Romans 6:1, 2 KJV
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
The writer of the song, ‘Amazing Grace’ started by praising God for His sweetness, how He saved a wretch and sinners like us. To his acknowledgement, we were all blind and lost to sin, until God found us and gave us sight.
Grace is an undeserved favor or gift from God; the undeserved forgiveness, kindness and mercy that God gives us. The word ‘gives’ means that as sinners, our sin attracts more grace from God. This should not be misunderstood, according to the teachings of false teachers. Grace is not a license to do evil, but essentially, an escape route for us when we unintentionally sins.
Salvation of a sinner is the demonstration of God’s grace. By birth, we were sinners. Every sinner should be dead by God’s standard. So, because God did not wish for anyone of us to perish, He sent Jesus Christ, His only Son to be sacrificed, for the salvation of many (John 3:16). The saved are the ones that believe in Christ as Lord and Savior, and to them, He gave the power to be called the child of God (John 1:12). This is the Amazing Grace.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23, 24 NIV). It is important for each and every one of us to abide within that canopy of grace God provided, – Jesus Christ, the mediator and savior of our soul.
Today, in our churches, some believers have turned in to watchdogs, finding fault, and even exalted themselves higher than what they are worth. Others have plunged the divine grace of God into a license for committing sin. Do not forget that grace is only a favor to give one a second chance to make it right. According to the book of Hebrews, those that abuse grace “.. have fallen away, [and are usually impossible] to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace.” (Hebrews 6:6 NIV).
If you refer to the rational in which the Jews demanded for a king, it was recorded that they wanted to be like other nations (1 Samuel). To God, that was regarded as a sin. He gave them a king (Saul), but recorded punishments for that demand. Through Moses, He gave them a law, knowing that as a rebellious people, they could not live up to it. Paul wrote, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20, 21 NIV). God’s amazing grace was unleashed to delete the sins of the offenders, but not anymore through the law, but by the Grace of God, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. To all we need, this grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). Our salvation is not by our own power. For those that boast about it, we should diligently humble ourselves and be thankful through obedience to God. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4, 5 NIV). Thank you Lord!
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7 NIV). Since God is the author and finisher of our faith, it is a thing of caution not to take His grace for granted. Imagine a man who robbed a bank for the fifth time appearing in the court, the judge asked the man to make a choice; to walk away from the courtroom with a promise never to rob again, or to serve a life sentence without parole? What (assuming you are the man) will you choose? In the real sense, God is giving us the same condition. He offered the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can be forgiven, and sin no more, or reject Him (Christ) and be condemned forever (John 3:18). This is the amazing grace!
Today’s devotional is to remind us that we are all under the amazing grace of God, who have purposed to see us become victorious through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. This gift is bigger than self-deceit, pride, rebellion, hate, malice, rejection and life. The grace of God should be embraced with all desire, strength and joy. If the dead could speak, you will understand that only in this lifetime does this grace abide.
Are you sure about your life tomorrow? The example of a lost chance was shown in the book of Luke. The story of the rich man and Lazarus (the poor righteous man), was an eye opener. [PLEASE READ WITH PATIENCE] The story goes this way; “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” (Luke 16:19-31 NIV). Verses 27-29 reminds us that the luxury of God’s grace ends here on earth. We will not have the opportunity once we’re gone.
Scripture of the day: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work ~ 2 Corinthians 9 KJV
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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