God’s Grace Is Inexhaustible

God’s Grace Is Inexhaustible

“As Your grace cannot be fathomed, so Your mercy cannot be measured…” With these words, I invited this very precious person to confess her sins. We were at confession and this was the very first time she had ever done this before. And even though she had grown up in the Orthodox Church her whole life, she had never been to confession. She thought she was worthless. She thought all her bad deeds were just too much for God to forgive. She thought there was no hope of ever unburdening herself from her past mistakes.

She was wrong.

You see the Faith tells us God’s grace “cannot be fathomed.” I love that phrase because it speaks of unmeasurable depth. No matter how low you sink, God’s grace is greater, and His forgiveness is measureless. You simply can’t “outsin” God’s grace. IF you come to Him, He will in no wise cast you out! IF you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins! This is true every time, every day, and “unto the ages of ages.” If we humans can exhaust God’s mercy then we are more powerful than God. And that ain’t true! God forgives when we repent. Every time!

Needless to say, this dear and precious person left a great deal lighter after this long overdue appointment with confession.

Look at our lesson today in Romans 5:17-21; 6:1-2:

Brethren, if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

St. Paul keeps insisting the Roman Christians and, by extension, all of us embrace this clear teaching of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ as the savior of the whole world. And Paul insists that all of this salvation is accomplished by God’s grace. Our response to His grace determines whether we are alive or “dead in our trespasses.”

Paul repeats what he’s said before One man’s disobedience leads to death, and one Man’s obedience leads to Life. Adam’s sin unleashes death into the world, and we humans have been mercifully granted the separation of the spirit and the body so that there is no way for our sin to be eternal! Did you get that? Yep, one of the fathers of the Church actually said that God has gifted humanity with physical death so that our sin wouldn’t be committed forever. Sin is temporary. Turns out, so is death.

Because Jesus Christ comes as the “second Adam” to untie the knots Adam tied in his short-sighted failure. Jesus acts completely righteous in human flesh and destroys death by death and grants life to the whole world. Everyone is going to live forever. Period. Death is defeated. Life is granted to all. Now the only issue is, will you know how to enjoy eternal life?

And then Paul gives us such an encouraging word that, if we have the humility and courage to believe it, will forever change the way we live every day. He says that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” All the sin of all the humans in all the world could not, does not, cannot be greater or overwhelm God’s grace. In fact, all the sins that have been, are, or ever will be committed in all the universe are drowned in the always larger sea of God’s grace. If sin could overcome God’s grace then sin would be god. No! All sin is no match for God’s grace and mercy. Wherever sin exists, the grace to overcome it exists even more!

And that means you should NEVER believe there is no hope for you. You can’t sin so much that God will stop loving you. You can’t. You simply don’t have that kind of power, and your mistakes certainly can’t exhaust the mercy of God.

St. Tychon the Wonderworker was born to Christian parents in the 5th century. Because of his piety and daily focus on keeping a pure heart, he was made the bishop of Amathus. Tychon was called “the wonderworker” because of so many miracles God did through this precious saint of God. And the miracles went a long way in helping Tychon do what he desired most, the conversion of the unbelievers in his area to Faith in Christ. Tychon dared to trust that if he would only continually submit himself to God and keep turning g away from darkness toward Light, he would be transformed by the Grace of God to be the man he was created to be in the first place. Tychon insisted that God’s grace was always greater and more powerful than all human mistakes! St. Tychon fell asleep in the Lord around 425 AD.

Today, are you struggling under the false notion that you’ve done too many bad things to be forgiven? Do you suffer from the shame of past mistakes that are keeping you from ever believing God still loves you? Stop right there and know what you feel isn’t true. God loves you more than you, yourself, know how to love. And he waits with open arms to forgive you and transform you into a Normal Orthodox Christian.

P.S. You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Tychon, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer you did obtain heavenly gifts, and you healed the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith. Glory to Him that has given you strength. Glory to Him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healings for all through you.

Are You traveling this Summer? Don’t forget to support your local parish!

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