A young woman in a desperate financial situation yielded to temptation and stole from her employer. She was caught and arrested. However, when she came before the judge and told her story, he had compassion for her. He offered to pardon her if she would return the money, which she gladly did. Even though her employer forgave her, and the judge pardoned her, she still had an arrest record that would follow her for life. If the judge had erased the crime from her record, that would have been grace.
When we come to Christ, we are not only forgiven, but because of His grace, our slate is wiped clean. Our record is pure, it’s as if we never sinned. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
We view sin on different levels. For instance, a little lie is not nearly as bad as murder, which it isn’t. This is a worldview of sin, not God’s view. To God sin is sin. It is black and white. There are no gray areas.
Let me illustrate, If you had a gallon of totally pure water, you would have no qualms about drinking it. In fact, you would probably relish the idea of drinking water that was completely pure.
If you took that gallon of pure water and added one tiny drop of raw sewage, would you still drink it? Probably not, because that tiny drop of sewage would have spread throughout the entire gallon of water. No longer is it a little isolated drop that you can push to one side out of the way.
It is the same with sin. One small sin, no matter how insufficient it may seem, will permeate our entire being. And God being pure and righteous cannot tolerate even the smallest sin.
As humans, it is impossible for us not to sin. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Unkind thoughts, envy, pride, prejudices, resentment, and jealousy are just a few of the things that we battle. Our minds are a battleground in the spiritual war that takes place between God’s goodness and the evil ways of Satan.
The devil has had thousands of years to perfect his tactics. We are no match for him. It is only because of God’s grace that we will be able to spend eternity in heaven. We cannot be good enough on our own to deserve heaven.
The disciples asked Jesus “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18: 26-27).
Thankfully Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. He redeemed us with his blood. Jesus is our kinsman redeemer. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace..” (Ephesians 1:7). Because of his blood, our sins are covered. “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
We are washed as white as snow (Psalms 51:7) (Isaiah 1:18).
Our sins are forgiven, never to remembered again. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) (Hebrews 8:12)
It doesn’t matter how good we are or how much good we do. It is only by God’s forgiving grace that we can be saved. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God’s grace is not a one-time whitewash of our sins. It is never ending. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to fail. However, grace is an on-going cleansing process, as we daily surrender ourselves to Christ. It is only by the atoning blood of Christ and the gift of grace that we can come to God. The grace of God is so complete and encompassing that Paul, when speaking to the Roman Christians warned them to not go on sinning, simply to experience more of God’s grace. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)
We must not tempt the Lord by continuingly sinning, knowing that we are justified by God’s abundant grace. Such action would give Satan a toehold in our life and distance us from God.
“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
As Christians, our lives should be joy filled with a sense of freedom in Christ. If our lives are not joy filled, if our Christian walk feels burdensome, then we are probably not living as a free person. Rather, we are living as slaves under the law.
We have been made free of the law. The law no longer has jurisdiction over us. We are dead to the law (Romans 7:4) and free from the law (Romans 8:2). The law could not save; it can only condemn. God sent his son to save us and do what the law could not do.
The law demands perfection. Grace provides perfection.
Thanks to Christ we can live a joy filled life free from the burden of sin and free from the condemnation of the law. Our sins have been washed away, never to be remembered again. Our record is clean.
Thank you God for your amazing grace.