Most people seem to believe that God at some point decided to become gracious. Out of that decision, God then devised a plan to offer His grace to mankind. Thus when we speak about amazing grace, we have to consider whether it’s the plan that is amazing or the grace which supposedly prompted it.
I suggest that God’s grace did not, does not result from a decision or a resultant plan of action on God’s part. Instead, Grace like love actually defines God. God is Love. God is Grace, personified.
The concept of true grace exists only in the mind of the beneficiary of the graciousness. The gracious one or the benefactor does not even recognize this characteristic in themselves because it is such an innate part of their character and personality. It is like breathing to them, an automatic response which flows outward continuously and relentlessly.
Our traditional concept of a grace, which is consciously extended for the specific purpose of aiding another and thereby soliciting a required response from them, is not grace at all. Church grace is an act or demonstration of righteousness designed to exalt the extender of grace and put the recipient into a state of obligation and subservience to the grace giver. This transactional, self promoting grace, the kind which seeks praise and worship is an actual diminishment of God, making Him a self seeker.
Now, I don’t deny that grace will cause our awe and admiration. That is the nature of all things beneficial, unexpected, and freely given. But that awe and admiration is not what prompts grace to be extended, and it’s absence is not the basis for denying grace. God’s nature is not altered by human ignorance, unawareness, or ingratitude. God views each one of us through the lens of grace and that lens sees no inequality or unworthiness. All have sinned and grace reacts the same way to every sinner.
Grace turns out to be a lot like the way C.S. Lewis described humility. As soon as the humble one recognizes their humility as an elevating virtue, humility ceases to exist and self righteousness begins. God has no need to self promote nor the ability to deny His essential nature.
True grace can and does amaze us, but it never remotely amazes God. He can’t be amazed by what He sees in the mirror.