– David Dickson
Who among us can stand before God on our own merit? The number I come up with is zero. We must all admit, “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12). I tried to witness to a man who said, “I’m not just a good person, but a great one!” to which I said, “It’s good to meet you, because you’re the first human in history to be one…except for Jesus Christ, and He was perfect.” Of course, I was trying to show this man His need for Christ because God’s mercy means more if we realize we’re deserving of God’s wrath (John 3:36b), but He extended His mercy on account of His love for us (Rom 5:8).
When people hear that salvation is a free gift of God (Eph 2:8-9), they are suspicious because anything free must not be worth much, but my friends, can you think of anything more valuable than even one tiny drop of the precious blood of the Lamb of God? That is the most valuable thing of all, next to God Himself. What is worth more in all the universe? That precious blood purchased the souls of men and women; diamonds, rubies, and gold will buy nothing on the Day of Judgment. Besides, it will all burn up someday, but “whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1st John 2:17).
What makes God’s mercy and grace so amazing is that it is unmerited. Aren’t you glad? If we had to earn our salvation, we’d never know when we had done enough to be saved. That would offer little peace, however we can thank God that it is only “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8), and thankfully, it is “not a result of works” (Eph 2:9a). I can think of several false religions where works are required, but if this were so, why would Christ have to die on the cross. No my friends, our salvation is unmerited…and that’s makes it really good news!
Many people I meet from prisons, nursing homes, or on the street, believe that they have done too much to ever be saved. It is hard for them to accept God’s forgiveness, but I think the problem is, they cannot forgive themselves. If that’s true, they are holding a higher standard of forgiveness than even God does, because He has already given His one and only Son to ransom us (Mark 10:45) from the wrath of God (Rom 2). The life, death, and resurrection of Christ is sufficient to take away every sin there is…forever! You cannot out-sin the cross. It’s unlimited in its cleansing power.
When I think of the wonderful cross, not wonderful for Him or for the Father Who had to endure the excruciating suffering of His Only Son, Jesus Christ. Such a great mercy this is; and one that’s undeserved, unbelievable (but true), unmerited, and totally unlimited. Praise God and thank God for this superabundant and most amazing grace. It’s so amazing that I can’t even get my mind around it.