Grace (God's grace) means that my sin is forgiven because Jesus paid the full price (with “interest”) for my debt. Debt doesn’t really cover the ugliness, selfishness, and deep rebellion of sin. If someone, in authority over me, (eg a teacher) asks me to do something (eg tuck my shirt in) and I do it simply to avoid any punishment, but as soon as the teacher is elsewhere, I pull out my shirt and use choice words to describe the teacher, then my rebellion is strong even if my sin is small.
Grace not only pays for my rebellion but changes my heart to love my teacher and want to obey my teacher. Grace causes repentance.
Grace must show me the horror of the cross (which pays for my rebellion) and the deep love of the lamb who willingly and lovingly accepted the weight of my sin. Grace highlights sin, and then utterly destroys it.
“Nice” feels sorry for my rebellion, “accepts” that I cannot change (?!), and does not ask me or expect me to tuck my shirt in. Nice believes that the love shown in overlooking my rebellion will lead to my repentance, and reform. Nice does not pay for rebellion, it sympathizes, and feels pride for tolerating and not judging. Nice thinks it effects good change, but it fails. Nice is interested in love but not grace. Repentance is unnecessary, sin is relatively benign, the cross is artistic, judgement, wrath and hell are periods of religious history long obsolete. Nice “interprets” the bible within current social and “scientific” understanding. Nice enforces no rule except the rule of tolerating and not judging human sinful nature. Nice accepts all religions except fundamentalism.
Nice is not grace, grace is not nice. Grace is amazing. Nice is deceptive. Nice is too proud for grace. Nice refuses grace.
Nice pleases men. Grace offends men. Grace saves men.
The prodigal son received grace.
Nice always looks nicer than grace.
Grace smells of blood and sweat.
Grace defeats death.
The word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.