Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Debt Of Grace

Did you do something to earn or deserve this? It is a debt of grace to people you owe!
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. ~Romans 1:14,15

I pray you heard from the message I preached on Sunday that as recipients of God’s undeserved grace we are in debt, not to God, but to people. What the Apostle Paul realized was that it was his un-deservedness and his non-qualification for God’s grace which put him under obligation to those who don’t deserve and don’t qualify for it either. When God saves us, it should produce such an overwhelming gratitude that we cannot contain it and must express it in acts of grace towards others. There was a young Moabite woman who understood about grace undeserved...

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” ~Ruth 2:8-10

If you or I do not feel or see this debt of grace to others, in sense we are saying that somehow we qualify for it or deserve it in some way and others do not. There was a parable Jesus told the people about a servant who owed his master an un-payable and outrageous amount of money. The master simply forgave the amount and the man went free. However, when faced with a similar situation of someone owing him (a very small amount in contrast to what he had owed), he did not respond with the same grace showed him...

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ ~Matthew 18:28

The point of the parable is the first servant, who owed an un-payable sum, had a debt of grace to the one who owed him. He failed to keep this obligation of grace or even see it. He felt himself deserving of grace and forgiveness, all the while seeing others unworthy. That is an extremely dangerous attitude and position to have. An absence of the debt of grace is an indicator of perhaps one hasn’t really experienced it themselves, and is yet in danger of wrath...

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ ~Matthew 18:32,33

Think of my line of reasoning like this:
  1. Paul was a sinner saved by grace. 
  2. Paul had a debt of grace to people because he didn't deserve it. 
  3. You and I are sinners saved by grace. 
  4. We have a debt of grace to people because we didn't deserve it. 

 How will you pay your debt of grace?

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. ~Romans 1:14,15

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