Who Needs Grace?

     Paul said this: “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17 NKJV). To this add the second part of Romans 5:20: “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” There is a sense in which these two snippets of Scripture encapsulate the entire plan of salvation. Sin came in through the trespass of Adam and Eve. The Law of Moses made the definition of sin plain and clear. Then grace came into the world in Jesus Christ our Lord and overpowered all that sin could ever do (John 1:17).

     Everyone who is saved is saved by the grace of God. Grace is simply unmerited favor. Grace keeps us from getting what we deserve (Romans 3:23, 6:23). I do not believe I will ever understand why God determined to save us from our sins. After all, we sinned of our own freewill. Though I might want to deflect the blame for my own misdeeds, nobody made me sin. Nobody made you sin. We sin for the simple reason that we want to do it. We may be uncomfortable with this analysis but what is the alternative? Do we claim, like the comedic character of Flip Wilson (he is on YouTube), that “the devil made me do it”? The devil may well be pleased with some of the things we do but he does not have the power to make us do anything.

     So we sin of our own free will. And yet God out of the infinite depth of His love determined to provide a remedy. He sent His Son to die for us. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes no earthly sense to me. Left to my own ways of thinking sinners ought to suffer. If you do something wrong you ought to pay for it. But thank the Lord, God thinks in a different way than I do (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is definitely “just” and the “justifier” (Romans 3:26). He could not just forget what we have done wrong and still be true to His character as just and righteous.

So He is also the Justifier. He provided a perfectly sinless sacrifice to take our place. Peter told us that we were “not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from our empty way of life.” Instead we are redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Without His blood we are sunk. Forever.

     So, who needs grace? We all do. All the time.