Grace…It is All About Grace
“If, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of this gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all” (Romans 5:17-18).
This is our faith in a nutshell. Through Adam’s sin, death came to reign over us. But through the unconditional and unquenchable love of God shown to us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and through his one righteous act on the cross, our sins have been forgiven (acquittal) and the life that was lost to us in Adam’s sin has been given back to all of us even more abundantly. It is as simple as that. What an incomparable gift! As Paul tells us in the following chapter of his Letter to the Romans, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Rm. 6:23).
Through Adam we all became sinners. Through his disobedience we have not only known suffering and death, but we have also contributed to the ongoing suffering and death in the world. And yet, God’s love could not be diminished. Indeed, as Paul tells us in Romans 5:20: “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” What does this reveal to us about the nature of God? Does it not argue that he really is love, and that his love is unconquerable? He made us out of love. He remains faithful to us, even though we are so often unfaithful to him, out of love. Because he loves us, he gave us intellect and free will to come to know him and to choose to love him in return. Are we not humbled to speechless awe by such love?
Jesus tells us himself, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). This love is in every sense of the word “stunning” to us. To know that we are loved so completely, so mercifully, so compassionately loved, despite our sinfulness, stuns us back to our senses. When we know Jesus as the living expression of God’s love for us, how can we do anything less than thank him by giving ourselves in service to him? O, we are still sinners. We must never forget that. But, knowing that God’s love is unconditional and his mercy is active, we can have the courage to turn to him for his forgiveness when we fall short, confident that his grace will abound more than our sins.
Lord, we are truly humbled by your generous and life-giving love toward us in Jesus. Help us to live up to the gift of your love and mercy by becoming your true, good, and faithful servants in our daily lives. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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