I have a friend whose experience gives us some insight into the doctrine of the grace of God. He had just returned from Viet Nam where he had served in the Army. Upon his release he had sufficient funds to fulfill a long-time desire to own a new Jaguar. Early one morning he was driving in a remotely populated part of Oklahoma which, he reasoned, was the perfect place to find out how fast the car could go. The speedometer was easing its way past 160 as the powerful sports car reached the top of a small rise. Just beyond, a highway patrolman was waiting. A law-abiding citizen, my friend slammed on the brakes, slid past the officer at 150 miles per hour, and came to a halt some distance down the road.
Before long, the officer caught up and stood beside the sleek convertible. “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” he inquired. “Well, roughly,” was the deliberately evasive reply. “One hundred sixty-three miles per hour!” the officer specified. “That’s about what I thought,” my friend confessed, somewhat sheepishly. Guilt was obvious, and there was no possible excuse to be offered. My friend could only wait to discover what this fiasco was going to cost. He meekly waited for the officer to proceed. To his amazement the patrolman queried, “Would you mind if I took a look at that engine?”
The fine points of high performance automobiles cannot be discussed quickly, so both went on to a coffee shop where they could talk further. A while later, both of the men shook hands and went their separate ways. My friend was elated, for the officer had not given him a citation.
That is about as close to grace as one can come on this earth, but it is still not quite up to the standard of biblical grace. (I say that because biblical grace would be demonstrated only if the patrolman had paid for the coffee.)