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Pointers along the way #748

God remains faithful

- Jacob Ninan

"It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself" (2Ti.2:11-13). Some who exaggerate grace usually quote only a part, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful" saying that even if we are not faithful to God, He will still be gracious to us. But that is not what He is saying!

We need to understand the truth that our experiencing His love and grace in an increasing measure will depend on how we respond to His grace. To some, this might sound like heresy! Do you think I am saying we earn God's love and grace by what we do? Of course, we cannot earn God's favour by doing good, but we can receive every good thing from God only as something we don't deserve. When we first come to God through repentance and faith we receive forgiveness of our sins and become children of God as an undeserved favour towards us. But once we have begun to receive His goodness by His undeserved favour towards us, how we respond will determine how we will enjoy His grace more and more in our life.

In a story Jesus told His disciples, there was a servant who was forgiven by his king when he was unable to repay a huge amount of debt. But when this servant refused afterwards to forgive another servant for a small debt, his forgiveness was taken back and he was put in jail. Jesus said, "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart" (Mt.18:35). So, after we have received forgiveness from God freely, how we forgive others will determine how we experience forgiveness in future. A refusal to forgive others cancels out our eligibility to receive forgiveness even though it is by grace.

While explaining grace from God, Paul was compelled to exclaim, "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!" (Ro.6:15). Can we live as we like once God has brought us into grace? No. The way we live must show what we understand about what we really deserve in the face of God's holiness and righteousness and what He has actually given us. Our life should show our gratitude to God and lead to a genuine respect (fear) of His standards.

"If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." He has to be always true to His own nature; He cannot do anything contrary. He is able to forgive our sins because their punishment has already been taken by Jesus and we accept what He says about our sins and sinfulness. He is patient and merciful to us as a Father because He knows our fragile frame (Ps.103:13,14). If we fall even while we are seeking to obey Him in everything He has made a provision for forgiveness (Ro.6:17,18;1Jn.1:9). But what if we continue to sin carelessly and knowingly after we have come to know His grace (He.10:26)?


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