Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Grace Changes People

In Romans 6 Paul asks one of the best questions in the entire Bible.  After hammering home the distinctions between the first Adam and the second Adam (Christ) he knows his listeners are going to struggle with the idea of grace.  He knows grace is so radical it will cause people to ask, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound" (Rom. 6:1)?  When salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is taught I think most of us struggle with this response.  But Paul really helps us out by taking us to the reality of what happens in salvation.  He chops away at the mindset that grace allows us to sin by asking a simple yet profound question: "How can we who died to sin still live in it" (6:2)?  

Grace is not cheap.  Grace comes at the price of the Father sending his Son into the world for the very purpose of dying for those chosen before the foundation of the world for salvation.  Jesus comes on a rescue mission that not one of us deserve.  He came to seek and save the lost.  He was perfectly fine in heaven fellowshipping with his Father and the Holy Spirit.  Yet because of his love he comes to dwell among those whom he created and who would crucify him on a cross like they would a criminal. In Romans 5, Paul has been driving this point home: "For while we were weak...Christ died for the ungodly.  God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Rom. 5:6,8,10).  Paul knows grace will melt a hard heart.  He knows God's love will in turn cause sinners to turn and love him.  

Grace changes people.  Grace changes sinners to saints.  It changes enemies to friends.  It changes the unreconciled to the reconciled.  Grace produces change!  This change is why Paul is confident to preach grace and grace alone.  He knows when grace is preached, God will work.  When God works, people die to sin and are changed.  He knows God makes people alive to him and dead to sin.  "How can we who died to sin still live it?"  We can't because of grace.

Grace upon grace,

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