Cover 2017-08-13

Ron Writes

GRACE DEMANDS

Jesus told the story of a man who owed so much, it would take him several lifetimes to repay (Matthew 18:23-35). His creditor called for him and his entire family to be sold and repayment be made. The debtor begged for pardon and the creditor had compassion and forgave the debt. This man was forgiven. He had received mercy. He knew what it was like to be saved by grace. No one can deny that this man was fully forgiven. This wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus said he found one who owed him a small sum and demanded payment. When the guy couldn’t repay, he had him thrown in prison until the debt was payed.

It’s still not the end of the story. The first man’s creditor found out what had happened. He had that man turned over to torturers until the original amount was payed. So much for the idea that once forgiven, always forgiven. Once saved, always saved is not seen here.

The man had received grace, but that grace didn’t change his heart. There’s an expectation that grace will change us. We are saved by grace, but grace demands change. Grace demands a lifestyle of faith and works (Eph. 2:10). Call it walk, fruit, light, direction, etc., there’s a life demanded that glorifies God.

Grace calls us to imitate Christ. God doesn’t just tell us to forgive, he shows us how. Forgiveness is hard, but that’s what it means to be like Jesus. God has saved us that we might have a change of heart. We must forgive from the heart (Mt. 18:35).

Grace demands change!