Eph. 1:7 ¶ In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Grace is the message of the New Testament. It was the nucleus of the preaching of the Apostle Paul which literally turned the world upside down in his day. Grace was also at the epicenter of the Protestant Reformation. An Augustinian, Catholic monk, by the name of Martin Luther unleashed a spiritual atomic blast with his teachings on “the just shall live by faith”. Justification by grace alone through faith alone became the earmark of the reformation. That message not only birthed the reformation but ultimately led to the struggle with the Puritans that birthed the United States of America. I am not saying that all of our founders were Christians, I am just saying the driving force behind our beginning was the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What is so amazing about grace that it causes the upheaval of nations? Really, it is a two fold message. First, it offers cleansing and forgiveness for every sin. There is no sin too dark that it doesn’t wash us clean. Secondly, it changes the very core of our being. Our desires change. Our desire for sinful pleasures are replaced with a passion for the Lord Himself. In other words grace leads to sanctification or holiness. My definition of holiness is this; holiness is the testimony of God’s grace. Here is how Adam Clarke explained this phenomenon in the Methodist revival.
“Ye are sanctified; ye are separated from earthly things to be connected with spiritual. Ye are separated from time to be connected with eternity. Ye are separated from idols to be joined to the living God. Separation from common, earthly, or sinful uses, to be wholly employed in the service of the true God, is the ideal meaning of this word, both in the Old and New Testaments. It was in consequence of their being separated from the world that they became a Church of God. Ye were formerly workers of iniquity, and associated with workers of iniquity; but now ye are separated from them, and united together to work out your salvation with fear and trembling before God.”
So grace causes an upheaval like nothing else. Criminals become pastors, pimps become protectors of virtue, prostitutes become holy women of God, and common thieves become funders of ministries and churches. Our present society needs a good infusion of grace; the kind of grace that changes lives from sinners to saints. Do it again Lord!!!