Because God is holy, He sees evil and it angers Him – he is even referred to as a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29). If it were not for God’s graciousness, His holiness would prohibit us from being in His presence. In Christian Theology, Millard Erickson says, “Grace is another attribute that is part of the manifold of God’s love. By this we mean that God deals with His people not on the basis of their merit or worthiness, what they deserve, but simply according to their need; in other words, He deals with them on the basis of His goodness and generosity”. What does God’s graciousness mean to us?
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘grace’ or ‘gracious’? Read 2 Kings 13:23; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:17; and Psalm 86:15. What is listed alongside of God’s graciousness in these verses? Does this help you define ‘gracious’?
Last week we looked at love, God’s essential essence. As much as we like to celebrate this attribute of God, it’s also critical to understand that He is holy. God’s holiness is not a popular topic in our culture – perhaps because His holiness reveals all that all of our ‘goodness’ is like ‘filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6) before Him.
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” He goes on to say that the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about God? Did anyone say ‘holy’? Discuss with your group the implications your first idea of God has for your life.
In the late 1800’s, Samuel Trevor Francis penned these words which became a beloved hymn: O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above! Have you experienced the full extent of God’s love? Have you shown that love to others?
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), how much do you think God loves you? Why did you answer the way that you did?