In our Sunday morning education hour, the sixth through twelfth grade students have been studying the classic hymn, “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. This past Sunday, we took a look at the second verse of the song which goes as follows:
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed
The word that stood out to me in the second verse is “precious”. The definition of the adjective precious is “of high price or great value; very valuable or costly”. We can add Grace to precious and get the term precious Grace. Precious Grace could be defined as the gift of Grace from God that is of great value and costly. The question then becomes, “Why is God’s gift of Grace precious?” I immediately thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his book Cost of Discipleship. The quote that came to mind that explains why Grace is precious, and therefore valuable and costly, goes as follows:
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
We were bought at a great price so that we can be united with God, through salvation in Christ, thereby giving up our old lives of sin and living our new lives in Grace for the purpose of God’s glory. Amazing Grace, indeed!