I am sure you have heard this statement: Except for the grace of God….” Did you know that is from the Bible? It is a form of St. Paul’s words:
“But by the grace of God I am what I am” (I Corinthians 15:10)
Most people when they use the expression, by the grace of God, they usually mean that the are not worse than they are. They often have a person in mind when they say these words. They see a drug addict on the corner or a story of the latest shoplifting ring on the television and think, “I could have been that person, except for the grace of God.” The expression has developed such a wide currency in our society that people who don’t profess any Judeo-Christian faith use it to describe themselves in these scenarios.
This common use of the expression is a misunderstanding of what these words, by the grace of God. St. Paul is not talking about how terrible he could have been; he is talking about how terrible he really was. “I was a murderer, a persecutor of the Christians but look at me now! If it wasn’t for the grace of God I would still be murdering Christians.” If you have experienced a transformed live because of your faith in Christ, you can rightfully say, “by the grace of God I am what I am.”
Ronald Friesen © 2015