grace.”
As I read, I realized that although I had read many of these biblical stories before, I never saw grace in the passages although it was there. That was because I never expected to see grace in the Old Testament but there it was in each section “grace.” Maybe not as obvious as some of the other themes present but God’s grace was undeniably present. Andy Stanley showed us grace in the creation story, grace in the garden, and grace in the story of Joseph as well as the Ten Commandments. God’s grace was like a thread woven through the pages of the bible. For instance, in the story of Joseph even the law of sowing and reaping is thwarted and overridden by God’s grace. As one quote says “Grace is not reserved for good people; grace underscores the goodness of God.”
The big deal for me was that I’ve always known that God is gracious the problem is that in reading the Old Testament He seems anything but gracious. Some people may think that God’s character changes in the New Testament but it doesn’t His character remains the same. There is consistency in His nature. Much of what He does is because of His grace. Where it’s not unusual to see grace in the New Testament many may not readily see it in the Old Testament. In the book the author shows God’s grace throughout the entire bible, I was able to recognize God’s grace in places I hadn’t seen it before. Very cool!
Here’s my favorite quote from the book: “Grace is the vehicle God uses on occasion to ensure that we get precisely what we don’t deserve.”