Pastor's Blog

Sand Mountain Sermonette 3

Ephesians 2:8

God’s Grace and Recess

I remember vividly my P.E. breaks in the Sixth Grade. Our class usually played slow-pitch softball out in a big field adjacent the school I attended. There was a boy named Glen in my class who started to bully me especially out on the softball field. I had known Glen all through elementary school and there was never a problem between us, but that year, for some reason, he would do things like knock a fly ball I was trying to catch from my hands, or seek to intimidate me in other ways.
This went on for a while, so I went to my mom and told her all about Glen. I will never forget what she told me. “Louie, do not say unkind things or do unkind things when Glen does this to you, and one day he will admire you.” You know, not long afterwards, Glen walked up to me one day near the end of recess and put out his hand to shake mine and said, “Louie, I admire you.” He never did that again and we remained best of friends through our High School graduation.

Mother’s advice ran counter-cultural to a Sixth-Grade boy-to-boy encounter at recess. Likewise, salvation by God’s grace and His grace alone, runs counter-cultural to a world which believes salvation and eternal life is achieved by works and works (merit) alone. The Bible says Christ destroyed the great wall of hostility that divided sinful mankind from a loving and holy God.

The result being: one’s sin is forgiven, and that individual is restored to God via the cross. And then a most beautiful transformation takes place when, for example, we can pray for our enemies rather than retaliate against them. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
Pastor Louie