Grace that delivers

The Pastor's PenLurking beneath the surface of unrest is an insidious disease preventing any hope of world peace being achieved by its own means. Social reforms fail, judicial reforms are ineffective, and political rhetoric simply lack the moral and spiritual teeth to achieve what is so desperately needed. Increasingly, injustice plays out, evil is tolerated, conflict is excused, and wrongdoing is accommodated by worldly systems. Peace, which most people desire, continues to elude mankind.

Paul springboards his letter to the Galatians with a bold and victorious greeting that sums up humanity’s greatest need and God’s comprehensive solution to that need. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1:3-5). This greeting is almost a letter of its own and could equally serve as a meaningful doxology.

As is so typical of Paul’s writings, mankind’s singular point of access to God is through His grace. Grace is the only door, opening to the only path leading to peace with God. What’s more, God’s gracious peace is only accessible through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. At this point the inquisitive mind may ask, “but how is this possible?” The answer begins, as always, with God who exercised His will in sending His Son to earth. He did not do this to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17).

God’s purpose was for Jesus’ earthly destination to be death on a Cross. Jesus gave himself to this task knowing that the full weight of His Father’s judgement for our sin would target Him on the cross. Jesus’ unearned condemnation for our sin was according to the will of our God. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, (Isaiah 53:5) and with his wounds we are healed of the deadly disease of sin. This is what sinful humanity is called to believe. Belief in this gospel truth of Jesus Christ is God’s only solution to deliver us from the present evil age.

Paul proclaims that glory forever and ever is assigned to God for doing such an undeserved and uninvited act of grace toward humanity. We believe in Jesus’ power to forgive sin primarily for the glory of God. In the obedience of belief, we receive the eternal blessing of forgiveness and eternal life. Upon belief in Jesus Chirst as our substitute on the cross, we receive the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God (1 Corinthians 2:12). Upon belief in Jesus, we are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14).

God’s grace through Jesus Christ delivers us from the power of sin which inescapably produces eternal death. God’s grace, therefore, enables spiritual rebirth and adoption to God through belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection for your sin. Just as God was specific in the giving of Jesus, so we need to be specific in our belief in Jesus. Consequently, Jesus words remain true, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27). May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

Scroll to Top