Monday, 4 February 2013

God's grace.

Here’s a lesson that struck me today as I was praying:
God is awesome; he is all powerful (Psalm 62:11); unfathomable (Job 37:5, Ecclesiastes 11:5, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 55:9); all knowing (Psalm 147:5, 1 Samuel 2:3); completely wise (Job 12:13, Romans 11:13, Isaiah 40:28). He reigns supreme (Psalm 47:8); he created everything by simply commanding it (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:9). He is above all things (Colossians 1:9-18); he created the stars and the planets (Isaiah 40:26, Psalm 8:3). There is no one like him (Isaiah 46:9). In fact "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1).  Jeremiah 10:12 - It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. All creation gives him the glory...except us.
We are sinful (Psalm 51:5). We disobey him (1 John 3:4). We rebel against him, we ignore him, and we mock him. We reject him and choose to live our own way. That, by definition, is sin - rebellion against God - and "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). 

And yet, instead of simply destroying us, as we deserve, and instead of making our lives completely horrible, he loves us. He cares for us. He sustains us and gives good gifts to us - both to Christians and non-Christians. Not only that, but he sent his only son, Jesus (Who is God - the same God as described above). Jesus came to earth as a man, humbles himself. He came to die, he willingly gave himself to be mocked, hated, scorned, abused, spat on, humiliated, forsaken and murdered (Matthew 26-28, Isaiah 56). Why? So we can be forgiven. We, who at the best of times do not even deserve his notice, but much worse then that, we have hated and rejected him and only deserve his wrath. Why did Jesus come and die though? Well, we are sinful and deserve God's wrath. Jesus came and takes the sins of his people and God's wrath against it in our place. He was crucified so that we might live. He became God's enemy (as we were) so that we could be adopted as his sons. He takes our sin so we can take his righteousness and be forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus came to save us! But that isn't all. We are saved if we turn to him. He calls us to give our lives to him by repentance (turning from sin and toward God) and faith (Trust in him). Both of these result in obedience (James 2:14 onwards), but our works don't save us. Jesus' perfection does.

Completely and utterly undeserved favour. In fact - not even just undeserved - we deserved the exact opposite. This is grace.

 “The time has come,” he (Jesus) said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15

1 John 1:8-10
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."

Soli Deo Gloria!

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