Everyone from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint needs the grace of God. Everyone who wanders through the veil of tears that is this fallen world is tested, tried, and assaulted by our adversary, the prince of the power of the air, who goes about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. Our fallen body and soul are open to him and his minions. And if that isn’t bad enough our own sinful desires lure us into trap after trap.
Surrounded and attacked by all this it seems natural that we would cry out with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
There is an answer to this cry. We don’t stand alone before the heavenly court of justice. If we did not even one of us would deserve anything except eternal damnation and separation from God. Instead of standing alone in the withering judgment fire “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” and the fire of His presence becomes for us the life-giving warmth of His love.
We need to praise the glory of God’s grace, His unmerited favor because, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We may have been the worst of sinners. We may have cursed God and persecuted His people but once we turn from the darkness to the light, once we embrace Him and are born again all that changes. We change and the world around us changes.
Peter sums it up well when he says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”
The author of Hebrews goes into even greater detail showing how the eternal sacrifice of Christ is superior to the shadow sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 1And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
This is the description of our present state. We are accepted. We have entered our inheritance. Today we “see in a mirror, dimly,” but once this perishable has been swallowed and replaced by imperishable, we shall see “face to face.” For “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”