The sin is ours. The guilt is ours. The salvation comes from God. The glory belongs to God.

* May God give us grace to be “right with God” without taking any glory to ourselves. All the glory belongs to Him. Every sign of spiritual growth is always His doing. It has nothing to do with our being “pretty good people.”
* May God, through His Word and His Spirit, bring us each day to the Cross where we learn that our very “best” is never good enough. We look at our Saviour. He is God’s Very Best – “there is no other good enough.”  May God give us grace to look away from ourselves to Him. Deeply moved by His love – the greatest love of all, may we say, “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).
* May God help us, in the light of Christ’s Cross, to see ourselves as sinners – under God’s judgment. It was our sin that sent Christ to the Cross. As we see ourselves in the light of the Cross, we will be less concerned with comparing ourselves (favourably!) to other people. We will learn to pray that each of us  will know, in ever- deepening love and power, the truth of the words, “The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing from every sin” (1 John 1:7).
* When we read Christ’s words to the Church of Laodicea, may we be moved to ask the question, “who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16). Let us be encouraged in knowing that the Lord has given us His answer, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Glorying in His grace, may we echo the words of Ephesians 2:8 – “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
* When we are tempted to look down on others, may we be reminded of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector – “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others … The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are” May we, throughout our life, pray the prayer of the tax collector – “God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:9-14).
* To every one of us, God’s Word says, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1). If we imagine that these words are always addressed to other people and never to ourselves, we need to be brought by the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin, to the universal truth of the words of Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Thank God that the Holy Spirit does not leave us there – convicted of our sin. He leads us to the Cross of Christ where we receive the forgiveness of our sins. We see this in the very next verse! – “and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The gift of salvation comes to us through Christ’s “sacrifice of atonement.” This salvation is received “through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:25).
* Our faith in Christ does not give us any cause for boasting – regarding ourselves as superior to others. The whole point of Christ’s “sacrifice of atonement” is this – He has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He has provided eternal salvation for undeserving sinners. Our faith is, therefore, never something about which we have any right to boast. We do not come to God with our religion in one hand and our morality. That’s the way of “the Pharisee.” We come with empty hands. Into our empty hands, Christ places His full and perfect salvation. It is His “free gift.” It is never “wages” that we earn. May these great truths of the Gospel of free grace change us – keeping us walking on the pathway of holiness without ever imagining that we’re “pretty good people.”
* The great truths of sin and salvation are summed up well in two statements from the Apostle Paul – (i) “nothing good dwells in me” (Romans 7:18) – that’s our sin. (ii) “Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) – this is God’s salvation. To God alone be all the glory!

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