Today at church I was encouraged by the sermon from Ephesians 6. It was about standing firm in the truth that we know, and putting on the armour of God so that we can withstand whatever Satan throws at us.
I was just as moved by the songs we sang (great choices JG), which reflected the point of the teaching perfectly. They are songs we’ve sung zillions of times and are almost overfamiliar. But I think some time of not being on the music team and being able to just turn up to church, sit and listen, has meant that I am being refreshed, and re-learning things that perhaps I was taking for granted.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
Amazing Grace, John Newton
The only way I can stand with any confidence in life is because of God’s grace. The only way I will get to the end and still be standing firm is because of God’s grace. There is no way I could do this on my own, to try to live a godly life. I am weak willed and too easily swayed and my instinct is to run or crumble at the first sign of trouble. It’s all grace, changing my desires, pointing me back to God, showing me what he has already brought me through and helping me trust that he will continue to bring me through the dangers, toils and snares.
There in the ground his body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again
And as he stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am his, and he is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
In Christ alone, Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me! It’s not going to win! Not because of anything I do, but because of what Jesus has done. As the next verse triumphantly proclaims: “No guilt in life, no fear in death – this is the power of Christ in me.” I can’t adequately describe what comfort these words bring!
We’re always going to stuff up, until the day we die. None of us can do enough to be right with God. Nothing we do takes God by surprise. How incredible then that despite all that he sent Jesus to make it right! How incredible that I can be confident that nothing will separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39)
To paraphrase Newton: “I am a great sinner and Christ is a great saviour”. Understanding that makes all the difference.