The Grace and Love of God by Joseph Shucraft
A Biblical Metanarrative Essay from my time at School (revised)
God's Grace and love are amply supplied within the story of God. We see them throughout creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration of man. The metanarrative in the Bible is based on God being the prime character. Essential to the metanarrative is to consider how they both apply both together and separately from each other. Grace without love can be hard to comprehend when considering God. One can thankfully see that God is love and that without him, there is no such thing. At the same time, Grace can also apply to various situations. They are saving, redemptive, and also seen in the form of blessings. Truthfully God's Grace and love are essential to the biblical narrative.
Throughout the biblical narrative, God is the story's main character. In creation, we see "God's subsequent work of developing and fashioning what he had originally brought into existence. We are here affirming that the whole of what now exists was begun by God's act of bringing it into existence—he did not fashion and adapt something that already existed independently of him." (Erickson) His powers are at work from the beginning as the sole being he created all out of nothing in creation. He had created as his chief handiwork man and, subsequently, woman. Having seen that all was good, he rested. Then comes the fall. Though man is responsible, God is still central to this story as he drives the narrative, disciplines man and woman, and condemns Satan according to his nature. While the fall is devastating, he sets up for redemption in his words to Adam and Eve. He makes a promise of redemption in the form of Christ. Although the measure of revelation is not at that time fully known, man will later come to understand through the prophets the nature of Christ. God begins shaping redemption through Abraham and his offspring, promising to make them a great nation. It is to them that the prophets tell of the coming Messiah. Ultimately those prophesies are revealed, and redemption is realized when Jesus was born in the flesh. We see from the promise to Eve that she would be redeemed in childbirth, to the security of Abraham to be the Father of a great nation, all the way to King David and promising the Messiah would stem from his bloodline. This allows God the Father to work through the Son and ultimately reveal to us through the Holy Spirit. Finally, the second coming, which is foretold in the Book of Revelation, is meant to restore us by God's power to the perfect will of God.
Next, we see that a man cannot bind God's Grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:8) . Grace is likened to that reference as a gift from God. We can see God's Grace evidenced in the works of creation; it is the magnificence and splendor of all that has been created and all for us and to his glory. His first significant gift to us, evidencing his character, is that of life. Not only did he make man in his image, but he also, knowing man's heart, gave him a most precious gift of a helpmate. In the fall, we continue to see God's unmerited favor. As evidenced by man's total condemnation, we find blessings given and hope for restoration in God. Rather than damnation, we see how God cares for us and shows the true nature of his Grace. In man's redemption, we also see God's Grace in fullness. Through the person of Jesus Christ, we see God having such favor that though he was being arrested and brought to death, he healed those who would take him away. However, the most awe-inspiring form of Grace is evidenced on the cross as he prayed for the Father to forgive his persecutors for not knowing what they had done. Restoration to God and His Grace is a moving subject. We see that the fulfillment of the actions of Grace and gifts to us all culminate with complete restoration to God. Though we are sinners and none are righteous, God restores us in and through His Grace. In the end, we find in Revelation that God will bring forth a new Heaven and Earth.
Finally, we see God's love throughout his story in the Bible. One of the textbooks states this about God's love, "In general, God's love may be thought of as his eternal giving or sharing of himself." (Erickson) His love is first evidenced in creation. One can see that God has shared an intimate relationship with man since the beginning. Through women's creation, we can see a picture of that intimacy as he takes a rib from Adam to create Eve. That displays his affection as he seeks to share the creation with man and impart his authority and love. We see through the fall that though man has disobeyed God and has to succumb to the impacts of sin, he still finds ways to show love. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) . This was not only a simple act, but it signified the nature of Christ as animals had to die to clothe them the same way Jesus later died to cover us from sin. In the redemption of man, we see the love of God in the form of Jesus Christ. He lived and died for us, and the Father's sacrifice of his only son was the most extraordinary form of love willing to live and die for man. Also, in restoration to God, he shows the perfection of his love as he will ultimately restore us to the fullness we had before the fall. That no tears should fall and no woe and sorrow be found. All shall experience love to the fullest through God.
In conclusion, Grace and love are two fundamental aspects of God and his story. God's Grace and love are two interconnected concepts that display elements of his goodness. Truthfully God is Love, and his Grace is without measure. It is saving, redemptive, and also seen in the form of blessings. God's Grace and love are critical to the biblical narrative. Having seen them told through the lens of the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration of man, we can impart that, the Bible's metanarrative shows and displays God's nature. Without it, we would not have a complete picture of the size and scope of God's perfection.
Ephesians 2:8. n.d. 4 October 2021. <https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ephesians-2-8/>.
Erickson, Millard J. Introducing Christian Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015. Ebook.
Genesis 3:21. n.d. 4 October 2021. <https://www.biblehub.com/genesis/3-21.htm>.