For the past several weeks, I have been sharing with the Sligo family a series of messages from the gospel in Paul’s epistle to the believers in Galatia. As you know the big concern that Paul addressed throughout his letter was the need for a better understanding of the gospel of grace, especially in relationship to one’s salvation. Although many believers initially accepted that their salvation was a gift that was made available through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, many had been persuaded to return to a gospel of salvation through the works of obedience to the law; which by the way, Paul referred to as being no gospel at all.
For many, the big issue that they have with this thing called grace is that it appears to let the guilty off the hook. That it allows them simply to go scot free. But when you think about it, isn’t that what makes grace so powerful? For if grace didn’t let us “off the hook” as some choose to put it, then where would that leave us?
I was reading recently about how this time each year, the President of the United States grants an official pardon for the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Although this is more symbolic than anything else, I believe that it serves as a powerful demonstration for the grace of God in our lives. Whether we realize it or not, we, like that turkey, if it were not for the pardon that was extended in our behalf, would be lost forever. But because of God’s “Amazing Grace,” instead of getting what the law says we deserve, we are given what we need.
As we make preparations to celebrate our annual Festival of Praise here at Sligo Church this Sabbath, let us not forget that we have a great deal for which to be thankful. No we may not have all the things that we would like, but we have the one thing that we all so desperately need; the wonderful, marvelous, scandalous, amazing grace of God. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
Charles A. Tapp
Originally Published in Eweekend 11/17/2011