Amazing Grace

Christian, are you still amazed by God’s grace? In his book, Knowing God, J.I. Packer asked:

What is it that hinders so many who profess to believe in grace from really doing so? Why does the theme mean so little even to some who talk about it a great deal? The root of the trouble seems to be misbelief about the basic relationship between a person and God…” (pg. 129, emphasis mine)

What is the nature of this misbelief? Packer answered:

(People) imagine God as a magnified image of themselves and assume that God shares his own complacency about himself. The thought of themselves as creatures fallen from God’s image, rebels against God’s rule, guilty and unclean in God’s sight, fit only for God’s condemnation, never enters their heads. (pg. 130)

Once we understand our relationship to God as guilty sinful rebels who deserve only His just judgment, then we begin to see the beauty of His grace. He wrote:

Grace is free, in the sense of being self-originated and of proceeding from One who was free not to be gracious. (pg. 132)

Yes, grace is free because the Lord does not have to offer it. He continued:

The grace of God is love freely shown toward guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit. It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only severity and had no reason to expect anything but severity. (pg. 132)

Don’t miss that, not only did we not merit, but we have demerited in our sin and rebellion. Understanding this leads us to be truly amazed by God’s grace. Dr. Packer shows us how:

It is surely clear that, once a person is convinced that his state and need are as described, the New Testament gospel of grace cannot but sweep him off his feet with wonder and joy. For it tells how our Judge has become our Savior. (pg. 132, emphasis mine)

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” -1 John 4:10

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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