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Director of Church Society Calls on Christians to Take Courage

Director of Church Society Calls on Christians to Take Courage The Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, has called on all Christians to take courage in the fight for Christian orthodoxy within the Church of England.   In his essay in the Winter 2022 edition...

Barnabas Fund Report: Help Save Lives of Persecuted Christians in Myanmar

Barnabas Fund Reports Save lives of persecuted Christians in Myanmar 7 January 2022 “I don’t know if this poor family would still be alive without help,” said one of our project partners this week. She was talking about 33-year-old “Pah” and her children, one of many...

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism: Towards a Strategy by Mark Pickles

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Towards a Strategy By Mark Pickles “The word ‘earnestly’ is significant, the situation is so urgent, the need so great, so we need to pray, but to pray with focussed persistence and intent so that more labourers might be raised up. “All...

Christian Nurse Fired for Wearing a Cross Necklace Wins Employment Case

Christian Nurse Fired for Wearing a Cross Necklace Wins Employment Case   Mary Onuoha, a former NHS nurse, won her claim of constructive dismissal after being fired for refusing to stop wearing a small gold cross she’d been given at her baptism.  Ms Onuoha is a...

Westminster Conference Report by George Curry

Westminster Conference Report By George Curry The Westminster Conference met in the Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London, on 6 and 7 December 2021. On day 1, Andrew Roycroft spoke in person on Charnock and Regeneration. The next two sessions were via zoom due to the...

Oak Hill to Host Seminar for Those Considering Ministry in the Church of England

Oak Hill to Host Seminar for Those Considering Ministry in the Church of England Oak Hill College will host a seminar for those considering ministry in the Church of England on Saturday, 29 January.  The seminar is “specifically designed to explore, engage with, and...

Pilgrim’s Process by Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process By Peter Sanlon One of the best known Bible verses tells us 'God is love.' (1 Jn. 4:8) Being loving is vital because of what the first half of that verse teaches - 'Whoever does not love does not know God.’ So on our pilgrimage we must be people who...

The Truth Will Set You Free, Book Review

The Truth Will Set You Free George Carey Isaac Publishing, Virginia, 2021 (ISBN: 9781952450136, 233pp, £24.95)   Randall Davidson pioneered the phenomenon of archiepiscopal retirement when he stepped down from Canterbury in 1928. The practice took hold and most...

What About All Those Contradictions: Chuck Collins

“All Those Contradictions” By Chuck Collins What about Anglicans and the Bible? Some say that it’s only helpful for his teaching on morality — when, in fact, Jesus’s harshest words were reserved for moralists of his day. Others say, “the Bible doesn’t condemn...

The Visible Churches Warned: JC Ryle

The Visible Churches Warned By JC Ryle 2. I ask my readers to observe that in every epistle the Lord Jesus says, 'I know your works'. That repeated expression is very striking. It is not for nothing that we read these words seven times over. To one church the Lord...

It’s All About the Grace of Jesus

In the 7 weeks of the Christianity Explored course, there are two weeks that seem to elicit a negative reaction from at least one person in most classes.  You might ask which biblical topics would cause someone a problem (they are sin and grace) especially, if you come from a practising Christian family…or one that was once upon a time.  

The two topics are simple yet profound.  In my experience, a significant proportion of people from the UK and Ireland struggle with the concept of sin. They just do not believe that sin is something to be concerned about because they do not see themselves as sinners.  The Ten Commandments are a film shown on TV at Easter but rarely recited in worship or school. 

On the other hand, those from the USA can really kick about the matter of grace.   America is a great meritocracy.  Everyone gets what they earn or that for which they’ve worked. It is nothing more and nothing less.  Grace is most foreign.

Biblically speaking, it shouldn’t be an issue because the bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Regarding grace, it tells us that it is by grace that we are saved, not of works lest any man should boast.

You see, grace was and is God’s response to sin; our sin, yours and mine not just the other fellow’s.  Grace is the free unmerited favour of God lavished on those who were once his enemies.  It isn’t something we can work for nor earn.  It is the gift of God and what a gift it is!

In the 1950s, my maternal grandmother was quite ill and required a rather lengthy hospitalisation.  She must have  been very close to death because it forever marked her personality.  Hospital bills were just as correspondingly expensive then in the US as today.  My grandfather didn’t know what to do and he was in a fix.  He literally had no means of paying the money.  All his unrelenting work and self-reliance had not left him prepared.

Then grace stepped in…and from a most unlikely source.  Years later, my granddad told me the story and he was still overwhelmed by what had happened.  You see, grace showed in the form of Mr Ed.  There wasn’t a man in our community that people thought less of than him. Many could recount his real or imagined sins and transgressions.

My granddad said it happened this way.  “A truck pulled up and out got Mr Ed.  He came to the door and greeted me and said.  “I heard about your wife’s illness.  You must have a big bill.”  My granddad said, “Yeah, and I don’t have an idea as to how I’ll ever pay it.”  Mr Ed looked him square in the eye and asked, “Herbert, what was it?”  He answered, “It’s $1,100.”  

At that, my granddad’s voice quavered, and he said, “Son, he opened up the bib pocket of his overalls and pulled out a wad of one hundred-dollar bills.  Then he peeled off eleven and handed them to me.  I tried to say no but he wouldn’t hear of it.  He shook my hand and walked back to his truck and went home.”

What Mr Ed did was a true act of grace.  No one really knew where he got his money, but he did for my grandparents what they couldn’t do for themselves.  That is the way God’s grace is given to us.  We don’t earn it, but he lavishes it on us who believe.  We have no way of paying our sin debt apart from that grace, but that grace covers the entire bill.  It’s all about the grace of Jesus.  Have you experienced it?

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