Amazing Grace - Day 17

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:7, ESV

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Romans 16:20, ESV


Until the book of Romans, the word "grace" is used only 15 times in the New Testament. Once in Luke, three times in John, and eleven times in Acts. But in Romans, Paul refers to grace no less than 21 times! In fact, he opens this letter to the churches in Rome with grace, and he closes the letter with grace. And no wonder, for Paul was a man who could appreciate grace more than just about anyone who had ever lived. In his earlier life he was convinced that Jesus was not the Son of God and we are told that he literally set out to destroy the church.


Paul had Christians arrested, and even took part in their deaths when he could. Then when Paul was met with irrefutable evidence that Jesus was the Son of God, he changed. And despite his past life of terrorizing the church and persecuting Christians, he was given a second chance in the form of grace! No wonder he could not help but talk about it. Now we know that Romans was inspired, so God Himself had Paul talk about grace, but Paul no doubt was eager to promote this gift that he could appreciate as much as a human being could.


As you read these next few days from the letters of Paul, note how often he spoke of grace. By doing so he was not denying that there were other elements of salvation - he wrote freely about the things that men must do in order to be saved. But, he never forgot that salvation begins and ends with grace, the free gift of God. And neither should we!


Today's reading is from Romans 7-15. It is packed with wonderful things, but the greatest of these are the sacrifice of Jesus and the grace of God!