Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"The Cost of Grace"

   We went several weeks in one of our meetings at a local retirement community without singing "Amazing Grace."  Mrs. Berry, one of our dearest attendees, loves the hymn, which is likely the most well known song of the Christian faith.  I apologized, and Mrs. Berry, in her sweet, but forthright manner, responded, "That's all right, Pastor.  But don't think I haven't noticed!"

    Why is grace amazing?  Eternity will not suffice in answering the question.  

    "But God, who is rich in mercy for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).  

    We will never exhaust "the exceeding riches of His grace" in our discovery and access of the undeserved goodness of God.  However, if I were pressed to give just one answer regarding the amazing wonder of the subject, my response would focus on the cost of grace.  

    "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish" (I Peter 1:18-19).

    Of all the wonder regarding grace, our contemplation begins and forever continues with the very heart of the Gospel, namely, the heart of God revealed in the sacrifice of His beloved Son not for friends, but for foes.  "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10).  Nothing else and nothing less would have saved us from our spiritual and moral ruin.  Thus, our Heavenly Father gave nothing else and nothing less.  At the greatest cost to Himself, the Lord Jesus purchased our redemption by "precious blood."  Moreover, He suffered wrath and utter abandonment as executed by the One from whom He had eternally known boundless love, favor, and devotion.  "Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world… "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?! (John 17: 24; Matthew 27:46).  For His enemies, God sacrificed His beloved Son.  Such wonder constitutes the simplest truth of Biblical revelation.  A child can understand the proposition.  Forever, however, will not fully explain the ineffable glory, nor will we ever cease to be amazed as in the ages to come, God continually reveals "the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

    Today is a part of that forever.  Our Father would have us to know His grace in this day, and to be amazed thereby.  To believers, every New Testament epistle written by the Apostle Paul begins with the salutation, "Grace to you" (Romans 1:7, etc.).  Thus, whatever of God's grace we already know, boundless measures await our realization and access.  All comes to us by the price of sacrifice, by "precious Blood".  Amazing?  It is not a big enough word.  May the wonder never fail to overwhelm us, and as we hear and sing the familiar strains, let us remember that the freest gift ever given was paid for by the highest cost ever remitted.

"By His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
(Hebrews 9:12)
"His name shall be called Wonderful."
(Isaiah 9:6)

Weekly Memory Verse
    The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them."
(Proverbs 20:12)

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