Click here for an audio version of this blog post.
We take leave for a time from working through Genesis in order to consider some topics I’m responsible for in a coming book: Evangelist 301. The previous two books in the series are available now on Amazon.
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 5:20-21
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
We all need grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. We have sinned. We are by nature sinful and unclean. Even after we have come to faith, and have been born again, we still sin. We are saints (holy ones) by God’s grace. That means we’ve been forgiven. We are new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). But we still battle the old sinful nature, and that battle will continue until death. We are both saint and sinner. And those two natures are at war within us.
That war within prevents us from fully carrying out the good will and good intentions we have. It also prevents us from giving in completely to temptation. We want to do good, but do not do it. We are tempted to do evil, but resist the temptation. The Bible puts it this way, “the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do whatever you want.”
We need to understand, first of all, that we all need grace. Some people, however, may be extra challenging in their attitude or actions toward us or the gospel message. Those people are called Extra Grace Required people (EGRs). They may live next door, work with you, or be part of your family. In fact, you may be an EGR! They push our buttons, manage always to illicit a negative response in us, try our patience, or turn us away. We all need grace. And God’s supply is limitless. EGRs, however, need extra grace, humanly speaking: more than we might wish to give.
God loves EGRs, and it’s a good thing, for we all need grace. Sometimes we may need more than at other times. And the love of God changes our hearts. It is shown in Jesus’ ministry, seen in Jesus’ death on the cross, and will be celebrated for all eternity in the life of the world to come.
Tomorrow…we’ll look at the first of four examples of biblical characters who needed extra grace.