“Grace is too multifaceted to be contained in a mere definition.”

Former atheist Lee Strobel shares that grace is God’s unmerited favor to us. But when Jesus ministered and shared His Father’s love with people, He didn’t give a dictionary definition. He told stories.

Lee points to the example of the parable of the prodigal son and calls it a powerful beacon of God’s grace.

“Like a diamond, you see different facets of God’s grace in that story.”

A son takes his inheritance, rather than waiting for it when his father would pass, and leaves home. He wastes it in a far country. Bearing the weight of his choices, he plans to return home, penniless. He hopes that his father will treat him as a hired hand and give him food and work. Yet the father enfolds him back into the family, kills a calf, throws a party.

Buddhists have a similar story, but the outcome is very different. In their parable, a son that leaves home and lives wildly. He sees the error of his ways and returns home hoping for reconciliation and peace. In the Buddhist story, far from being welcomed home, the son spends 25 years hauling dung to make up for what he’d done. He is a victim of karma.

The story highlights the stark contrast of grace.

“Christianity is the only world religion that is based on grace.”

One of Lee’s teachers used to say,

“Every other world religion is spelled D-O. You have to do a bunch of things – use a Tibetan prayer wheel, or give alms to the poor, or go on a pilgrimage, or pray in a certain way, or eat certain foods, or avoid certain foods.”

All the weight of our salvation falls on our own shoulders. But Jesus is different. Christianity is different.

Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E. It’s done. Jesus’ words on the cross were

“It is finished.”

He has paid the penalty for our sins and He offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift of His grace. Now, He turns to you and offers the gift. You don’t need to earn His love by serving, fasting, whipping or singing. You simply rest in it and come to Him. Will you do that today?

Key Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Highlight : Grace and works – a stark contrast

The case for grace

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