“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:23-24)
God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph 2:4-9)
I’m a sinner. Surprised? I hope you aren’t too surprised, for I have a further revelation: I’m good at sinning. We euphemistically talk about “messing up” when really we are sinners. I was talking with my wife not terribly long ago, and I said that I had made a mistake. She looked at me and said, “Justin, call it what it is – you sinned.” She was right. You know she was right, for you yourself sin.
Sin brings death (Rom 6:23) and God’s recompense (2 Thess 1:9). God’s recompense sounds quite frightening; after all, “[i]t is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31). Nothing good I do can atone for my sins; after all, I’m saved by God’s grace, not my works. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, and no matter how “good” I am, I can never save myself. I need the grace of God.
Because He knew I needed grace, not works, Jesus, being sent by the Father, left heaven and came to this poor and sinful world. He gave up so many of His divine prerogatives and even suffered temptation and death because of ME. At times the thought of Jesus’ sacrifice becomes overwhelming – I wept all through the Lord’s Supper a few weeks ago because Jesus’ cross came clearly into view and all I could think was, “He had to do that for me.”
I’m thankful He did, for I could never in a million years save myself. I’m thankful that I get second chances. I’m thankful that I get forgiveness. I’m thankful that I get heaven. I’m thankful I get God’s love. I’m thankful I get rid of my guilt. I’m thankful for God’s grace.
God gives me His grace as I walk with Him.