A LESSON OF GRACE FROM A CAN OF SODA
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Christians in Corinth. "For God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might be righteous, holy and forgiven in God's sight." In the world of psychology this is called "transference." God transferred to Jesus all of our sins, the commandments we have broken and transferred to us all of His righteousness. It is a free gift... it is called grace.
Johnny Miller, who served as President of Columbia Bible College 1900-1999 in Columbia, South Carolina tells this story to help us understand the gravity of our sin, which separates us from God. He writes:
"I gained insight into the grace of God from a $.25 cent can of soda. I think it has made me a better servant of God. My son and I were in Atlanta, Georgia, for the play-offs between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals. A sign prohibited bringing food into the stadium, but I had lugged a bag with me. I rationalized that on my salary I couldn't be expected to spend over a dollar for what I could buy for a quarter. I was fortunate to be someone's guest at the game. Furthermore, it would be a waste to throw away food. So I slid through the gate with my bag at my side, and was relieved when the gatekeeper either didn't see or didn't care.
In the third inning I popped open a can of soda and was washing down some nuts when it struck me: "I was a criminal." If an user saw me, we could be thrown out. What a humiliating headline; Bible College Professor ejected!
Then I realized something worse: "I was a sinner." To save 75 cents I had risked my honor, my integrity, and that of my Lord and my witness to my host.
You might think that I had an overactive conscience. The crime, the sin seems so trivial. But that, is what makes it all the worse; That I would sell out so cheaply. (My heart was not right.)
How could I make it up? Get arrested? Pay the fine? I seem stuck with unrelieved guilt. What can I do, God? (Isn't that the quest of every human being? What can I do?
Nothing! Grace! Jesus paid for this one too. Such a high price for such a cheap sin!
(From a sermon by Clarence Eisberg, The All-Sufficient Grace of God, 10/29/2009)
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