“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."--Matthew 5:13

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sin and the Grace of God

Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden, by Michelangelo
Sin is a deformity that strikes the heart of every person from the point of birth. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Both the mind and the will are evil. Sin is a condition which we have inherited from our father Adam. I Kings 8:46 says "for there is no one who does not sin". According to Romans 3:9-23, no one is righteous.
"None is righteous, no, not one;
 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
   no one does good,
   not even one."
  "Their throat is an open grave;
   they use their tongues to deceive."
 "The venom of asps is under their lips."
  "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
 in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known."
 "There is no fear of God before their eyes"  (10-18).
The consequence of sin is that we have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The penalty of this is death (Romans 6:23). Furthermore, Paul writes "nothing good dwells in me" (Romans 7:18).

We do not have the power to believe God or His Word, unless we are drawn by Him. Romans 8:7-8 notes, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Anyone who has not been renewed by the Spirit is an enemy of God and is incapable of submitting to Him. We cannot positively respond to the gospel of Christ unless we are called by God (John 6:44).

John writes,
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (I Jn 1:8-10)
God grants us grace when we admit our need for the forgiveness of sin, which brings me to my second point.

Without the grace of God, we would all perish. His grace is a gift, one that we have inherited by the work of His Son (Romans 3:24-25). By the death of Christ, His people have been released from the bondage of sin. His death satisfies God's judgment on us for sinning against Him. Grace abounds through Jesus (Rom 5:18-21; Eph 1:6-7; 2:5-8; 4:7). God has called His people to grace (Gal 1:15). God chose to create faith in His people. God's call to salvation is one in which His people have inherited. It cannot be earned.

The grace of God is what prevents His people from being as evil as Osama Bin Laden. He has even bestowed common grace on those who do not know Him. Common grace is not saving grace, but it does allow the ungodly to experience the benefits of God's creation. We should not be arrogant that God has called us to grace. Instead, we should be humble, knowing that without Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.

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