Grace: An Amazing Story of Redemption

by Kayla Kennada

The Apostle Paul said about himself, “Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” -Ephesians 3:8 NLT.  -Ephesians 3:8.

Paul’s Story

We consider Paul to be the greatest saint of all because of the call on his life and his obedience to fulfill the purpose God had for him. He wrote two thirds of the New Testament, even throughout his many sufferings, imprisonments, and finally martyrdom.  But Paul never forgot his past. There was a time when he had many Christians killed because of their faith. God had to stop him by blinding him until he became a Christian. 

For this reason Paul considered himself to be the least of all the saints. So, for God to show him so much grace is inspiring to us all. For God to use him so mightily, and give him such a high calling was a very grand gesture of love, mercy, and forgiveness. 

Paul’s Example

People who have sinned much love much. Often the worst sinners make the best Christians. It’s in their DNA that whatever they do, they do it with passion. Those who are passive about life are passive in service to God also. Those who are passionate about life are also passionate in their spiritual relationship with God.  Before Paul’s transformation, he had a passion to punish all Christians. He thought they were wrong to believe in Jesus and to spread the Gospel. Once he became a Christian he was even more fervent to spread the gospel than he had been to stop Christianity.

God’s Grace is Not Overrated

No matter what our past holds, God still wants to use us for His purpose. He trusts us to make a difference in this world. That’s the wonder and beauty of His grace. God’s grace is not overrated or overestimated. In fact, it is too often underrated and underestimated. His grace, his unmerited, unearned favor, His mercy so freely bestowed upon us, is the grandest gift we receive for our salvation. 

Paul taught about grace in Romans 6:14 when he said  “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” The law is religion. It is trying to earn salvation through works, which is impossible. Grace is receiving the free gift of righteousness that Jesus gave us as He rose from the tomb. Jesus had taught “Repent [change your way of thinking] for the Kingdom is at hand.”  The old law based covenant was fulfilled and the new grace based covenant was established. They were told to change their thinking to the new covenant and that they were free from the law.

Grace is a Free Gift

Now, we are in the Kingdom of God which is grace. Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve and not receiving what we deserve. It is freedom from the penalty of sin and freedom from performance or works based religion. The Kingdom is also righteousness, peace, joy, and power. This is the life more abundantly that Jesus came to give us. 

One of the most impactful things Paul said concerning the law and its endless effort to earn salvation is found in Galatians 5:1. “Since Christ has set us free from the law, let us not return to that bondage again.” Religion, works, deeds, and attempting to obey the law, is bondage; yet many still fall into its continuous trap. 

Religion and the law was necessary in the Old Testament, but when Jesus came He fulfilled the law for us (Mt. 5:17). The law only covered sin temporarily. Grace cleanses us of all unrighteousness past, present, and future. We cannot earn it. It is the gift of God that we can only receive.

Why We Receive Grace

Trying to earn salvation means we are saying that the blood Jesus shed for us was not sufficient. Jesus was the final sacrificial lamb. His innocent and pure blood atoned for all of our sin. Sacrifices or anything we could to do to earn salvation are not only unnecessary but are also ineffective. If we could make ourselves righteous, then God would not have had to send His only begotten Son on our behalf.

While Jesus was on the cross and just before He died, He said “It is finished.” He came to redeem mankind and His mission was accomplished. All the agony He had endured was to purchase our salvation so we could be made righteous and reunited with our Father. 

The Good News

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).

“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). 

Now we can appreciate the lyrics “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”.

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