Are you satisfied with what you know of grace? Or, does your heart want to know more? Initially, grace was a theological concept for me, part of the philosophy of religion. Its definition resided in the realm of faith and trust: “For by grace are you saved through faith,” my memory verse from Ephesians stated.

For me, grace was synonymous with the New Testament; the antithesis of the Old Testament. It meant I didn’t sacrifice animals to gain forgiveness.

By grace I was saved. By grace I was on my way to heaven when I died.

As I moved a little deeper into the rationale of what made my faith powerful, I encountered the acrostic definition of grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. That’s a great definition. It is large, compelling, and challenging.

“God’s riches.” I wonder how much that is? “At Christ’s expense.” I listened to many sermons on what it cost Christ to gain us entry into heaven, and my appreciation grew with each message, but that kind of expenditure is incomprehensible. Grasping “God’s riches” and “Christ’s expense” is like trying to figure out how big the national debt is.

Some time later I ran across a one-line definition that brought grace closer to a personal realm: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor.”

Implied within the definition was that this unmerited favor was extended to me. But while appreciative of being grace’s beneficiary, this definition created a cyclical thought pattern.

I was now back at salvation, more certain than ever of my failure to merit eternity in heaven apart from God’s grace.

Next, after hearing what others think grace is, my thoughts on what grace is.