Here are four illustrations that might help us to better understand God’s grace.
The Prodigal Son
The Parable of the Prodigal Son, sometimes called, the Parable of the Lost Son, is a story about God’s grace. The young man demanded his inheritance from his father right away so he could spend it on sinful practices (Luke 15:11-32), but when his money ran out, his “friends” ran out too. Now, living in near poverty and not even eating as good as the pigs ate, he returned (repented) to his father to ask for forgiveness. There he found his father, watching and waiting, and who ran out to greet his son who was once lost but now was found!
The Adulterous Woman
When the religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus (John 8:1-11), they demanded her to be stoned but my question is; where was the man? Doesn’t it take two people to commit adultery? This shows a double-standard but Jesus never showed any double-standard ever, as He was without sin. He told these self-righteous men that they could cast the first stone if they were without sin. Naturally, one by one, they all had to leave. Only Jesus remained because He truly was without sin, yet Jesus said, “neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus never condoned or approved of her sin, but He did forgive her, yet told her to “sin no more.” That’s amazing grace.
Free but Costly
Most Christians know that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9) but that doesn’t mean it’s not expensive. When Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins, there was no greater cost that has ever been paid because here was the sinless God-Man who died for sinful human beings (Rom 5:6-10). It’s free to receive it but it wasn’t free to God (John 3:16).
The Just and the Unjust
God is such a good God, sending the blessings of heaven to us but even to those who are not saved. He doesn’t only provide for His own children but He blesses many unbelievers, whether they know it or not. Jesus said, God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45), but the day is coming when “there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15), so think about those who don’t yet know Christ and what they face after death (Heb 9:27) or at Jesus’ appearance and judgment (Dan 12:1-3; Rev 20:12-15) and share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.
I believe the more we read the Bible, the more we’ll better understand God’s grace because that’s what’s found between Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. When you think about grace, think about the Prodigal Son, the woman caught in adultery, the high price our redemption, and that God is a good God but a holy God and will judge all who refuse to repent and believe.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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