Understanding God's Grace!
By Rev Deb
Since grace is unmerited favor and what God does is based on this grace, we should not think that we could somehow obtain it through works (human effort). Works (human effort) and grace cannot work simultaneously! Wherever one is present there is the absence of the other.
I think that this is one of the hardest truths to understand. Many believers struggle with the same obstacle that the believers in Galatia did. The apostle Paul rebuked the believers in Galatia for thinking that salvation began with grace and then the right to keep it was to be earned (Gal 3).
King David was the most beautiful example of God's grace at work in the believer's life. David had sinned greatly for over a span of a year, he had committed adultery, he murdered Uriah the Hittite and many of the front line soldiers and yet king David could still say, "If you Lord should mark the iniquities (sins), O Lord, who could stand? BUT there is forgiveness with you, that you may be reverently trusted" (Ps 130:3-4).
King David was said to be by the Lord Himself, "a man after God's own heart". This was because he truly understood the GRACE of God. The Lord God LOVED him even though he failed miserably. And why? Because it is on the BASIS OF GRACE not on human effort! GRACE heaped upon GRACE!
Now that doesn't mean that we have a license to sin. It simply means that God saves us according to the finished work on the cross that His Son accomplished on our behalf! As sons and daughters of God the Father we are disciplined when we err, so as not to conform to the world, but rather to the image of Christ His Son!
Our relationship has been once for all secured through Christ's atonement on the cross! Our fellowship is based upon a moment by moment dependence on the Holy Spirit who has taken up residence in our hearts (Jn. 14:6).
Just like king David, he knew that his righteousness didn't depend on his own efforts, because if it did he was doomed. After realizing his sins he understood that the Lord's discipline was to steer him back on the road to grace. That is why he says in Psalms 32 "
1. How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2. How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3. When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
5. I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
6. Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7. You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10. Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
Notice first that David through the Spirit and as a prophet shows FORGIVENESS as a Present tense act (Vs 1)! In other words, David knew his sins were taken care of and that forgiveness is something that is received through faith and he understood that NEVER at any time "NEVER"can it be deserved on human merit! It is the goodness of God that makes it possible, nothing else.
Visit us again for prt 3
Until then, Be Blessed
“Dedicating the above photo to the public domain”