Perhaps I keep writing on the same thing… but God’s grace is something which I cannot, and hope I shall never, come to comprehend or ‘get over.’ He has done so much for me, ‘The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad!‘
Sadly, I think many of us have little desire to serve the Lord, or little gratefulness for the place from where he took us. I’ll not quote the whole passage here, but I often feel like I am Jerusalem as mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 16.
Though blessed to have been born and raised in a good and Christian family, I was born a son of Adam, born under the curse of sin. Thus, I was much like as we see in this chapter.
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. 4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. 5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. 6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. … 9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. 10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. – Ezekiel 16:3-6, 9-10 KJV
Thus was I, and thus were you, dear reader – and such are you still if you haven’t yet turned to the Lord in repentance to be washed clean in Christ’s blood, and clothed in His righteousness.
However, I did repent, I did turn to the Lord, by His grace which hath appeared to all men [mankind], and thus He kept His promise and cleansed me. Sometimes when we read verses like John 3:16, I think we look at it much like we do people and things we naturally love – He loved us because we were lovable. That is far from true, for, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” [Rom. 5:6]. We were like Jerusalem above, born into the world, of the flesh, and awash in our own pollution, just like Jerusalem above. We had no chance of cleaning ourselves up, no possibility to please the Lord, and only righteous judgment for our sins in hell to look forward to. However, it was at this point that Christ loved us, at a point where we would never naturally love another, even here it was that He saw us, adopted us, and made us kings and priests [Rev. 1:6].
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39 KJV
What shall we say to these things? God picked us up out of our own filth, sin of our own making, sin also resulting from our nature – that of Adam’s race – and cleansed us, those who have trusted in Him.
When we see people in a ‘low estate,’ beggars on the corner, drunks in the bar, people with ugly disfigurement, etc., our natural response is to shrink away from them, to leave them alone. Those are but physical things though, God saved us when we were far uglier in our spiritual condition. It is with the eyes of faith that we see now what has been given to us, and so with eyes of faith can we see somewhat of ‘the beauty of His holiness’ [If I may quote a song] through the scriptures.
What then? God has done all this for us, who is going to bring up the charges against us for what we have done? It is Christ that condemneth. He is the only one who can bring up charges before God’s judgment seat for what I have done, because He is the offended party. How so? Why, when He died for me, He paid all my sin debt, and therefore as my surety – the one who paid what I couldn’t, which is everything – all other creditors are paid and only He can bring up charges.
As only Christ can bring charges against me, and He did everything He did for me out of love, it was a gift, and he is the one who is, verse 34, standing at God’s side pleading on my behalf! His Father, and mine through adoption, is the unswervingly righteous Judge, Jesus is the prosecutor, plaintiff, but He is at the same time my intercessor. He will not press charges, for He already paid them.
What then? I am free and clear of all my past, due 100% to what Christ has done. With all this as true, what then can separate me from Christ’s love? Not hard times on earth, not pain, persecution, or privation, though “we are killed all the day long: we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” yet we think nothing of these, for “the love of Christ constraineth” us!
Some go out and share their twisted faiths in hope of earning their way out of hell. I share what He has done, because JESUS PAID IT ALL! There is no more to be had, as soon as Christ paid it, I am free! What more could one wish? I have no sin before the judge, the prosecutor is my defense attorney, I’m adopted into the Eternal King of king’s family, and I am loved with an everlasting love by He Who cannot lie!
What is left to say? He pulled me out of a horrible pit, and set my feet upon a rock, He saved me and loved me regardless of who I was, and gave me power to live in a way that pleases Him. I have nothing left to do but serve Him with a pure heart fervently looking to please Him Who died on my cross, and paid my debt on it. He took the Father’s wrath, so that I could have only His love! No matter what should happen on earth, no mater what kind of difficulties or pains I will face, my God is enough! It is all of grace.