29.11.08

Amazed at Grace

I've been reading Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges this evening. I'm a bookworm, so I have to balance "other reading" with reading Scripture, (the Scripture side of the scale being much heavier, is the goal) but I have to recommend this book if you're looking for a Biblical, careful study about the grace of God in the believer's life. The more I read, (and this is a Scripture packed book) the more I am amazed. As in the, "Why are you so gracious to me, Lord??" type of amazement. Here are a few Scriptures, quotes and thoughts that I've been thinking through tonight:

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10

...For You have cast all my sins behind Your back. Isaiah 38:17

"When something is behind our back, it is out of sight. We can't see it anymore. God says He has done that with our sins. It is not that we haven't sinned or, as Christians, do not continue to sin...But God no longer 'sees' either our deliberate disobedience or our marred performance. Instead He 'sees' the righteousness of Christ, which He has already imputed to us. Does this mean God ignores our sins like an overindulgent, permissive father who lets his children grow up undisciplined and ill-behaved? Not at all. In His relationship to us as our heavenly Father, God does deal with our sins, but only in such a way as for our good. He does not deal with us as our sins deserve, which would be punishment, but as His grace provides, which is for our good."

The portion of the quote in bold held my attention especially. Do we not tend to think that God always punishes sin by withholding blessing and rewards obedience by giving it? While God has certainly laid out natural consequences for our actions, His blessing or lack thereof is not in proportion to what we do. (See "A Parable of Grace" for an illustration of this.)

Christ has paid the penalty for my sin at the cross, and that puts me in righteous standing before God. I don't deserve that, but it's a reality. Also amazing to me is that God does not punish us (or discipline us) without a good purpose in mind! When we sin, He must discipline us, but it is not for the purpose of simply bringing us sorrow. (Although we deserve that and much worse.)The verse in Hebrews that I mentioned in another post comes to mind - He disciplines us for our holiness. Holiness. Like Christ. Nothing will bring us more joy than that.

I'm amazed at this grace.

3 comments:

Edie said...

Hey Stephanie! I love this. It really does make you stop and and think. This sounds like a good book. I may have to add it to my buy list. :)

Hannah said...

Stephanie,
I am always so encouraged by what you share here-- may I please include this post (with your name and blog reference) in Write Away? I think the readers would eb greatly benefitted by its inclusion.
God be with you--
Hannah H.

Hannah said...

and here is my address, so you can contact me easier, if need be. :) hhttn54@gmail.com