Note (April 13, 2017): This post will be updated (something it badly needs) over the next few weeks!
Old Word – New Meaning
Several years ago (probably sometime in 2006), while attending a meeting for local clergy, I heard the keynote speaker make a statement that I have never forgotten:
“Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling you to be who God created you to be, and to do what God has called you to do – right where you are.”
The speaker was the late Pastor James Ryle; he had been invited to address the monthly meeting of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA) by then BMA President Bishop Gideon Thompson. Later that year Pastor Ryle (again at Bishop Thompson’s invitation) taught several sessions at the 2006 Jubilee Christian Church annual convention. He elaborated on this same truth. Up until this time I had always thought of grace as “God’s unmerited (i.e. undeserved) favor” or “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”, but on that day Pastor Ryle gave me a new and extremely helpful way to understand this critical concept. It blessed me so much that I wanted to share it with others; I began looking for Pastor Ryle’s teaching in written form.