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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Grace Greater than All Our Sin

Both my Sunday morning and evening texts illustrate the depravity of mankind at its worse.
This morning we examined the denial of Jesus by Peter found in Mark 14. Peter confidently boasted to Jesus, though all the other disciples fall away, he would not. Peter said he would not deny Jesus, and that he would even die with him. Sadly, this disciple who had walked along with Jesus throughout his ministry, and had been witness to many great miracles, denied even knowing Jesus three times in one night.

This evening we began by surveying David's affairs with Bathsheba and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11-12. David breaks the last five commandments during this affair:
1. He orders Uriah's murder
2. He commits adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.
3. He steals Uriah's wife.
4. He bears false witness by attempting to coax Uriah into having sexual relations with his wife in order to cover up Bathsheba's pregnancy.
5. He covets another man's wife.

Remarkably, both these men are forgiven of their sins. And both of these men are restored by God. Peter's restoration is found in John 21:15-19. David's sins are forgiven, as noted in the Samuel narrative. His reflection and confessions of this affair are found in Psalm 51.

It is truly amazing that God would forgive Peter, David, you and me of our sins. It is truly amazing that God would restore us and reconcile us to himself. But this is in fact what God does through the death and resurrection of his Son. And the Holy Spirit which David pleaded for God not to take away, is sent to unbelievers to create in us clean hearts.

The great hymn writers do not fail us here. In fact they so often put into words what the Scripture reveals. Julia H. Johnston writes,

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look, there is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Grace Greater than Our Sin, The Baptist Hymnal, p 329.

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