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Amazing Grace

June 21, 2007

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Last nights lesson about the thief on the cross went well. One of the Elders remarked to me after the service that we need to have a lot of lessons on grace to offset the years of legalism we all grew up with. He is right! You hear a lot today about dysfunctional families. Well there are dysfunctional churches as well. And it takes the same kind of repetitive teaching for churches that it does for families to over come years of the wrong kind of indoctrination. Even if we have progressed to the point of accepting that we are saved by grace, many still believe they only stay saved by their works or their faithfulness. But we need grace here too! It is not about our faithfulness, but His! I love Paul’s words to Timothy, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (II Tim. 2:13). God knows we will never fully overcome; He only expects us to engage in the struggle. And yes I am aware of Rev 2:10 that tells us to be faithful unto death, but you and I both know that at its best that faithfulness will be imperfect and in need of Grace.

Results from a Life Way Research study of teenagers says that out of the 69 percent of teens who strongly or somewhat agree they will go to heaven because Jesus Christ died for their sins, 60 percent also agree that they will go to heaven because they are religious and 60 percent also agree they will go to heaven because they are kind to others.. That leaves approximately 28 percent of American teenagers who are trusting only in Jesus Christ as their means to get to heaven. The teens are learning this from someone, it may just be us. We must be careful to place the right emphasis on grace and it’s role in our salvation.

There was not enough time to cover all that I would have like to in this lesson. For example right up to the ascension the disciples that had been with Jesus for over three years still did not understand the nature of the Kingdom, but the thief seems to have grasp its spiritual and eternal nature, at least to some degree.

I would have also enjoyed diging a little deeper into the thief’s statement, “this man has done nothing wrong”. That is a powerful statement when you consider he was condemned by the court, mocked by the High Priest, the mob, the soldiers and the other thief.

Finally, the reply of Jesus to the thief’s request, “Today you will be with me in Paradise”, begs to tell of the relationship that Jesus seeks to have with each of us. You with me, that is what the father seeks to create through the death of His son.

Yes grace is amazing. It is full and free. It reaches you and me.

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One comment

  1. Amen! It is truly a wonderful thing!



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