I’m reading a bit of Herman Bavinck this morning in preparation for a class with some men in our church. I have been particularly encouraged by his section on God’s goodness. Below is an adaptation of some of his thoughts on the grace of God as an expression of the goodness of God.
The Grace of God is..
God’s goodness is much more glorious when it is shown to those who only deserve evil.
The etymology of the word indicates a bowing and inclination towards another. In other words, the favor that one receives or gives to another.
Used with reference to God, however, its object is never creatures in general, nor the Gentiles, but only his people.
The voluntary, unrestrained, and unmerited favor that he shows to sinners and that, instead of the verdict of death, brings them righteousness and life.
As such it is a virtue and attribute of God (Rom. 5.15; 1 Pet. 5.10), demonstrated in the sending his Son, who is full of grace (John 1.14; 1 Pet. 1.13), and additionally in the bestowal of all sorts of spiritual and material benefits, all of which are the gifts of grace and are themselves called “grace” (Rom. 5.20; 6.1; Eph. 1.7; 2.5,8; Phil. 1.2; Col. 1.2; Titus 3.7; etc), thus radically excluding all merit on the part of humans (Jn. 1.17; Rom. 4.4, 16; 6.14, 23; 11.5ff; Eph. 2.8; Gal. 5.3-4).”
Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1 p. 214