Know What Grace Means!

Norbert Lieth

The Almighty’s primary intent is salvation. God wants to save, not judge. God’s loving purpose runs through history, from its beginning to its completion. The keystone is Jesus Christ.

For me, one of the most noble facets of salvation is the fact that Jesus remained silent at His trial. He didn’t justify or defend Himself. In fact, the people would someday have to justify themselves before Him, but He allowed Himself to be accused and remained silent. Before the high priest, “Jesus held his peace” (Matt 26:63). Before Pilate, “Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled” (Mark 15:5). This is the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Why did Jesus remain silent, instead of defending Himself? Because he was guilty, but without being guilty. He voluntarily took our guilt on Himself and portrayed Himself as guilty. Jesus underwent God’s judgment; He was met with every guilty verdict that man would have had to experience. We are worth that much to God! In His death and resurrection, Jesus did away with everything separating us from God: the wall of sin is torn down. The curtain is torn. God’s wrath is eliminated. Eternal righteousness is established. As humans, we tend to blame others and look for excuses. But our Lord did the reverse: He took others’ blame and laid it on Himself. That’s grace. I mustn’t justify guilt and sin; I’m able to confess it, and God’s salvation and glory, honor and power are great enough to forgive.

Do you know what grace means? Not just pardon, but that God is for us in all that He is. We can see this in the following examples. They don’t propagate cheap grace, but show how great the salvation, glory, honor, and power of our Redeemer are:

Cain slew his brother, and God protected him. Noah got drunk, and was considered pious. Abraham lied, and God blessed him. Sarah laughed at God’s promises, but the Lord fulfilled His promise. Lot made compromises, and God declared him righteous. Jacob was cunning, but the Lord preserved him in every way. Moses was a murderer, and God made him the savior of a nation. Rahab was a prostitute, and the Lord rescued her and her entire family. David was devious and ignoble, but God forgave him. Solomon was a child born of adultery, but the Lord allowed him to build the temple for His house. Elijah was world-weary, but the Lord strengthened him. Jeremiah would rather not have been born, yet God used him. Jonah fled from the Lord, but God used him for all of Nineveh. Zacchaeus was a swindler, but the Lord came into his house and blessed him. Paul persecuted Jesus and the Christians, yet the Lord allowed him to bring the gospel to Europe and the world.

All of them, and many others, experienced God’s transformation, but it was the Almighty’s absolute grace that held them, restored them, and allowed them to be used. We can see here just how great Jesus’ work of salvation is, which became vital to them all.

There is nobody who is too lowly, too incapable, too sinful, too degenerate, or too secluded. Jesus has accomplished a perfect, fully complete, sufficient salvation for all. That was true yesterday, it’s true today, it’s true in the New Year, and it will be true tomorrow as well. The greatness of redemption’s power is also shown in the following testimonies:

A man who wanted to kill himself was saved when he heard the word shalom. A gifted musician broke down under the question of meaning in life, and then read the Bible; today he proclaims the gospel. A man received a little book, and converted two people with it: himself and someone else. A divorced woman, for whom everything was broken, read a book and found faith. Her ex-husband did likewise, and they remarried.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8).

Maranatha, our Lord, come!

Midnight Call - 01/2020

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