All ships that land at the shore of grace weigh anchor from the port of sin… God didn’t overlook your sins, lest he endorse them. He didn’t punish you, lest he destroy you. He instead found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. Jesus took your punishment. And God gave you credit for Jesus’ perfection… As long as the cross is God’s gift to the world, it will touch you but not change you. Precious as it is to proclaim, “Christ died for the world,” even sweeter it is to whisper, “Christ died for me.”
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 35-6.
In the Chinese language the word for righteousness is a combination of two characters, the figure of a lamb and a person. The lamb is on top, covering the person. Whenever God looks down at you, this is what he sees: the perfect Lamb of God covering you.
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 23.
On-and-off salvation never appears in the Bible. Salvation is not a repeated phenomenon. Scripture contains no example of a person who was saved, then lost, then resaved, then lost again… Trust God’s hold on you more than your hold on God… “All of you will stumble,” Jesus told them. Fall away. Turn away. Run away. Their promises would melt like wax on a summer sidewalk. Jesus’ promise, however, would stay firm. “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee” (Mat 26:32). Translation? Your fall will be great, but my grace will be greater. Stumble, I will catch you. Scatter, I will gather you. Turn from me, I will turn toward you. You will find me waiting for you in Galilee.
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 133-5.
Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him – not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod.
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 10.
Yet for all the talk about being good, still no one can answer the fundamental question: What level of good is good enough? Bizarre. At stake is our eternal destination, yet we are more confident about lasagna recipes than the entrance requirements for heaven. God has a better idea: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). We contribute nothing. Zilch. As opposed to the merit badge of the Scout, salvation of the soul is unearned. A gift. Our merits merit nothing. God’s work merits everything.
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 47.
For many years I missed this truth. I believed all the other prepositions: Christ for me, with me, ahead of me. And I knew I was working beside Christ, under Christ, with Christ. But I never imagined that Christ was in me. I can’t blame my deficiency on Scripture. Paul refers to this union 216 times. John mentions it 26. They describe a Christ who not only woos us to himself but “ones” us to himself.
Grace: More Than We Deserve, Better Than We Imagine, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 9.