Sunday, August 18, 2013

1st Peter 5 - True Grace

"Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:12-14)
For some, grace has become a kind of pass, and excuse for sin, a reason for them to stay the way they are, and a demand for others to accept them just the way they are since, we are "not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14) However, Peter wrote to us proclaiming what is the true grace of God. So what is it? What is the true grace of God? Well, let's see what he wrote about: being committed to doing what's right even when it meant suffering, living a life worthy of the love of God, living in love one to another, loving our spouses, honoring and obeying our parents, showing hospitality to strangers, not returning evil for good but trusting ourselves to God, serving God willingly, and above all, loving one another. Grace is not measured by our liberty or licentiousness, but by the character of our life and our love for one to another. Grace is not an excuse, grace is not the eye of God that winks at sin, grace is the ability to live a new life, a life that is in conformance with the nature and life of Christ.

Paul taught us that, "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age." (Titus 2:11-12 NKJV) This is the purpose and work of grace; to teach us to be different. The great tragedy of life is that people often get caught in a loop of sin: sin, sorrow, repentance, forgiveness, and then back to sin. They find forgiveness but never find a new way to live. We see this in the Nation of Israels in the days of their Kings. They would rebel from God, God would judge them, they would cry out to God, God would save them, then they would sin again. Always sinning and never able to break the cycle of sin. However, now grace has appeared, teaching us a new way to live, teaching us how to break the cycle of sin, and in that same grace (which is the favor of God) there is also the power to live this new life: instruction to change, power to live. This is the true grace of God, this is the grace Peter exhorts us to walk in, this is the grace Jesus came to bring us. This is the true grace God, walk therefor in it!

David Robison

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