Thursday 27 January 2022



I wonder how many people who attend Church services know the meaning of the term ‘grace’.

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

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, a truly amazing gift.

Martin Luther was a German student of law, and one day he was caught in a violent storm of thunder and lightning.  He has very frightened and pleaded for safety from God, and vowed if saved from the effects of the storm, he would become a monk. He was saved, and did become a monk in what was the Catholic Church of that day in October 1517, and subsequently became a Bible teacher in Wittenburg, Germany. 

One day he came to a passage in Paul’s Letter to the Romans which stated,’ the righteous shall live by faith’. He then realised the teaching and some practices of the Church were unworthy, and not supported by the Bible. He wrote a series of 95 theses in Latin, and posted them on the door of the Cathedral, with the intention of starting a debate amongst theologians.  However, someone translated into German, and they were then published on the new printing press and circulated around Europe.  It was a world shattering document, so forming what we know as Protestantism, a breakaway from the Catholic Church.

Luther stated what should be the message and belief of every Church; ‘ the true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.’

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.  Jesus came to earth to die a cruel death on a Cross, and by so doing paid the penalty for us by gaining God’s forgiveness, who hates sin, and would not allow an unforgiven sinner into heaven. Jesus bought such forgiveness for us when his blood was shed on the Cross, and God forgives through the sacrifice, of Jesus. (Great Riches At Christ’s Expense)

 There is nothing we can give or earn to save ourselves; God could not let us offer any works or activity we made on earth, for heaven would be a place of people boasting of their doings. God has accepted us into his heavenly family by his gracious gift.

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.

In view of the resurrection of Jesus, those who believe in him will be forgiven to have new life here and in the future, without fully deserving it. God will allow us to share in the authority of Christ, now in heaven with God. He has poured his love on all that they marvel at his gift.

 Grace is often compared with mercy, but here is a significant difference between the two words. Grace is the gift of God to those who do not deserve it; mercy is the gift to those who do deserve it.

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.

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 Saviour, 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

  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.

It is often asked how do I know if Christ has come into my life.  Imagine you are travelling in your State or country, and you come to a frontier where you are told you are entering a new area. Everywhere may look the same, similar type of people and buildings, perhaps the same language, but after a period things will get different. So if you have truly received Jesus into your life, things will be viewed in a different way, things which seemed to be acceptable will not now be acceptable.  The Bible may be consulted more to point such differences out, and by faith you trust Jesus.  This is what faith is all about, believing what you cannot see.

 If you go into hospital for an operation, you sign a form to say you agree to that operation being performed, when you know nothing about the surgeon.   You board an aircraft to fly miles above the earth without knowing if the pilot knows what he is doing. You accept such actions with faith, so now put your faith in God who does know what he is doing.

 Those who live in an ungodly way face a grim future, but God in his mercy will from the love of his heart, even though you displease him, will have mercy and give his grace to all who turn to him.

 We are living in a time of total evil and social confusion.  At all levels of society from royalty to political areas, to general living, there is sexual promiscuity, corruption, lying, violence, crime, and dishonesty.  Even within Churches, there is betrayal of vows made by men and women to preach the true Word of God.  How God’s heart must be broken to hear people singing hymns, listening to the Bible readings and prayers in Churches by people who go out and ignore all that has been said and sung.

 When you love someone truly and dearly, the person you love may not want that love, perhaps feel unworthy, but we are to strive to please God and still show we are here to live worthily as someone in his family, and let God to touch the heart of one loved.  Remember God loves us and although we have rejected him and that precious love, so you should understand his feeling.

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 Saviour, 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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