In Julia Johnston’s hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” she writes in the chorus “Marvelous Grace, Infinite Grace” (those are the harmony part words), then in unison, “Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.” Every day people become overcome with despair at the depravity of their own sin. Such guilt is manifest in many negative ways. But there is a remedy and it is found in the theme of this song and the words of the chorus. Grace and pardon can change despair to a life filled with hope, victory, joy and everlasting peace.
If you have ever been pulled over by a police officer for some “minor” offense, and when we commit them they are always “minor”, what are you hoping when the officer approaches your car? The most common response is that people hope the officer will be gracious and just let them off with a warning. People don’t want a blot on their driving record. After all, it wasn’t really serious; it was just momentary slip of responsible driving. Don’t let my parents know; don’t let my wife know; don’t let my insurance company know that I had this “minor” mistake today. That is how people feel and they really want the officer to extend them a little grace and pardon for their behavior.
What about all the other “mistakes” we make in life? What about our complete failure to keep the two great commandments to love God supremely and love our neighbor as ourselves? This kind of law breaking isn’t just an occasional lapse; it is engrained in our nature. We are sinners and there is just punishment for all our sins – death. Our sins are a real offense against a holy and pure God. Whether they are “minor” to us or not, they are ugly to a holy God.
But God in grace sent His own Son to die for our sins! In that horrible death, Jesus Christ shed His blood and that pure blood can wash away sin. In that blood, and that blood alone, is the full atonement for all sin and the sole means to find forgiveness. Forgiveness means that we will not be held accountable for that sin forever. It means that God has chosen in His power to not only forgive our sin, but He also will forget our sin forever. By faith in Jesus Christ we stand new and pure before God and it is a forever secured position granted by God’s grace through His Son’s sacrifice. Indeed we can sing with joy the opening line of Julia Johnston’s hymn, “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured – there where the blood of the lamb was spilt!” Rejoice today in God’s great forgiving grace. Live in the joy of His abundant grace.
You may also enjoy this inspirational devotional book, The Gospel According to Molly,