For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Golfers paint themselves as one of the most unlucky groups anywhere. When a putt lips out, a ball gets an unlucky bounce in the trees or an unfortunately carom out of bounds, we either think to ourselves or are told by our friends “you didn’t deserve that!” We forget about all the times the bounce or blemish on the green actually aided us.
The grace and mercy of God puts our life in great perspective. But for His unmerited favor, we would be destined for eternal torment because of our sinful condition. He provided a means by and through the perfect sacrifice of His son Jesus that we have the only sustainable means for the remission of our sins. There is nothing in our power or ability that could ever substitute for this saving grace.
We often hear the word “propitiation” without fully considering its meaning. “Propitiation” is defined as an attempt to lessen the wrath of God by our deeds or sacrifice. In the Old Testament, we read about the yearly sacrifices which were required payment for the debt of the sins of the people. We, today, still get caught up thinking that our good deeds for mankind somehow appease God. The true believer realizes the actions of man are unable and grossly inadequate to cleanse the stains of sin. Paul in Romans 3:25 went further and gave us the crux of gospel when he wrote, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Thus, faith in Christ is the only sufficient means to cleanse the heart of the lost. His forbearance was placing Himself in our stead to fully pay for our past due account.
Recall your elation the last time your offline putt hit a small blemish and corrected its course directly into the cup to shoot a 79 instead of an 80. This microcosmic correction is of course minuscule to God’s provision of salvation, yet we often forget to give Him sufficient praise, honor and glory. It is because of this grace and mercy we worship Him in gratitude for our salvation. His sacrifice was no mere yearly offering. This payment is eternal for all those who accept and place faith in Him. He offered His only son for a people who directly opposed Him. We certainly “didn’t deserve that!”