By His Grace As a Gift

| Mon, Nov 12, 2012 | Set 2 Week 46

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Romans 3:23–24,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Everybody Is a Sinner

God created all peoples in his image. Mankind is intended to reflect his glory — to be mirrors of his majesty scattered across the whole world. But we have sinned. We have fallen short of his glory.

Sin is the character and action of personal disobedience to God. It severs the relationship between God — our holy Creator  — and his image-bearing creatures. It’s effect is restlessness, evil, and guilt (Genesis 6:5; Job 3:17; Proverbs 22:8; Isaiah 57:20-21; Amos 6:3; Deuteronomy 30:15; Matthew 5:21-22).

Being organically offensive to an eternal God, sin deserves his eternal punishment (Psalm 5:5; 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 12:8; Hosea 9:15; Romans 1:18; Hebrews 10:31).

Everybody Is Desperate

Moreover, the distortion of the creature results in his complete inability to produce any spiritual good, including faith which forsakes human striving to hope in God. We are utterly incapable of loving God because of sin. This reality drives the individual into a perpetual degradation that ultimately ends in the eternally destructive wrath of God (John 3:36; 5:29; Romans 14:23;  1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Philippians 3:18-19; Jude 13; Revelation 20:9; 21:8).

Jesus Saves

Desperate, then, because of sin, every person needs the saving work of Jesus Christ — “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

The death of Jesus is the historical event that purchased the salvation of those whom the Father had chosen in him, and thus whom the Spirit brings to life by the proclamation of the gospel (John 10:11-13, 15, 17; 11:51-52; Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 20:28; Romans 10:17; Matthew 1:21; 20:28; Isaiah 53:10; Titus 2:14; Revelation 5:9).

Guilty sinners are justified — declared righteous! — by the free gift of God in Jesus. We cannot earn it. We can’t be good enough. Nothing in us could finagle God’s mercy. He offers it freely or not at all. Jesus died  for sinners and was raised on the third day victorious over sin and death. Let us believe him! Embrace him! Worship him! Let us be justified by his grace as a gift.

Reflection

1. What is one major effect of our sin?

2. What does it mean for salvation to be a gift?

3. What did Jesus do to purchase our redemption?

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