Getting what we don’t deserve

Reverend Dean Rudloff

God’s grace is the Christian’s most prized possession. That undeserved gift of God is the difference between the believer and one who doesn’t believe; the heir of eternal life and the possessor of eternal death.

It’s the amazing grace of God that has made Christians what they are: members of God’s family, the household of God.

The Scripture says: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (see Romans 3:10-12). Each of us must admit that we’re sinners born of sinners and that we continually sin in thought, word, and deed. “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23).

But the inspired writer, the Apostle Paul continues, “…and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

That gift of God’s grace is seen in the Child in Bethlehem’s manger whose birth we have just celebrated. On January 6, the Church entered into the Epiphany time that sees Jesus the Christ made known to the Gentiles (non-Jews) as their Savior too. God’s grace, the gift of His Son, is for everyone!

In His love, God gave His dearest possession, His only Son, to a world filled with sinners. In His love, the Son of God, Jesus, willingly took on flesh, was born of the Virgin Mary. In His love, Jesus Christ lived the life we could not live and died the death we could not and would not die.

With His life, suffering, death, and resurrection, He has secured for all people the forgiveness of sins and a place in God’s heavenly home.

When we consider what we were by nature and how weak we still are, we can only praise God for His amazing grace. Even now our “new” man, our transformed self, struggles daily with our sinful flesh, the unbelieving world, and the old evil Foe. “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4, 5)

That’s our Good News and the news we tire not of hearing again and again. Let us continually celebrate God’s grace for us in Christ Jesus!

Each month the clergy of the Cook County Ministerium offer spiritual reflections. This week’s contributor is the Rev. Dean Rudloff of Life in Christ Lutheran Church (LCMS).

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