The grace I show to my brothers and sisters is rooted in the grace God has given to me.
I know without a shadow if a doubt that I do not, nor will I ever deserve God’s forgiveness. About the time that I think that “I” get my life together, I give in to sin and fall back into the same patterns that I have struggled with for years and years. Why would I ever deserve God’s forgiveness when my choices show that I still serve a fallen nature.
This past Tuesday morning I sat down with the men of Memorial Baptist Church for our regular Ironworks Bible Study. Right now we are studying through Romans 1 looking at the complete depravity of the human heart. I have learned in my few years of pastoring that one of the natural temptations of churched people is to assume that we have it all together and that people in the world who have yet to meet Jesus are the ones who have the sin problem.
The bottom line is, sin is a problem in every human’s heart. Some hide it better than others, but deep down we all have those vices in our lives that pull us out of a perfect relationship with God. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, while we are still on this earth, we will struggle with sin.
Understanding this we can move forward seeing our desperate need for grace. God gives grace not because of what we do, nor because of any progress we show but instead because of his loving character. God gives us grave and strength so that we might love Him, know Him and serve Him more that we love, know and serve sin.
Back to our bible study, I began our study on the fallen nature of the human heart from Roman’s 1 by reading the first two verses if Romans 2 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” As Christians we have no right to look at a world that has yet to meet Jesus and condemn its sin while we stand in our own self righteousness. Why? We can’t condemn the sin of the world, because in that condemnation we would be condemning ourselves.
What is our place then? Our place is to show the world the grace that God has richly given to us. Without grace we cannot serve, love or even know God. All we have is grace. There is no righteousness that we have that is not by the grace of God’s Spirit at work in us. There is no standing that we have before God that is not by grace. All we have is grace.
I am no better than any man around me. I am a sinner who will never please God by my actions or life. All I have is the grace God has given me. In this grace I find my life.