The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Dynamic Duo - Grace and Truth"
Part 3 - The Gift and the Cost
"No believer can wander far from grace before we look behind and see truth following hard on our wayward path, calling to us as the Lord beckoned Israel long ago, "Return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee".
"Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
"Let us have grace that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).
"Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love" (II John 1:3).
Grace elicits "reverence and godly fear" because its inseparable companion, truth, bears witness that God provided His freely given favor in the Lord Jesus Christ through His fearfully executed wrath upon His beloved Son.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18).
The cost of grace reveals the seriousness with which God views the salvation of sinners and the darkness of sin. Deadly seriousness. He does not and cannot save by mere decree or fiat, but by death and fury, as known by His Son on the cross. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" ( Hebrews 9:22). No believer can wander far from grace before we look behind and see truth following hard on our wayward path, calling to us as the Lord beckoned Israel long ago, "Return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee" (Isaiah 44:22). He now calls the wayward in the light of further and most holy revelation: "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 3:18-19). Such witness of the gift of grace and the truth of its cost cannot fail to move the heart of the believer reminded of Calvary's pain of death, and salvation's promise of eternal life.
A true experience of God's grace and truth in Christ results in "joy unspeakable, and full of glory" (I Peter 1:8). The freest gift. It also elicits a proper fear, based on the extent to which our Father went in saving us - "redeemed… with the precious blood of Christ." The highest cost. Truth ensures both responses, thrilling us with freely given favor through our Lord, and warning us that He views with utmost seriousness the matter of our reverent respect for such favor. Yes, sorrow, shame, agony, forsakenness, and death secured our redemption in order to provide the gift we could never purchase. "He that hath no money, come ye" (Isaiah 55:1). Such grace, genuinely received and understood in the light of truth, cannot fail to form within us our own utmost seriousness of "reverence and godly fear."
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
(I Peter 1:17-19)
Weekly Memory Verse
By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified."