As I prepared for last night’s sermon out of Romans chapter 6, I was struck rather hard about one particularly nasty little idol. This idol is not what one might think about as they have read in the Scriptures; a man with a bird’s head, a golden calf or a large bronze hollow statute. This idol is not fixed and stationed in one locality with regular services held in its honor. The idol I’m talking about is the idol of grace.
Please indulge me for a minute to explain. Paul opens Romans 6 with a rhetorical question, “Shall we continue to sin that grace might increase”? What seems like an odd question is only logical. In Romans 5:20, Paul had previously said that where sin increased, grace increased. So that led some to ask, at least in their minds, “maybe if I’m a huge sinner, God can demonstrate Himself greatly through me”.
Most, if not all of us have heard a powerful and awe inspiring testimony of God’s work in someone else’s life. You might have heard something like this at a conference or a revival. If that hasn’t been the case for you, then you have almost certainly read a book to that end, after all the bookshelves of Christian bookstores are full of the stories of the grace filled lives of wretched sinners. They are people who have lived lives that would make a great Hollywood drama or Lifetime movie special. These are people who have not only hit rock bottom, but then dug in deeper. They are people who aren’t much like us at all. After all, many of you have not lived horribly torrid lives, even though you by far aren’t perfect. Then we think:
“Man, that was an awesome testimony, people really listen to her and she has such an impact. God can really use him. I wish I had a testimony like that…”
Question: should we be horrible sinners that God’s grace might be magnified in us? Heavens NO!
1- God’s grace in your life is an awesome testimony. The pure fact that the Sovereign of this universe seeks us out, when we haven’t necessarily stuck our heads up in any noticeable way is magnificent.
2- You are a bigger sinner than you think (and so am I). You might not have lived an outrageous lifestyle of godlessness compared to many, but your sin is just as catastrophic. If all sin is cosmic treason against God, then we have sinned more than enough. Every act of disobedience pushed us into the path of God’s damning wrath and put us on a steadfast trek into Hell.
3- Jesus had to work no harder to save the person on that stage or in that book than He did to save you. Please keep in mind that Christ did not die for the super sinful, and infamously godless, He died for the world.
4- God does not love that other person a single bit more than He does you. Your life is just as precious and valuable to Him as the worst human being on earth. You do not fall short on His love.
Being amazed at the grace of God in someone else’s life can be an act of worship, but being amazed at God’s grace in YOUR live is superlative! After all, grace is amazing.
PS. If you’ve surrendered to Jesus, you already have that testimony, because you’ve got the same grace.