The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Gift, the Cost"
When God freely forgives, based on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, He is greatly glorified. The Apostle Paul boldly proclaimed this message of pardon offered by grace, and received by faith.
"God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).
Paul knew the joy of bearing witness to the wonder of the Lord who loves to forgive. "He delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). However, Paul also suffered criticism from those who claimed his message of freely given pardon through Christ implied the notion of "Let us do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8). They accused the Apostle of proposing that since God is so glorified when He forgives, we should sin with impunity in order to honor Him.
Of course, nothing Paul believed or communicated suggested such deception and nonsense. He knew nothing of a Gospel that offered pardon for sin, but omitted the power to overcome sin by those who freely received God's grace. Indeed, salvation in the Lord Jesus births a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). Believers can still sin in our present existence. However, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts does not allow us to do so without conviction and discontent. We are "partakers of the Divine nature," or as Paul testified, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22). Moroever, our Heavenly Father disciplines us if we take sin lightly. "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6). Thus, no believer can comfortably accommodate sin, or bear any notion of "Let us do evil, that good may come."
It is important to note that Paul did not change or compromise his message of freely given grace because of the accusations he faced. Nor should we add to the Gospel because some distort or misunderstand its message. "Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6). We rather go forth to proclaim the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. We emphasize both the gift - pardon freely granted as a gift - and the cost - redemption painfully purchased by the agony, forsakenness, and death of the Lord Jesus. Faithfulness to both aspects of God's marvelous grace will ensure the Holy Spirit's blessing upon our testimony, and His effectual presentation through us of the Gospel Paul declared to be "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16).
"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?"
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new."
(II Corinthians 5:17)
Weekly Memory Verse
"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends."