The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

“We Won’t Do It Anymore, Daddy!”

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 26, 2011

I once heard a man tell a true story that has stayed with me all my life.  He had commanded his three children not to cross over a certain dangerous street, and attached the penalty of a spanking to disobedience, lest they not take his command seriously and get hurt. One day he discovered to his horror that they had disobeyed him and put their lives in danger. With great sadness and sobriety, he took off his belt and calmly reminded his beloved children of his previous words–the rule which was meant for their good, and the punishment for breaking it. Then…

He began to “spank” his own leg with the belt. At first, his children were confused, staring at him in disbelief. As he continued hitting himself, he pleaded with his children to listen to him from now on, lest they come to harm. After a number of hits with the belt, his leg was becoming swollen and discolored, and tears of pain were running down his face, but he continued whipping himself.  By this time, his children were weeping themselves and screaming in horror, “No, daddy! Stop it, daddy! Please stop! We won’t do it anymore, daddy!”

Dear reader, please consider this story carefully.

This is a wonderful example of God.  He made moral laws for the good of men. His laws are love and are meant to promote the well-being of everyone. There is a penalty attached to disobedience, lest the whole world turn to rebellion and destroy itself, having no regard for its wise Maker and Governor, and no regard for His other creatures.  But when we like sheep had gone astray, He looked upon us with compassion. He carefully devised a plan whereby He could demonstrate the rightness of the boundary of His law, keep His promise to inflict a just penalty, convince the lawbreaker of the terribleness of his deeds, and turn his heart toward obedience–hopefully showing His prodigal children that He is not only just but also merciful and loving (thus worthy of the utmost love and respect in return.)

We love Him because He first loved us.  We respect His moral law because we see how earnest He is to uphold it. We understand that His commands must be for our good, because we see His good intention toward us in taking our pain upon Himself.

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  (Isa. 53:5)

How are we healed? He has both taken our penalty, and given us a new start with a better understanding of who He is. Seeing His character in clearer light, we are healed of ignorance and blindness, and never want to cause Him pain again. We are healed of the rift between us and God caused by our disobedience, because He has made a way back by allowing Himself to be afflicted for us.  We are healed of our hatred and disregard for His Word, and His love is shed abroad in our hearts, by which we learn to love God and others in like manner.

God forbid we ever truly consider the cross of Christ and continue in rebellion.

If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb. 10:26-31)

There are many today who claim to know and love Jesus, but by their works and continuing in disobedience, they deny Him (Titus 1:16). Jesus said,

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

Those who profess to love Jesus and understand the cross, yet continue to disobey Him are like children who watched their father whip His own leg, saw His tears and heard His pleading, yet continued to do as they pleased. They have hardened their own hearts and done despite to the Spirit of grace;  they have received the grace of God in vain, for its teaching they have not submitted to.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

When we consider the cross of Christ where the very blood of God was poured out (Acts 20:28), may we also cry out with a broken spirit and a contrite heart, “No, Daddy! We won’t do it anymore, Daddy!”  When the grace of God appears to us, so powerfully teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts in this present world, may we turn tear-stained faces and converted hearts toward Him in full surrender.

God bless you.

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