Have you ever thought that you have sinned too much to fall short of the grace of God? Maybe you feel that God simply cannot give you any more grace after repetitive failures. Let us see how great God’s grace is here:
1st Timothy 1:12-17 “I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service; although I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
We may have sinned in our lives and made mistakes but was it as bad as Paul?
Paul was running around hating and killing Christians.
He hated Jesus, the Apostles, the Church, even putting innocent women in prison.
Acts 8:3 “But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house and dragged both men and women off to prison. “
Acts 22:4 ”I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,”
Paul was on his way to kill more Christians when our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him and saved him by grace. In his lowest moment, Jesus came to save Him.
Paul didn’t do any good works but was doing the most wicked deeds – killing innocent believers who are the children of God – and yet Christ saved Paul by grace through faith without any works. But His grace is even more glorious!
Not only did Jesus save Paul, but Christ chose him to be the Apostle of this glorious grace! This grace gave God good pleasure to take sinful human beings and have Christ living in the believer!
Galatians 1:15-16 “But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles”
Ephesians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:”
Paul did not choose Jesus by his own works but the Lord chose him by grace and he received it by faith.
John 15:16 “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
Peter was a fisherman who had toiled all night without catching fish but then Jesus came to him and told him how to catch fish. After getting a huge catch of fish, Peter recognized Jesus as Lord and told him to stay away from such a sinner.
The amazing thing is that Jesus helped Peter before he even realized his need!
The Lord made Peter an Apostle despite him crying that Jesus should leave him.
Jesus qualifies those who are disqualified by the world – He does this by grace!
Luke 5:8-11 “But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything, and followed him.”
Jesus told His disciples that if they denied Him then He would deny them.
Matthew 10:32-33 “Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.”
Peter denied Christ three times, but Jesus restored him once again at the scene of another miraculous catch of fish, asking Peter to confess his love three times (John 21:1-18). What a wonderful Lord! He is the One who restores those who are faithless!
A paralytic was brought to Jesus and He forgave his sins!
This man did not even ask Jesus for salvation but he had come for healing – but Jesus gave him both healing and eternal life! He got much more than he had asked for!
Luke 5:19-20 “Not finding a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the middle before Jesus. Seeing their faith, he said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
The tax-collectors were considered as betrayers and sinners by the Jews.
But when Jesus saw Matthew (Levi) the tax collector in the midst of his “sinful” work,
He did not condemn him but made him a disciple!
Luke 5:27-32 “After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me!”He left everything, and rose up and followed him. Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Finally, on the cross, we see the love of God in full display!
Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots.”
The Lord was crucified by those who witnessed His love and miracles for 3 ½ years.
Can you imagine that? None of us have seen Jesus but only read about Him in the Bible, but the Jews of the 1st Century witnessed Him for 3 ½ years and yet they crucified Him in unbelief. He loved them so much and yet they killed Him on the cross.
From the Law’s perspective, they deserved the worst punishment.
But how did Jesus reveal the Father’s heart? Jesus forgives those who crucified Him.
He said that He forgave them because they did it in ignorance despite seeing Him for 3 ½ years with their own eyes! Many of these Jews believed in Christ after His resurrection to receive forgiveness. That is how vast is the forgiveness of Christ!
In Psalm 103:11-12, it says that the love of God is as high as the heavens are above the earth and as far as the east is from the west, He has taken away our sins!
God makes righteous the sinner who believes in Jesus!
Peter would not have had such a great ministry unless he denied Christ three times.
Paul would not have been the apostle of Gentiles unless he was the worst persecutor of Christians.
Jesus freely gives His Righteousness and glory to those who sinned the worst.
The greater the sin, He gives even greater grace!
We don’t willfully sin more to receive grace (Romans 6:1-2).
But if you have failed and made mistakes,
then you can be sure of grace when you trust in Jesus!
No matter how much we have failed, everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is forgiven all sin and made righteous apart from any works.
This is the grace that saves and transforms our lives.