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Not much in our society is based on grace. If you want something, you must work for it and pay for it. The more valuable something is, the harder you must work for it. Often, there are some individuals who have been made caretakers, or stewards, of a product or commodity. If they restrict access to this item, then it becomes even harder to get ahold of it. They can pretty much charge whatever they want, and give it only to whom they choose. This opens up the possibility of abuse and manipulation.
This is what had happened to the gospel around the year 1500. The stewards of that gospel – the established church and all its officials – told people they had to work for and even pay for salvation. They gave it to whom they wished, and withheld it from those they didn’t like. This was diametrically opposed to what we read in Scripture. God provides salvation abundant and free to any and all who desire it and ask for it. This is the truth that people such as Martin Luther recovered and preached during the days of the Protestant Reformation. “Sola Gratia” – Grace Alone! This is the message, as found in Romans 3:19-28, that we want to look at this Sunday as we remind ourselves of the wonderful grace of a loving God.