Categories: Daily Bible Readings

Grace for the Underserving


What good does it do you, however, to believe all this?

In Christ I am right with God and heir to life everlasting.

How are you right with God?

Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.

Why do you say that by faith alone you are right with God?

It is not because of any value my faith has that God is pleased with me. Only Christ’s satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness make me right with God. And I can receive this righteousness and make it mine in no other way than by faith alone.


Grace for the Underserving

Wednesday, May 31: Psalm 103

“What good does it do you to believe all this?” It does a lot of good when we understand that no one deserves God’s grace. Let’s get more specific. Those who worship twice each Sunday, those most committed to social justice, those married for 75 years, and single men and women who choose to remain celibate are not deserving of grace. Educators, ethicists, doctors, therapists and pastors are not deserving of grace. Americans are no more deserving of grace than Iranians, and Christians are no more deserving of grace than Muslims. The truth is that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Yet, God is “slow to anger, abounding in love,” and “does not treat us as our sins deserve” (Psalm 103:8-10). He demonstrated His tireless love and grace in His Son, Jesus (Romans 5:8), in whom alone is found the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23b; cf. Acts 4:12, 2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s tireless grace for undeserved sinners is reason for great humility. His gift to us is a gift offered to every child, woman and man in every nation, every religion and every sinner. So, let’s not gloat in our salvation. Instead, let’s join Paul in boasting in our Savior: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile…The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17).

Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn