“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people” – Titus 2:11
The story is told of a young girl who left work early so she could have some uninterrupted study time right before a final exam in religion class. She studied all night. When she arrived at class in the morning everybody was cramming as much last minute info as their minds could handle. The teacher walked in and said, “Let’s do a quick review before the test.”
They followed him through the review that was laid out in the study guide. As he covered item by item he finally jumped to issues the young girl had never heard covered in class. Several hands went up, “We never had that information before.” The teacher picked up the textbook and held it in his left hand and said, “Everything is in the book and you are clearly responsible for everything in the book.” Who could argue with that!
Finally, it was time to take the test., — The assistants passed out the test and the professor said, “Leave your test face down on the desk until everyone has one — I’ll tell you when to turn your paper over and start.” Two minutes later the class heard, “OK, you may start.”
When the young girl turned her test over, every answer was filled in! A note at the bottom of the last page said: “Your Final Exam is now over. All your answers are correct. You are blessed with an ’A’ on the final exam.”
Every student read the same thing and looked up at the professor in utter astonishment!
When the professor was sure all eyes were on him he said, “You passed the test for one reason only — because the creator of the test took the test for you. All your study time, class time and hard work in preparation for this exam did not help you get the “A”. You have just experienced — GRACE.”
Paul wrote to Titus: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”. Grace is unmerited favour, getting something we don’t deserve. What we deserve is a punishment that is fit for the crime – that is a punishment that is equal with our sin.
Instead of pouring out His wrath upon us however, God extends His grace towards us. He doesn’t turn a blind eye to our sin because that would violate His holiness; nor does He offer us forgiveness; He offers complete justification – forgive and forget – clean sheet. He declares us to be righteous.