God’s Mercy And Grace Are New Every Morning

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

There were times when the Apostle Paul must have looked at himself in the mirror and wondered what in the world had happened to him. He knew that salvation from the inside is much more difficult to understand than it is from the outside. When Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth that “old things have passed away” and “all things have become new,” he had come full circle in the realization that he was no longer the man he once knew himself to be. That’s why he once urged us to move beyond our past, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)

Paul also understood that our spiritual walk is a journey, one that is fraught with disappointment and failure as much as it is with success and victory. The truth is it doesn’t matter how long we have been saved, we will always have those days when we come home and wish we could take back something we said or did.

There is a wonderful passage in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome that has always been a source of comfort to me, especially when I have had one of those days when I didn’t feel that I acted or very much resembled the Christian I claim to be. In fact, I believe Paul had one of those days when he sat down and wrote, “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.” (Romans 7:21-25, TLB)

The comfort I get from that passage is not just in what the Apostle Paul said; it’s also in the fact that he wrote it twenty-four years after he was saved. In other words, while we all mature as Christians, all of us will inevitably stumble along the way, saying and doing things that are not consistent with the new life we claim to have.

As Christians, we must remember that we will never measure up to God’s standards, at least not every day. That is exactly why Christ was given to us, as a propitiation for our sins. In other words, salvation is not just about forgiving sin in our lives. That’s only one side of the coin. It’s God’s mercy and grace that convinces us to get back up the next day and try to live it differently.

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