We are saved by grace alone, though faith alone, in Christ alone.
But that’s not all, grace also keeps us – everyday.
Grace is not only essential at the beginning, we need it all the way through and praise God as the old hymn put it, “he giveth more grace,” and “he giveth, and giveth, and giveth again”!
The hymn-writer John Newton understood the power of grace and tells of it in his hymn Amazing Grace.
- Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
- ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
- Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
- The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
- Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
- The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
- When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
John Newton was a rugged and wretched slave trader when he heard the good news of Jesus Christ and experienced the amazing grace of God.
In this hymn he speaks of how he was lost, but now he’s found; he was blind, but now he sees; the fears he once had had been displaced, replaced by the fear of the Lord. And yes, though there were many dangers, toils and snares (life wasn’t necessarily easy because he had become a Christian), God had kept him; and day by day he had found that the promises of God were sure and provided hope for each new day. Then as he looked and moved towards the end of his life, he knew that he could trust God at the very end – for the God who had called him when he was a wretched sinner, had been with him and kept him through it all, would also be his forever, and it would be his joy to sing His praise forevermore.
The world still needs the saving and transforming and keeping message of the grace of God. Man’s condition hasn’t changed, he’s still a lost and helpless sinner in need of a saviour. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ still works. It’s still saving and transforming lives right around the globe, and enabling them to cross the line at the end!
It’s grace at the beginning.
Grace through the middle.
Grace at the end.
As such our boast will always be in the Lord, indeed our boasting in the Lord (or not) will be the measure of our trust in and experience of his grace.