Under Grace

…The Christian under grace is freed from the hopeless necessity of trying to commend himself to God by perfect law-keeping. Now he lives by being forgiven, and so is free at every point in his life to fail (as inevitably he does in fact, again and again) – and, having failed, to pick himself up where he fell, to seek and find God’s pardon, and to start again. Pride, our natural disposition, which is self-protective, self-righteous and vainglorious, will either refuse to admit failure at all or refuse to try again, lest the trauma of failing be repeated; but the humility of the man who lives by being forgiven knows no such inhibitions. The Christian’s experience of daily failures, along with his inside knowledge of his own false motives and his tally of shameful memories, make him constantly want to claim for himself Paul’s end-of-life self-description, ‘the foremost of sinners’ (1 Tim. 1:15); daily, however, his shortcomings are forgiven and his joy restored. One reason why, as Jesus taught, we must be ready to forgive our fellow-Christians countless times is that our own life with God is a matter of being forgiving countless times, too.

-J.I. Packer, 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know

Leave a Reply