Grace and Godliness

‘Shall we go on sinning so that grace?’ Romans 6:1 NIV

Some people think that, because God is loving, kind and merciful to sinners, we can live how we like and He’ll pick up the pieces. They think God’s grace is a licence to sin. What does God’s Word say? ‘Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died for sin; how can we live in it any longer?’ (Romans 6:1–2 NIV) Note the words ‘died to sin’. As you feed your new nature and starve your old one, it begins to die. You become less interested in pleasing yourself, and more interested in pleasing God.

Paul said, ‘The love of Christ compels us.’ (2 Corinthians 5:14 NKJV) Paul was not compelled by the fear of losing his salvation, but by the need to respond to God’s grace which he had experienced. If you love someone, are you going to ignore them? Of course not! You’ll look for ways to please them.

Paul said, ‘The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.’ (Galatians 6:14 NASB) The Greek word for ‘world’ is kosmos, or ‘order’. A revelation of God’s grace caused the world order to lose its appeal to Paul, and he to lose his appeal to them. The grace of God does not prevent godliness, but produces more of it. ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that … we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people.’ (Titus 2:11–14 NKJV)

SoulFood: Lev 24:17–22, Deut 15:7–11, Matt 5:38–48

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Leviticus 24:17–22 ()

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17 “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. 18 Whoever takes an animal's life shall make it good, life for life. 19 If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him, 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him. 21 Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death. 22 You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 15:7–11 ()

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“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Matthew 5:38–48 ()

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38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Sun 28 July, 2019


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