In this month’s edition of The Briefing in an article on justification by faith, Christopher Ash compares God’s grace to the Koh-i-Noor diamond, the most precious stone in the world. It is a brilliant illustration. As we imagine holding that diamond up to the sun and gazing at its beauty, it almost defies description. Words alone cannot describe either the purity, clarity and refracted light in all its complexity nor their collective breath-taking effect on the observer. We should gaze likewise on the gift of grace in Christ and allow it to inspire our words and hearts to adoration and appreciation.
Thomas Watson makes this point well when he writes about blessedness:
Blessedness stands in the fruition of the chief good.
(i)) It consists in fruition; there must not be only possession, but fruition. A man may possess an estate, yet not enjoy it. He may have the dominion of it, but not the comfort, as when he is in a lethargy or under the predominance of melancholy. But in true blessedness there must be a sensible enjoyment of that which the soul possesses.
Our words of description will effect our appreciation. We must, therefore, be careful not to limit our description of the gift of grace to concise theological jargon-based statements. If we do, our fruition of grace is reduced to the equivalent of describing the worlds most beautiful diamond as a piece of cut transparent carbon or Buckingham Palace as a large detached house in central London. What is grace? How can it be described? More will follow…