Letting Grace Reign
Why is it so hard for us to own our own junk? Could it be it’s tied to our need to be perceived as successful in the eyes of those around us? We use titles and possessions to impress people, maybe even ourselves with our successes. We love checklists and measurements so we can compare ourselves to others – and usually very carefully with those who don’t quite measure up to us. All of this leads us to be quick to spot other peoples failures while completely ignoring our own junk. The gospel is really only Good News when we realize our own failures, weaknesses and needs. It is in our brokenness we experience the grace of God. The legalist uses the Law to justify themselves; to judge themselves good and right. However, that is a misuse of the Law.
Romans 5:20–21 “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The purpose of the Law is to reveal our condition. The Law didn’t make somethingsinful but revealed the sinfulness that existed in each one of us already. The Ten Commandments were given to show men how sinful they were already. We don’t take our sin serious enough. We think our sin is small and inconsequential. The Pharisees had restructured the Law to give the appearance of obedience while negating its purpose. It was for this reason Jesus confronted them with the full implications of the Law. In all the ways we undermine the significance of our sin and build our own self-righteousness we undermine the holiness and justice of God. A low view of the Law leads to legalism because we falsely believe we can keep it. A high view of Law leads us to grace because it reveals our absolute need for Him.
The purpose of the Law is to bring us to brokenness. Its purpose is to reveal the true desperation of our condition. The Law tells us what to do but it does not empower our obedience. The purpose of the Law is to bring us to the place of brokenness, where we come to the end of ourselves and there discover grace’s abundance. No man will be declared righteous by obedience to the Law; rather, through the law we are made aware of our incredible sinfulness.
The purpose of the Law is to define sin. The law defines sin for us. Most people have a God-given sense of right and wrong but fail to see their own incredible sinfulness. When the Law comes in it reveals how horribly sinful each of us truly are. The Greek word here translated increase is, “Polys.” It conveys the idea of “much” or “many.” The more law we have the more sin we have.
1 Timothy 1:9–10 “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,”
When you own your own junk and forget about other peoples’ problems then you’re ready to experience grace like never before. The Law does its job when it shows us our sinfulness and our need for grace. You are only using the law correctly when it is being used to reveal to the sinner, that’s you and me, and our need for grace.
God’s grace is abundant. God brings us all the grace we will ever need. The Greek word translated abounded is “perissueo” which means to overflow or have more than enough. The Law caused sin to increase more and more. However, grace did more than just keep pace with our sin, it overflowed to us.
Grace comes at the moment of our need. Grace is not withheld because of sin. Grace is never reduced because of sin but increases to meet our need. Your sin did not keep God’s grace from flowing to you in abundance when you came to Christ. It will not keep grace from you now! Paul was the great champion of grace because he was keenly aware of his sin. The greater we see our own need the greater we hold tightly to God’s grace. This liberates us from judging others and frees us to love others from our own brokenness.
Grace empowers our obedience. Remember the purpose of the Law was to show all kinds of unrighteous people their unrighteousness. The Law commands obedience but doesn’t empower it. In fact, because of the flesh it entices the desire for disobedience. Grace works just the opposite. Grace is God’s life in us completely apart from any personal goodness, bringing out a desire to obey all God desires. King Grace came to overthrow the kingdom of sin and darkness and bring in new liberty and light. The condition of your life depends upon the character of the one who reigns over you.
King Grace rules in righteousness for your good. How different is King Grace. King Grace sees us destitute and broken and pours out His inexhaustible riches of love and mercy. When He reigns in our lives we have the assurance He is using all things for our good. His Law is no longer a negative.
God has the right to rule our lives. He purchased us from the cruel King of Sin so we would experience our created purpose as the objects of His love. God’s great purpose in all is that grace should have its kingdom in our hearts. He desires nothing but good for us. Make no mistake; Jesus expects to reign over our lives. It is why we call Him Lord and we are His subjects here to serve His will and purposes. We were guilty in Adam and by our own sin and He brings us to the place of freedom from all condemnation. Grace always gives, whereas sin always takes away.
His life is eternal. King Grace sees us dying and gives His life to us. Our King Jesus reigns over us with grace and gives us His life. His life is eternal life. It is life with no beginning and no end. We have eternal life because we have the life of God living in our spirit. Eternal life doesn’t begin when our physical bodies give out. Eternal life begins when we allow Jesus to free us from sin and to live within us.
It is such a privilege to be your pastor. Have an incredible week and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
You are loved!