Sunday 20 September 2020



The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. (Martin Luther, in Reformation Theses)

One of the most famous hymns in the world is ‘amazing grace’, especially is this so in the United States where it has been the favourite. It has been sung many times, often without the singer having the remotest meaning of the term spiritually.

The passage today contains the message. The word ‘amazing’ means something astonishing, quite beyond the ordinary.  The spiritual meaning of ‘grace’ refers to that special gift which only God can give.

Grace saves us when we have faith in Jesus Christ. It is a free gift from God through faith. We are so used to have ‘free’ gifts offered to us, which are not really free, but are meant to lure us into something else. Grace is absolutely free.

There is nothing we can do to earn or add, the grace of God confers a blessing on us, and if we take this gift, our salvation is granted to us. Like any gift offered to us, we have to accept, do nothing else to earn salvation; it is solely a gift of God. Salvation starts with God, not with man. He takes the initiative, he makes the first move.

Grace means, we owe everything to God.

This is why God alone gets the glory in your salvation. Jesus did all the work when he died on the cross. As the hymn states, ‘ to God be the glory, great things he has done , so loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life as an atonement for sin, and opened the life gate that all may go in.

No one is too bad to turn to God, he is ready to forgive all sin, past and present, for all who truly repent, and turn and accept Jesus into their life.

You have to accept we all have sinned and need forgiveness, but some people will not accept they are a sinner.  A Vicar at one Church in the South of England once put a notice outside his Church with the intention of letting people know they were welcome to join in worship. The notice said, ‘this church is here for sinners’. The following week over half the congregation were absent.

But God is perfection and cannot accept sin and it will never be possible to be in relationship with God unless cleansed of their sin.  This is only possible by the blood of Christ shed on the Cross. 

We have to accept that when Christ made his sacrifice dying a cruel death on that Cross, he was providing forgiveness for us for all our sins committed past and present. When we accept that Jesus did if for us and in faith believe he is our Savior, God in his infinite mercy and goodness forgives us, and by his grace accepts us as one of his children.

 God is love and wants to love all people, but sin breaks God’s heart and hearts cannot be made whole.  If a man drives a car too fast or under the influence of drink and kills someone, he may pay a fine and fulfil the demand of the law, but he will never be able to recompense for the hearts broken by the family of the person killed.

 When we break a law of God we break God’s heart and only an act of forgiveness by the grace of God can put us back into relationship with God.  We can never earn Gods’ forgiveness we can only accept in perfect trust and faith.

 People think they don’t need God’s grace. They may admit they are sinners, but they don’t admit they are spiritually dead, not truly dead. God’s grace cannot help you until you are desperate to receive it

 Paul emphasises we cannot contribute, pointing out works or deeds are not considered; they are however, natural consequences of us being saved.

 If you were to ask most people if they thought they would one day be in heaven, they would be offended if you doubted. They would tell you of all the many ways they had helped people, how honest they were, how they believed in God, although never going to worship him, or devote any personal time for him.  Jesus is still for many no more than a swear word.

 A lot of people are also very confident of their own status and accomplishments. I have often witnessed people being offended, even within Church circles, when they were not accorded attention worthy of their person.  Heaven would not be a pleasant place if it was full of people boasting of their achievements in this life.

Something in us always wants to add to God’s free grace. It’s humbling to admit that we can do nothing to earn our deliverance from sin. But anytime we add anything to grace, we subtract from its meaning.

Grace is the reason why God sent Jesus into the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16)

 God will save anyone who will believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, but

you must believe that he died on the cross paying the price for your sins, and  he is ready to forgive your sins.

May God bless His Holy Word to us.

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