God’s Abundant Grace

“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5:20-21 NLT

Paul finishes chapter five of Romans with an intriguing thought. The more we sin, the more God’s grace will flow to cover it. Perhaps some of Paul’s readers might have drawn such a conclusion, but something within me rebels at the very thought. How could I have the audacity, the arrogance, to think such a thing! But Paul moves on to this topic in the next chapter in Romans.

Paul reminds his readers that the Law is the plumb line. The standard against which we can measure how well we are doing. But the result is depressing. All we find out is how sinful we are. But thanks to Jesus, God’s very own Son, His plan for redeeming people from this sinful world in which we find ourselves involves His unlimited and unmerited grace. Grace so abundant that it more than covers all sins ever committed, past, present and future. And we have this wonderful dichotomy, sin leading to death against grace leading to life. The death eternal punishment. The grace eternal life.

The old Apostle, John, spoke gently and kindly in his first letter. He wrote, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:8-9). God’s grace may be abundantly available, but we must never abuse its provision. Once we become a believer, now that we have put our faith in Jesus, we start a journey. It starts at the Cross, where we find ourselves exposed in a dark place, but illuminated by the light of God’s Son, and it continues throughout our lives as we use God’s light to show us what we need to do to transition from who we were to who God wants us to be. We read in Ephesians 5:8-9, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true”. 

The Law showed God’s people “how sinful they were”. Darkness exposed. Sin brought under God’s spotlight. He allows a particular sin to be brought to our attention, and shows us the way to deal with it. And how patient God is! Are we not relieved and very grateful that He doesn’t expose all our sins at once! But through His gentle whispers, and Holy Spirit inspired nudges through His Word and our fellow Christian friends, He graciously helps us in our journey to become more like Jesus.

Sometimes there is a blockage on the path. A boulder of insurmountable proportions that we are unable to deal with. A problem so great that we cannot see it, or don’t want to deal with it. At times like this He loves us too much to leave us there. We read in Proverbs 3:11-12, “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights”. God’s discipline is sometimes necessary to give us a shove, rather than a nudge. A good kick up the backside even, It can be painful, but through it we emerge the stronger in our faith and our assurance about God’s caring love. And we can say with the Psalmist in Psalm 40:2, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along”. What more do we need? 

Dear Lord. Praises and thanks are due to You without limit You, the wonderful gracious God. Amen.

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