Have You Been Graced by God?

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One of my favorite passages in the book of Proverbs is chapter 4 and verse 18, which says, “but the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” As I personally move closer and closer to that full day (Revelation 22:4), there are two profound and undeniable truths that the Holy Spirit keeps reminding me of each day. The first is that I am a sinner who should never trust myself (Jeremiah 17:9), and the second is that I am a blessed recipient of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-10). It’s with the latter that I want to address in our time together today.

The aforementioned truth necessarily begs the question: What is grace? Biblically speaking, grace is God’s unmerited favor freely bestowed upon spiritually guilty, helpless, and defiled hell-deserving sinners, who have repented of their sins and believe in God’s only Son for their eternal salvation (John 3:16), “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). This being so, is it any wonder why the former slave trader, John Newton, once wrote: “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” Or that the great American patriot Patrick Henry’s pastor, the Samuel Davies, once penned the following lyrics: “Who is a pardoning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free?” Dear friends, the child of God has been graced by the one true living and all-loving God of the universe. Yet, is it not sad that many who have professed Christ seem to be more bored or confused, rather than amazed, about the grace of God? Why do you think that this is so with many professing Christians? I believe one possible reason might be because their faith has become fettered by a type of works-righteousness in both their thinking and living. That is, after they had begun their Christian life in the Spirit, they are now trying unknowingly to be perfected in the flesh (Galatians 3:1). They have chosen to live and remain in the realm of Moses, instead of in the free-grace realm, of our Lord Jesus Christ, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). And what they need now is fresh instruction about how true obedience will out of a glad heart which is amazed about the grace of God (John 15:13-14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 5:3). Further, they need to see how true God-owned hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matthew 5:6) comes out of heart that has been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), so that when they are weary in the battle of living the Christian life in a fallen world (Hebrews 12:3), they will know that they must not get busy religiously, but rather make a repentant bee-line to the cross! Then, and only then, will they be strengthened by the amazing and sustaining grace of God to do the will of God in their daily lives. Hebrews 13:9 says, “For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” When God’s children are strengthened in this way, though they are still sinners, they are, by the grace of God, enabled to abound daily in grace they have received (Romans 5:20-21)! Oh may God grant us wisdom to understand His marvelous grace so that we may not practically depart from it in the daily fight of faith (2 Timothy 4:7). I leave you with these helpful words on grace from a dear believer in Christ:  “All of God’s attributes are glorious and all excite our admiration of Him. His justice and holiness shine and adorn all of His other attributes. His power and wisdom are marvelous. But were it not for His grace, we would receive nothing from them” (Pastor Erroll Hulse). Amen!

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