Grace and Repentance
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.”
Zechariah 12:10 (NIVUK)
Sometimes we get confused about grace and repentance.
Is it that we seek God, make supplications to him through heartfelt words and in acts of repentance, and then God grants us grace? Or is it that God gives us his wonderful, overwhelming grace, and that in response we entreat him and turn towards him in repentance? The answer is that God grants us his grace, and from grace flows our repentance.
Zechariah paints a terrifying picture. Humanity has turned away so far from God that there is little likelihood of anyone being saved. Can human beings by themselves turn back to God? It seems improbable. But, defying all concepts of probability, it becomes possible because God grants us a spirit of grace. It’s the realization of grace that points a way forward.
Zechariah continues to explain what can happen as a result of grace and supplication. Having understood the forgiveness of God, they look on “me, the one they have pierced” (still verse 10). It is God who is speaking through Zechariah. The reference is to looking at the sacrifice of Jesus. Christ himself would later explain that when he would be lifted up from the earth in crucifixion, he would draw all people to himself (see John 12:32). Through the gift of grace and supplication we understand the sacrifice of Christ, and begin to let his Spirit change and convert us.
Even repentance comes from the grace of God.
Thank you, Father, for the abundance of grace you lavish upon us. Thank you that, through your spirit of grace, we can turn to you and understand what Jesus has done for us. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.