SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE?
By Elwin R. Roach
The simple truth stands, God does not delight in our pain. How could any father, especially our heavenly Father, be pleased that his children would beat and bloody themselves each day to prove their love in order to win his favor, and so that he would cease from chastising them? Neither would do such, and neither would ever haphazardly punish their children on a whim. Moreover, be assured, our Father neither approves of nor requires penance. Godly sorrow that works repentance, absolutely. It is that which works salvation and righteousness in our souls. This is a good thing, and when the time comes, we will know from what it is that we are repenting. When we have done nothing that requires us to repent, regardless of how forlorn, forsaken, and hopeless we may feel, neither should we perform some sort of self-inflicting penance, or repent of some ambivalent act that we might have done. We do not repent or beat ourselves over nothing. It does not work that way.
If we are being disciplined, we are made to know the reason why. He never takes us behind the woodshed without letting us know what rebellious act(s) we have done, and rebellion against Him is the only thing I know of that merits chastisement. To be chastised without us knowing what the infraction is would serve no purpose except to harden our hearts against Him. Frankly, most of our hardships are merely part of the human experience. You see, as God’s grace rains not only on the just but also the unjust, so do the rains of adversity rain on both the just and unjust. We are not immune from much of that the world of sinners still suffer; and by His grace and guiding hand, we will make it all the way through every storm that besets us from time to time. (Please make a Note to look at Psalms chapter 91 and note the Care of God when SEEN and understood as the Most High God-Marion D. Williams)
I know that with some that there has been silence in heaven for half an hour or more. The soothing voice of the Dove has become a distant memory, and in the darkness of night, they feel like they are in a fog, merely going through the motions of living, while inside they are dying.
Many of us have been to barren places at one time or the other; but one thing by which we were lifted from them was when it dawned on us that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we could do to deliver ourselves. Going to church didn’t work. Reading the Bible mostly failed. We could get victory once in a while by praying, but that was often short-lived. One brother said that as soon as he thought, spoke, or did something that was contrary to the Spirit of peace, he would fall back into despair.
He began to see that his victory came when he had exhausted all his human efforts, and the only way he was going to be delivered from the anguish was by God’s doing. Knowing this came with the understanding that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! Since the brother was not being condemned, he realized that condemning himself was no different than condemning someone else. It was then, as he related, that he began to live again! (For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please, (Galatians 5:17 NASB).
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God,Romans 8:5-8 NASB.
Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Our lives are in God’s hands. When He wants something of us, as the good Father that He is, He will work His pleasure in us, and very often, He works in us without us even knowing it.