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Perhaps the best known and best loved hymn of the Christian faith is “Amazing Grace.” Grace is an important word to Christians (used over 140 times in the NT). We have been “saved through grace” (Eph. 2:8). We have been “justified as a gift by His grace” (Rom. 3:24). Grace describes the blessings from God that He generously has given to us as gifts. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Grace is God’s undeserved kindness toward mankind. From God’s fullness we have received “grace upon grace” (Jn. 1:16).

“Full” is a word that describes being under the control or influence of something (Eph. 5:18). If you are full of wine, you are under the influence or control of alcohol. You lose the motor function of your arms and legs. Nor is your brain functioning right because you have come under the control of alcohol. In contrast we are told to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) i.e. under the control of God.

Jesus was “full of grace” (Jn. 1:14). This phrase is only used in one other place in the NT and is in reference to Stephen. Steven was “full of grace…” (Acts 6:8). Stephen, like Jesus, was under the control of grace. He showed a godlike kindness toward others. This generosity is seen in his selfless service to the Greek widows in the distribution of food. He was able to put the needs of others before his own needs. He had totally surrendered to God, determined to live like Jesus.

We are to be full of grace. We should be under the control of grace. We are to show kindness to others. You may say, that’s fine, but they don’t deserve my kindness. That’s the whole idea of grace, it’s undeserved. When someone does something unkind to us and we in return show kindness to them, that’s grace. When someone speaks hateful words to us and we in return speak words of love, that’s grace. Having a forgiving spirit is grace. Showing kindness makes us more like God.

If we could be totally controlled by grace, that would be amazing.