I was reading Every Day with Jesus today, not because I read Every Day with Jesus, but because I was having a clear-out and I read it where it fell open: a chapter called ‘Missed Grace.’
Selwyn Hughes, looking at Hebrews 12:15, explains how easy it is for us to miss grace.
Yet, in his explanation, it seems that he himself misses grace – which shows that even the greatest men of God can miss the wonderful freedom that comes from a grace revelation.
Let’s see why. He says this:
How can God’s grace be missed? Think of the man who went into the adult bookstore. The moment he was being tempted to go in, the grace of God was flowing towards him. He had a choice: either respond and receive it or ignore it and turn away. Instead of turning to the grace, he turned to the temptation. That’s what it means to miss the grace of God.
Selwyn! God’s grace didn’t stop flowing towards him when he gave in to the temptation. In fact, God’s grace flowed even stronger. As Paul says:
Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? (Romans 6:1)
When we sin, grace increases.
This is the wonder of grace. This is why grace is so amazing.
The man in the story didn’t miss the grace of God. Grace was always with him, before, during and after the temptation.
The only way he missed the grace of God is if he didn’t know he was still righteous, holy and perfect in God’s eyes even in the midst of his temptation – even in the midst of his sin.
Our righteousness doesn’t depend on what we do. It’s a free gift.
On the cross Jesus swapped places with us. He got our sin, we got His righteousness.
How ironic that the preacher teaching how not to miss the grace of God has actually himself missed the grace of God!
As the writer of Hebrews says a little further in the letter, verse 23:
You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect.
The spirits of righteous men made perfect.
Made perfect by who? By ourselves and our ability to overcome temptation?