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what is heavenly grace ?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by pinoybaptist, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    As Baptists we are quite fond of defining grace.
    Unmerited favor is the most popular one I can think of.
    I'v also heard of "common grace", something which I'm not sure of.
    well, I came across an illustration of grace once.
    at the end of the illustration the expositor likened the act of one of the characters to heavenly grace.
    Non-verbatim, this is how I remember the illustration:

    A young man served two tours in Vietnam back in the late 60's so he could save up and buy himself a Mustang which was quite the poor man's choice for a race car back in those days, the speaker said.
    Indeed, the very first thing he did on the very first hour of his very first day stateside, was go to the dealer, and choose himself a Mustang.
    Being a native of that state, he knew exactly where to take the car with no dangers to others,
    So he went to this highway with its long, ribbon-like, ups and downs and miles of straight highways and he was having the time of his life until he raced down and past a billboard and caught out of the corner of his eye a State Trooper's car parked behind it and under its shade.
    He slammed his brakes as best he knew that wouldn't tailspin the car, hoping to stop or at least quickly slow it down, but when you're going 90 miles an hour, you just can't do that, and you just can't go less than 50 yards and hope to stop like you could if you were going 45 mph.
    so he halted a good way down of a distance from the billboard, and watched in rearview as the State Trooper hit the lights and leisurely drove towards him.
    The trooper stopped a few yards behind him, got out of his car, and walked ever so calmly towards him.
    The young man cranked his window open, just as the Trooper, towering all of 6'2" over the low built sports car, reached the driver's side.
    He stood there, not saying anything, and the young man was getting really nervous.
    Was he going to get triple fined ? was he going to jail for reckless driving ? why is this guy so silent ?
    Trooper: Did you know you were going 95 on a 50 ?
    Young Man: I guess I was, sir.
    Silence. about a minute.
    Trooper: follow me a few miles down the road, will you, son ? and please don't run.
    Surprised, the young man said yes and followed the trooper.
    About a coupla miles down was a coffee shop, and the young man waited while the trooper walked in, and out, with two cups of coffee.
    Trooper: pop that hood and come over to the front of this fancy car of yours and show me what you got (handing over one cup of coffee to the young man).
    And there they stood in that tarmac, under the hot sun, talking about cars and cams and engines and all things racing.
    half-an-hour later, they parted friends.
    not a word about the violation, not a parking ticket issued.
    just forgiveness and friendship from one who understood youth, and who also served the country, in his time.
    as close to heavenly grace as you can get, from a State Trooper.

    do you agree ?
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

    Apr 11, 2013
    I've heard that story before, and honestly, without trying to sound self-centered or anything, I think it is based on an actual event that happened to me while at Ft. Rucker in 1970 at rotary wing training. I regaled my fellow trainees with this story, and I know I heard it repeated, though with a few slight variations but pretty much just like this, throughout my military career.

    On our first leave, I flew into Kansas City and had my dad pick me up, and drove my Mustang Mach I back to the base from our hometown in north Missouri. I had enjoyed the drive and had, admittedly, dawdled to the point I was running a bit late, so I stopped for a late lunch, changed into my uniform in a McDonald's restroom, and proceeded to run at breakneck speed down U.S. 231 between Troy and Ozark when I was pulled over by a state trooper. He came up to my window, and I smiled and waited for the inevitable. He took in my car, my uniform, and spied my trainee collar decorations and said, "You learnin' to fly down there at the Fort, son?"

    I said, "Yes, sir, I am."

    "Well, now," he drawled, "I know darn good'n well they ain't teachin' ya to fly that dang low, so slow it down the rest'uh the way, 'K, son?"

    Now, that said, I think that version more accurately depicts God's grace than does the first one. God's grace comes in conviction that we are sinners in need of a Savior. He can't overlook the sin in calling it to our attention, but in doing so, He convinces us nothing we do is good enough to be in His presence. Unlike the trooper in the first story, God doesn't ignore what we've done, He uses it to draw us near to Him as the only resource for cleansing and forgiveness we have.

    Also, it doesn't cover the entire miracle of grace, because while it is, indeed, "unmerited favor," that is not all it is. It is also the power from Him via the Holy Spirit to do that which, by ourselves, is impossible. Paul wrote many times of this. The depth of the grace I speak of is emboldened and underlined, while the results of that grace are emboldened and italicized in the verses below.
    Romans 12, NASB
    3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

    Romans 15
    15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God,
    16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 3
    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. ​
    Grace is more than just God's merciful forgiveness. It is power from above, and as Christians we ought to be burning it like jet fuel.
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Think that Grace means that I am justly found guilty as charged, sentenced to die for my sins, and Jesus died in my place!
  4. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    If it happened to you, I think I'll believe you.
    Things have a way of being exagerrated as they are repeated by mouth.
    I remember my pastor in the Philippines illustrating this with a true story that happened to him while he was preaching on gossip.
    Seems like he was nominated to be a head scout master in a son's friend's school.
    Well, he took time thinking about it and when he finally did three weeks later, as he was on his way to the school to give his "yes", he happened to ride with an acquaintance in one of the publc conveyances.
    They sat side by side, and the acquaintance nudged him and said: heard you were running for the city council, that true ?
  5. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    A friend of mine just gave his opinion on whether this incident reflects heavenly grace,
    His answer was: not an inch.
    He said the officer violated the oath he swore to take as a Sworn Officer: to uphold the law. In the process he took liberties with that law, and also betrayed the trust of the state in which he was an officer. That the young man was given the impression that because he was a vet, he might be able to get away with some crimes.

    For it to be closer to heavenly grace, he said, if the officer felt some fondness or sympathy for the young man, like, maybe they're both vets, and both put their lives on the line for the same country, he should have ticketed and then fined the young man as required by law, and then gave the young man the money to pay the fine, or paid the fine himself, then befriend the young man.

    I think he's right.