Dr. David Briones explains that grace is not a principle, it’s a Person.
There’s one thing that the New Testament does that no other author in the ancient world does, and that’s to understand grace as a person because the gift of God is the person of Jesus Christ. Several texts confirm this. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son.” I absolutely love what one Puritan wrote as a prayer in the Valley of Vision, it’s called the gift of gifts. He says, “O source of all good, what shall I render to You for the gift of gifts, Your own dear Son… He came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost, as man to die my death, to shed satisfying blood on my behalf, to work out a perfect righteousness for me. In Him, you have given me so much that heaven can give no more.” So that is one definition of grace that I think Christians need to cling to. You don’t automatically get in common definitions, like God’s riches at Christ’s expense. It’s so important, and so different, and so radical than anything else ever written in this world.
Dr. David Briones is professor of New Testament at Reformation Bible College.