#160 "GRACE: FRUSTRATED OR AMAZING

"GRACE: FRUSTRATED OR AMAZING?"

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain"-GALATIANS 2:21

John Newton had it right, grace is amazing.  It is a total contradiction to the human mind that a holy, righteous, perfect God would take notice of man, love them, send His own beloved Son to die for them, and that He would want to spend eternity with them in paradise.  Surely, this is amazing.

Yet, it gets even more amazing.  These sinners did nothing to deserve this grace.  Man will do something for someone for something in return; for reward or a kickback.  But God is pleased to bless those who can give Him nothing in return.  Ages ago, it was grace that declared, "I have loved them with an everlasting love" before they were born.  It was grace that marked them out and chose them "in him before the foundation of the world."  Grace was displayed upon the cross when Jesus "Laid down his life for His friends."  And it will be grace when Jesus returns to gather together from the four corners of the earth and heaven his elect to live with him in glory.  Surely, this is amazing grace, so amazing that we might begin to doubt the reality of reality of it!

Though the Galatians had been established on these principles of grace, there came in among them certain ones who had declared that they might gain heaven by their walk, their talk, their ceremonies and their traditions.  Even Paul marveled, "that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."  It is easy to frustrate this grace.  After all, it was done by the congregation of one of the first churches.  It happens when we confuse what we should do with what Christ has done.  To be concise, it is when Christian warfare is confused with the warfare of the Lamb.

Christian warfare goes on in the trenches of every day life.  We must take on the "whole armor of God" to fight this battle.  It involves our witness to the world, how we live and represent Jesus in our lives.  As one person wrote, "Preach Christ-use words if you must."  It is letting our light shine before men.  It is becoming salt and light.  It is a Holy desire to become better for Christ's sake and to represent Him in a dark and sinful world.  This is our part.

The battle of the Lamb was accomplished about 2000 years ago upon a Roman cross by or Lord Jesus Christ.  We can neither add to it or take away from it.  None shall be lost.  Holy declarations like: "It is finished"; "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied"; "He shall save His people from their sins"; "He hath made us accepted in the beloved" mean something.  They mean that Jesus won His battle!  He did for His people what they could not, by their works, their traditions and even good intentions, do for themselves.  If our righteousness could come by keeping the law, then Christ died a needless death(in vain).  Our great Conqueror, Mighty to save, trod the winepress alone as the sins of His precious elect were placed upon Him.  His suffering was unimaginable.  His greatest pain was not the spikes in His hands and feet; it was not the cruelty dealt out to Him in slanders, spitting and slapping.  My dear friend, it was my sin and yours placed upon His pristine perfection that dealt the death blow to the Holy One.  The tongues of angels and men can never adequately describe the agony.  We will have the pleasure of spending eternity praising Him for it. Our conqueroring Lord ascended victoriously to His Father and ours presenting the royal family before the throne washed in His blood.  Spotless and Holy they stand before His Father and ours.  O foolish Galatians, why do you try to claim a part in this victory.  Give Him the glory for it.  Claim His blood and live to show the Son in you.  Do not frustrate His grace!

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