His Grace to Me was Not Without Effect
by John Wright
What does it take to be a Disciple of Jesus? Myself and most of the readers of this blog would consider themselves to be Disciples of Jesus. Sure, I believe that Jesus is God's son, and that he is our Savior. I also Believe that God is love, and that he loves us with a supernatural love that we humans have difficulty comprehending. I believe that God revealed himself through the Bible and it is from the scriptures that we can know God. The Gospels show us the life of Jesus and are an example to us showing us how we are to live, love God and our neighbor. Knowing and believing the right things are important, but that is not enough for a disciple. A disciple wants to always be in the presence of the master, learning from him and getting to know him personally. The Gospel is the most amazingly beautiful story of all time, that when we were still enemies Christ died for us. We are justified (made right in God's sight) by his blood and reconciled (made friends) by his death, and saved by his life.
The saving work of Jesus is what we know as grace. Grace, a gift we do not deserve, but given freely by our God who loves us without measure. All these things concerning salvation are great and beautiful, and we love it because God is love, and he is Holy, and now that we are in Jesus, God has clothed us with the righteousness of Jesus.
Knowing these things, it is easy to be a disciple, right? Not at all! Basking in the glow of God's love is not enough for a disciple. The Bible tells us what grace saves us from, and it is SIN. Yes, we are sinners! And we cannot be good enough to be friends of God, not without grace.
1 Cor.5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, and a disciple needs to be compelled by the love of Christ to tell others about what God has set him free from, and that is the guilt of our sin. The scriptures tell us that the story of mankind is a history of the destruction sin has brought on the world. Since the fall of Adam the world has been groaning under the strain of sin. David wept over the consequences of sin by writing "Oh how the mighty have fallen."
Paul in 1 Cor. 15:10 explains that the seriousness of his own sin had a tremendous effect on him, "I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, (Saved) and his grace to me was not without effect." Let us never forget that it was my sin and yours that hung Jesus on the cross. I want the knowledge of the terribleness of my own sin to affect everything I do, so that I give honor and praise to Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith.