It is instinctive to “think the best” and “give the benefit of the doubt” to our fellow man. That is a natural affection of loving God and loving our neighbor, but we are not to be naive to think that we live in a “perfect” world. Friends and family have mentioned to me lately that their teenage kids are being approached and solicited to engage in sex, drugs, booze, and disregard old ideas of moral boundaries and a God that set them. They are shocked to see what tolerance of sin has produced today in our society (now targeting & touching their children) and seeing that the tolerance was only in one direction. Why can’t we all just get along? Because the Truth is: In this world there is right & wrong, there is good & bad, there is light & darkness, there is faith & unbelief; there is godly and there is ungodly. All is based on God and His sovereign reign and rule in our heart & life.
God loves all men and women because God is love; His essence and central attribute is love. Our just God of love shows mercy by giving grace. Justice - meaning to get what we deserve for our sins that miss God’s mark (standards of our Creator found in the Bible), Mercy - meaning to not get what we deserve out of His love, compassion, and kindness, and Grace – meaning to get what we do not deserve out of His benevolence. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” & Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are saved by grace; not by love. God’s free gift of salvation is offered, but we must turn from our ungodly sin in repentance and truly accept the gift He offers in Christ.
God’s mercy is to the misery of sin’s consequence and God’s grace is only in the providing of an atoning Savior in Jesus to pay the price for our sin. Jude speaks of ungodly people, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. On the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness. These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. The grace of God is not a license for shameful licentiousness, to continue to live in gross immorality and sin in the eyes of the Lord.
Jude 1:25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Saved by grace, Brian