Cover 2019-06-23

Ron Writes

A Sinner Saved by Grace

“''It’s a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all''” (1 Tim. 1:15). He doesn’t say, “among whom I used to be foremost of all” or “I was foremost of all,” but “I AM FOREMOST OF ALL.” How can he be both saint and sinner at the same time? How is he both transgressor and saved? Flesh and spirit.? Old man and new? Only by God’s mercy can we be sinners saved by grace. Paul makes it clear that he’s a Christian, not because he is good, but because God is good. This brutal honesty is also expressed by Paul in Romans 7 (14-25),

I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, …. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (14-20).

Sin is living in me – present and ongoing. Asking me to stop sinning is like asking me to move the stars in the sky or to turn off the Sun. It can’t be done. It’s never been done. “No man knows how bad he is until he tries to be good” (C.S. Lewis). No wonder that just the thought of the gospel causes Paul to burst into thanksgiving. “There’s no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

I think there’s truth when Alexander Maclaren says “the sign of growing perfection is the growing consciousness of imperfection… the more you become like Christ, the more you will find out your unlikeness to Him.

Satan, the accuser, wants us to focus on our sin. He tells us to fear because we’re hopelessly lost. God, the savior, wants us to focus on Him and His mercy and grace. He tell us we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Now, who do you believe? Satan, the enemy and a liar? Or, the God of love? This is faith! “O how sweet to trust in Jesus.”