by: carole l. haines
I don’t think we really ever understand grace as clearly, until we genuinely see just how much we need it ourselves. I have come face to face with that need quite a bit over this Summer. Perhaps I will call this The Summer of Grace. God doesn’t run out of grace, not ever; but people do. And I do. That’s because mere mortals cannot possess it. We cannot conjure it out of ourselves. Human grace is stingy and resentful, completely unlike the Grace of God. When you look up the Word grace in the Concordance, it only appears 11 times in the Old Testament. But it appears 114 times in the New Testament. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NASB) Grace could not even be realized or understood until the cross of Christ was accomplished. He demonstrated grace for us right there. We have no idea what it was like to live under the burden of The Law. We who have known God on this side of the Cross of Christ truly have no idea the difficulty it was to try to keep the law. But sometimes we try to submit ourselves to another law, one within ourselves. A law which causes us to try and transform our own lives, apart from the magnificent grace of Christ. I love what the apostle Paul say about this: 20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. (Colossians 2:20-23 NASB)
Truly, these worldly laws within ourselves have the appearance of wisdom, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. I have found this to be absolutely true. Grace is what triumphs over our flesh, over our sin. The application of the grace of Christ within ourselves is what enables us to triumph over sin and then turn and forgive others, applying His grace to them as well. So Beloved Believer, I am applying the healing salve of grace to my self-inflicted wounds today. I am going to jump into the endless sea of God’s grace and bask in its sweet cleansing power. Won’t you join me! Christ died, and the Temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom. And what was behind that veil? Grace upon grace upon grace.