Last week I met a former prof at a Christian University who taught courses in Biblical Studies and he shared with me one of his favorite things to do in his classes to help teach his students about grace. He liked to give unannounced pop quizzes throughout the course to help keep them on track, and he would start them all out the same. He would pass out the written quiz himself and lay it face down on their desks. Then he would give them a few instructions, tell them to turn the paper over and sign their name and he would give them a certain amount of time to complete the quiz.
On the final quiz of the semester, he would build up the pressure by telling them this would include questions from the whole semester and that it would count double on their grade. And then, when he had them sufficiently worried, he told them to turn their papers over and begin. What came next would be a brief silence followed by gasps, followed by laughter and finally, even cheers. What the students found when they turned over their papers was that the quiz had already been completed and graded, every answer was correct, and they had all received a grade of 100%. All they had to do was put their name on it and turn it in.
After things quieted down a bit from the exuberant joy, the teacher would say, “Class, what you have just experienced is grace. What you felt when you realized it was all done for you is what we can feel every day as we focus on God’s grace and realize that He has removed our sins (no mistakes), He has given us His righteousness (100% score), and we have passed the test (heaven awaits), and we did absolutely nothing to create it or earn it but show up in class.” And what’s the proper response to this good news if it isn’t to laugh, cry, sing, shout, and give over our lives to Jesus to love Him, and serve Him and follow in His ways?
It’s important that they had to sign their name and turn in the quiz. If they didn’t sign their name, they wouldn’t receive any credit. All of this would have been done for them, but they wouldn’t receive any benefit. This is, of course, the tragedy of those who turn down the grace of God and choose to go it on their own. More people need to understand that this is what a Christian truly is, not some moralistic individual casting judgment on everyone who is not like them. You and I need to tell our similar stories of grace. It’s not commonly known that grace is like this. This is Grace Turned Outward — to tell our own stories about passing all the tests with flying colors.