Grace and Gratitude

Grace evokes gratitude like  the voice an echo.

Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning

Karl Barth

The word translated “grace” in the New Testament is “charis”.  This word is also embedded in the word “eucharisteo” usually translated, “thanksgiving

In 2 Corinthians chapters 8-9 Paul writes repeatedly of charis,  and eucharisteo showing the inseparable relationship between grace and gratitude. Towards the end of chapter 9, he speaks of “…the surpassing grace of God upon you” (v14)Not just grace, but surpassing grace. Then Paul goes on,  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift (v15)! Not just gift, but inexpressible gift.

What is this gift that is beyond expression?  It is the gift of Christ, the Father’s Son, and all the giving that comes to us in him.  Human words can never describe the height and depth and length and breadth of this free gift of grace.  The gift is too wonderful for words!

What is our response? Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!  The word translated ‘thanks’ here isn’t the word eucharisteo it is actually charis  Why charis?  Isn’t charis the grace that God shows to us?  Yes. But it seems that here Paul sees grace and gratitude as so indivisible that surpassing grace  comes to us from the Father through the inexpressible gift (Jesus) and returns to the Father in our gratitude by the Spirit.



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