Only By His Grace
By Garrett Ellis
There was a time when I thought that my marriage would not last forever. After years of investment, my wife and I considered separation because of an addiction I had to sexual sin. And not only was I locked into a bondage that caused me to commit adultery, it was with members of my own gender.
This life of sin was so binding that after a lot of self-evaluation, I came to the conclusion that as my spouse, she did not deserve the pain and humiliation that I was causing her. So, after not being able to suppress my conscience, I told her about the current act I had committed and that because I loved her and wanted to see her happy, I wanted her to move on and build a life for herself where she did not have to be subject to this kind of hurt.
I was going to leave until I could get my life under control and if God was merciful, she would be willing and free to reconcile.
It was at this point that I learned that Grace is more than unmerited favor. It is a demonstration of God’s love even when we Hs children, act extremely unlovable.
In the book of Romans Paul wrote these words:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6,8)
With my wife’s next words, she demonstrated to me the depth and reality of God’s love. She told me that even though she was in pain, even though logic was telling her to leave me for good, she loved me enough to bear the pain, maintain our marriage and see me come to the freedom that God would grant to me if I continued to seek Him. She told me that she loved God, she loved me, and that that love would keep her here as long as I was willing to try.
I was floored. Never before, even in my Christian walk, had I known such a selfless love. She was willing to endure the pain of knowing that her husband had an addiction that he could not control and that until God was able to penetrate his heart, his will and his sin, there was the chance that she may be hurt again.
And she still wanted to stay. For God, for me and for our marriage.
This is the nature of God. Even though we are ungodly, depraved sinners at best, He loves us enough to put up with us in the condition we are in. He knows that all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and without His Son’s blood paying the price for our sin, we are lost.
Everyone on earth has sinned. Not only does the Bible say so, but every one of us knows that if we would honestly evaluate ourselves, we all have been disobedient to God. No matter how hard we may try to be and do good, we can’t because our sin nature is in opposition to God’s plan for our lives.
Whether or not it is sexual sin, we all have something that if left unchecked, will build a wall up between God and us, thus, breaking fellowship and hindering our relationship.
We must accept the fact that without the God of the universe taking complete control of our lives and hopefully granting us pardon for our wayward ways, we will fail at being righteous in our own power, every time.
Fortunately, His Son’s blood and His Son’s pain covers our sins and makes the way for Grace to abound. Today, I am still married and free from sin and addiction, because of God’s Grace.
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