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Grease or Grace? - By Stephen Armstrong

The Northern Ireland accent has a few surprises – one word which always confuses me is the word ‘Grace’.  When said with a broad N.I. accent, one can easily be confused between the two words -Grace and Grease.


Many years ago I worked as a young apprentice in an engineering firm and there was a bearing on an old lathe that used to squeal.  The boss would arrive over to the machine and add copious amounts of grease to the noisy bearing and then all would go quiet.  He paused for a moment - and then he said, ‘Amazing Grease!’
Of course it was a pun to the song ‘Amazing Grace’ by John Newton.  


But what is Grace?  

If you look up a dictionary – among other meanings it will say -
The free and unmerited favour of God’.


Let me give an example of being caught by the Police for speeding.


‘Grace’ is when the Police officer says – you are guilty of this offence, but I will pay your fine – and I will take the points and add them to my own license.


The parallel to this story of the Police officer – is the story of Jesus and the Cross.  When Jesus died, he took on him – my sin, and paid my debt.   


There a song that goes like this:
 

I had a debt I could not pay,

He (Jesus) paid the debt He did not owe,

I needed someone to wash my sins away.

And now I sing a brand new song,

“Amazing grace” all day long,

For Jesus paid the debt,

That I could never pay.


We are unable to pay – but Jesus because of who he is – paid my debt.


Amazing Grace how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.


The bible puts it this way in Ephesians 2 v 8+9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.