I was challenged and gently corrected by The Lord this week. Being the first Sunday of the month, we traditionally observe The Lord’s Supper. I must confess that my thinking was that if we leave our current study and do a topical on our sins being forgiven by the grace of Christ, the saints might be disappointed.
Here was the challenge and correction: ‘Raymond, are you disappointed to hear again about the grace that has saved you? Are you disappointed because the cross may not be as intellectually stimulating? I was both busted and broken. God forbid that I should ever tire preaching and hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:7-8)!
In fact, as I dove into the Scriptures for today’s study, I was freshly reminded of the incredible freeness of the grace of God (Luke 7:41,42). I was inspired afresh to see that the works that God is looking for are not the dead works of legalism (Hebrews 6:1, 9:14), but the good works that stem out of a love for Jesus and the recognition of His gracious atonement on my behalf (Ephesians 2:10).
Read in Luke 18:10-14 about professional religionist and the regenerated and forgiven disciple of Jesus Christ. Both were forgiven. One was part of a group that thought that forgiveness was an achievement, and thus did not think that he needed the forgiveness of God; the other was amazed that God could and would forgive her. Their comparative responses in the Scripture reveal the right and wrong responses to Jesus Christ.
Which one are you this morning, my friend? A self-righteous, critical and unloving religionist, or a broken sinner, amazed at the grace of God, who unashamedly worships and serves The Lord Jesus? Are you one who does not think that you need the atonement of Christ to cover your sin, or one who realizes that apart from the atonement of Christ, there is no hope for forgiveness of sin?
As we break bread and take the cup this morning, may we allow The Spirit of God to check our hearts and attitude towards the message of the cross. Are our lives becoming more Pharisaical or more like this passionate woman who knew that she was forgiven much? The answer is found both in what you do and why you do it.
May we do all that we do for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)!