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Archive for July 13th, 2020

Grace in all its glory

Posted by appolus on July 13, 2020

Unless we understand the culpability of man we are not qualified to speak to the grace of God. There is an intimate connection between guilt and grace. It is when we realize the depths of our sin and rebellion against a holy God that the power of unmerited favor is truly realized. Imagine a man finds himself in prison serving a sentence of life without parole for something he denies doing. Someone grants him pardon. Is the man who is innocent in his own mind grateful for the pardon? Perhaps to some degree, but in his heart he reckons that he deserves his freedom.

A man who is not hungry cares little for some bread. Yet a starving man will fall upon this bread as if it were the finest food in all the world. According to Jesus, the woman who had fallen at his feet and washed his feet with her tears and dried His feet with her hair was a sinner. She was probably a whore or a prostitute. In order to explain what was going on Jesus uses a parable. There were two debtors, one owed 500 and the other owed 50, they could not repay. Both their debts were forgiven and Jesus asks who would love the one who had forgiven them the debt the most. Peter answers that the one who had been forgiven the most and Jesus tells him that he is correct.

The woman at the feet of Jesus understood her true nature by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. In response to this conviction and the presence of God she falls at His feet and continually kisses the feet of Jesus. She who was forgiven much loved much and he who is forgiven little loves little. Can you see the vital connection between understanding our culpability and experiencing the love and the mercy and the forgiveness of God? The man who is serving a life sentence, guilty as charged, who is then pardoned by the one who has the power to pardon, loves that one so much so that he would never stop kissing His feet, weeping with joy and gratitude at the feet of Jesus.

He who is forgiven little, at least little in his own estimation, loves little. Who are these people? Perhaps they are the second and the third generations of those who were truly born again? Perhaps they are a generation raised in the shadow of cheap grace? Perhaps is is a combination of both? Cheap grace, the presumption and the familiarity that breeds contempt of the message of forgiveness. A generation that knows nothing of their culpability therefore knows nothing of the true grace that would make a woman fall to the floor and weep at the feet of Jesus. Or those under a similar conviction who would cry out “What must we do to be saved.” The depth of the knowledge of our sin and those who are convicted by it creates a generation of new creatures in Christ whose love is great. The opposite creates an anemic generation of Christians.

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