GRACEOctober 14, 2016
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God is holy. Holy means set apart. God is set apart from us in that He is our Creator, and He is perfect. Because God is perfect, He can't stand the presence of sin. John Stott describes it this way:
"The Biblical concept of the holiness of God and the wrath of God is the truth they cannot coexist with sin. God’s holiness exposes sin. His wrath opposes it. Sin cannot approach God and God cannot tolerate sin (The Cross of Christ).”
Our sins in God's eyes are nasty, disgusting, smelly, rotten, gross. They are like a smelly diaper.
My wife and I change a lot of nasty diapers. Your parents/guardians changed your yucky diapers. When our kids have a really nasty diaper, it would help to wear a gas mask. Here's a funny video about what I'm talking about:
To God our sins are like dirty diapers. He doesn't want to touch them, smell them, or see them. He wants them disposed and thrown away quickly.
Because our sin is exposed and God is opposed to it, we deserve a severe punishment. We deserve Hell. A price had to be paid for our sins.
My wife was in a minor fender-bender a few weeks ago. When a car is damaged, someone has to pay for the damage. It can't be slipped under the rug and forgotten. A price has to be paid. That's why we have car insurance. We pay the insurance company every month in case of accidents like this. Sure enough the insurance company paid for the damage of the car that was hit, and they wrote us a check to pay for our minor damage. A price was paid.
There's a price for our damage of sin. Jesus paid for our damage by giving us grace. There's an acronym out there that spells grace this way;
In order for us to experience God's riches, Christ paid our expense. Isaiah 53:4-6 describes how Jesus paid for our expense:
- He took up our infirmities
- He carried our sorrows
- He was crushed for our iniquities
- He bore our punishment
- His wounds healed us
- He took on our iniquities that were laid on Him from God the Father
Jesus took our sins and our sorrows, and He made them His very own (from the hymn "I Stand Amazed in the Presence"). He did this because of His great love for us.
Grace is a gift none of us deserve. It's a gift of unconditional, unfailing, undying love. Because of His grace, we can experience the riches of God.
The riches of God are extravagant. The riches of His love are always enough. God offers us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) . He offers us healing in the midst of suffering and comfort in the midst of pain. He offers answers to our questions and reasons why we should stick it out in our marriages. He gives us strength each day to wake up and live another day, and He promises clarity in a world of confusion. God provides us inner peace from our personal distresses and healing from our pain. He will one day wipe away all the tears and sorrow from the earth.
If you have never committed your life to follow Jesus, please do so today. Only in Jesus will you find the peace and joy that you're looking for. He's the One Who bore your pain and your guilt. He's the One Who paid your overdue expense. Trust in Him today.
For more on this, check out a sermon I gave here.