Summary: A sermon that reminds us of the importance of grace
Grace – Grace Grace!!!
In one of the most memorable stories of my childhood was Mr Horrell who owned the Mobil Garage. Now 50 metres up the road from Mr Horrell’s was my Grandfather’s Garage. At Gran’s garage I could get stickers – the number of stickers on your schoolbag was a kind of important thing for kids in those days. I had lots of shell stickers but no Mobil ones. So I went to Mr Horrell’s garage after school one day and asked him for some stickers. I even said please ,I think. Mr Horrell was quite kind, but firm. Basically he said no – Well I lost my temper and my respect for Mr Horrell at that point and I let fly with my tongue. I don’t know what I said but it involved abuse and swearing. Then I ran away. The next day at school my conscience got hold of my. I thought of Mr Horrell and the fact that he could well tell my Grandfather who in turn would tell my parents. By the end of the day I was terrified knowing that I would be in for it. It was a very sorry me who dragged his feet to Mr Horrell’s garage after school that day. When he came out I told him I was sorry. I thought I would be in trouble.
Mr Horrell said “Wait there.” I had no idea what he would do. When he came back he had a pile of stickers for me and handed them to me and I was free to go. Forgiven and with stickers.!!!!!
The cloud of guilt and punishment evaporated from above me.
This was a serious lesson in grace for me – I have never forgotten it.
Later in life I read these words of Peter a man who himself knew forgiveness for his many excesses
1 Peter 2:24New International Version (NIV)
24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
This morning I would like to discus grace in relation to this passage
Firstly – He himself –Grace is personal.
24 “He himself bore our sins – On Thursday as part of our wedding anniversary Heather and I had breakfast at the South Seas hotel on Stewart Island. We were not thinking that we wanted a regular breakfast and didn’t really want to pay extra. But when we got there the waitress said – You can have anything you want off the menu it’s all paid for!!!!”
1. Actually I had already paid for this online I just didn’t realise it – But with Jesus – it is personal – He himself bore our sins.
2. He himself – It is personal. Jesus has paid the price. Grace is personal.
The Bible never allows for an impersonal God. I was on this plane with a woman talking to her about God – Well it was a small plane and there was no where to go. When I asked her to tell me about God she spoke of God as being some force out there but not personal – as I tried to lead the conversation towards Christ she shied away and began to talk about her life. It turned out that her life had been a mess. What I concluded was she had messed up her life and couldn’t believe that God could love her and forgive her. Thatis not the message of the bible. The Bible says He himself
This is the biggest cost ever the cost of your and my sins that produce death and here we find He himself bore our sins – Jesus paid the bill!
The big bills in our house cars – houses rates and insurance we pay ourselves.
But with the biggest debt of our lives – Jesus pays it – We deserve death – not at the hand of God but because we ourselves have cut ourselves off from God - but Jesus pays the bill.We are in debt to him but he carries the cost.
He himself means he - God has done it personally.
Bill Richardson – former head of the Richardson group was known to go and jump in one of the thousand plus trucks that Richardson’s owned in those days and go for a drive with the driver – The drivers couldn’t complain that much about the boss because – He himself would come down and get involved with their world. I was talking to his wife Shona and she commented that a new worker in Gore was warned look out for a fairheaded block in a red truck – because he is the gaffer.
In our case He himself God in the person of Jesus has come down and got involved personally in our world.