Paul writes: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Dr. Gerald Mann tells the fascinating story of how he got his doctorate in Greek. There were only six students in his class. The professor had never given anyone an A. On the first day he held up a Greek textbook and to their amazement he announced, “I have already written your grades and no matter how much you study or what you score, I have given every one of you an A!” Dr. Mann said, “Out of six students, five of us learned more Greek in that class than we ever thought possible. The other fellow just got by and never really applied himself.” Understand this: Grace is the power to excel, or license to just get by. Either way, you’re accepted and considered righteous in God’s eyes the moment you trust in Christ. Why would God arrange it that way? Because the love He gives us is unconditional, and only a response of love can satisfy Him. What an amazing truth; God makes Himself vulnerable to the rejection of people like us! Perhaps you’re wondering, “How can I prove that I truly love God?” That’s easy: you’ll love your brother and sister (See 1Jn 4:21). You’ll love God’s Word (See Ps 119:97). You’ll love spending time in prayer (See Jer 29:12). Grace, rightly understood, doesn’t prevent holiness, it produces it. “The grace of God that brings salvation…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” (Tit 2:11-12 NIV).
Published on Sunday, October 2, 2011 @ 7:44 AM CDT