Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011 … The Measure of Grace

Passage of the Day: Romans 5: 20 – 21 … [note bold/underlined portion] … 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

My Journal for Today: Yesterday, we looked at the “Meaning of Grace,” defining and discussing three forms of God’s grace; and it’s important for all of us to realize that God’s grace, being a gift from God, can only be captured and used if it’s received by a believer who is humble enough to reach out and make it his own. We’re all sinners (believing the truth of Rom. 3: 23). And today’s verse is one of the most hopeful in the Bible for a sinner like me [or you … if I’m presumptuous enough to think that someone else might read this].

In my journaling for today, Dr. MacArthur helps me recognize that the Apostle Paul lays out a wondrous truth in Rom. 5: 20b (underlined above) … that God’s grace is greater than any sin committed by any sinner. If you’ve read Paul’s story in Acts 9: 1 – 19 [linked here for your study], it has to give you great encouragement. If God will extend His grace to a scoundrel like Saul of Tarsus, then our Lord can and will do so for one like me (or you).

Think about how difficult it must have been for God’s prevenient grace to pursue a proud Sanhedrin Pharisee like Saul of Tarsus, one who had been such an anti-Christ for so many years [see 1st Tim. 1: 12-17 - also linked]. But pursue Saul, God did! And on that road to Damascus, Saul, who became “Paul” in conversion, received Christ’s amazing saving grace [see 1stTim. 1: 16] Following this, the Pauline Epistles become the documentation of the enabling grace of our Lord to sanctify and reshape this former Christ-hater into the preeminent preacher/teacher/evangelist of the New Testament; and that is the measure of God’s grace in action, … for sure !!

As John MacArthur in Strength for Today writes, “God is not stingy with His grace,” as we can read below in Eph. 1: 6 – 8 … and Paul goes on in 2nd Cor. 9: 8

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1: 6-8 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
SCRIPTURE: 2nd Cor. 9: 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

And as Romans 5: 20 attests [above] today, great sins or big-time sinners require great grace; and God is always there for the truly repentant sinner, providing all he/she would ever need to be salvaged, saved, or sustained to live as a Christian - eternally. And to that truth, I am both ample testimony and witness.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I seek Your abundant grace; and may my life be a testimony to it! Amen

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