Today, Thursday February 4
One of the most beautiful and precious words in the English language is the word grace. So far, in the first five chapters of Romans, we have learned about sin, judgement and justification.
But it is interesting to me, that Paul ends this section with these two verses:
Romans 5:20-21 “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We are reminded that as we feel the burden, the guilt, the weight and penalty for our sin, there is hope for us because of God’s grace!
“The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God.” - J. Gresham Machen
“Grace” is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world. It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and embodied in Jesus Christ. Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God.
Grace is most needed and best understood in the midst of sin, suffering, and brokenness. We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes us alive.
A shorthand for what grace is - “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. Christianity teaches that what we deserve is death with no hope of resurrection.
While everyone desperately needs it, grace is not about us. Grace is fundamentally a word about God: his un-coerced initiative and pervasive, extravagant demonstrations of care and favor.
Michael Horton writes, “In grace, God gives nothing less than Himself. Grace, then, is not a third thing or substance mediating between God and sinners, but is Jesus Christ in redeeming action.”
Today, thank God that where sin reigned in death and abounded, God's grace abounded much more! Have you ever received this grace from God? If not, why not, right now, accept this grace as God’s gift through Jesus Christ!