The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Better Than I Deserve - Revisited"
On several occasions through the years, I have shared with you the unwavering response of a dear friend when asked how he is doing…
"Better than I deserve."
This is absolutely the case (not just for my friend, but for all of us! :):) ).
"He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities" (Psalm 103:10).
How has and how does a righteous God act in such grace and mercy toward those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ? Taking the Psalmist's cue, we might say, "He has dealt with us after Christ's righteousness, and according to Christ's faithfulness to His Father."
"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?" (Romans 8:32).
The Apostle Paul's declaration of God's dealings with us based on His Son has become one of my favorite passages of Scripture. While what we do and don't do in response to our Heavenly Father matters much, that which matters more is what Christ has done, is doing, and will do forevermore. Moreover, the more we know the doings of the Lord Jesus on our behalf, the more our own doings will align with the glory and will of God. Note the Apostle Peter's confirmation of this vital truth of grace:
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen" (II Peter 3:17-18).
How do we avoid the "fall from your own steadfastness?" By heeding Peter's command to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Or, as the writer of Hebrews affirmed…
"Consider Him… lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3).
Indeed, the Christ who began our salvation as the Author of our faith is the same Christ who continues our salvation as the Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). To the degree we know Him and understand His place in God's working and in our response will be the degree to which we walk in genuine and growing faith and faithfulness. "God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (I John 4:9).
How could it be otherwise? God gives all preeminence to the Lord Jesus. His eternal purpose operates completely in Him. He has given Him a name which is above every name (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 3:11; Philippians 2:9). And again, "He delivered Him up for us all" in order that He might "with Him also freely give us all things." Yes, Christ is the theme. Christ is the subject. Christ is the life. And Christ is the mediator whereby God acts toward believers based first on His Son's doings on our behalf, and then, on how well we respond to those doings.
"Better than I deserve." Absolutely, for all of us. But never better than the Lord Jesus deserves. This what God gives to all who trust His beloved Son and our beloved Savior. Yes, our Father gave to Christ on the cross what we deserved so that He might give to us what Christ at God's right hand deserves. The more and better we know this truth, the more our hearts, hands, and feet will bear witness to having "with Him" been freely given all things.
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(I Corinthians 1:30)
Weekly Memory Verse
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(I Corinthians 1:30)