COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Do we prepare for the pandemic? Do we do nothing? Do we give in and expire or do we adorn our PPEs, stay at least six feet apart from each other, while facing the daunting challenge ahead of us? The answer is clear. We rely on what we have been taught and been assured of and abide therein.
In his song "Amazing Grace", Andre Crouch sang these words, “Amazing Grace shall always be my song of praise, for it was grace that bought my liberty.” Liberty is liberation, power and protection, and both come with an expectation (Ephesians 2:8). His Grace is sufficient, but it should not be asynchronous. We too have work to do to be worthy of His great mercies (James 1:21-23).
Paul’s repeated use of a casuistical device of asking a rhetorical question, (and then proffering an answer) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” (e.g., Romans 4:1, 3, 7, 6:1-2, 8:31), reminds me of the Founders use of a similar device, “Are you blind? Can you not see?” and, “A hint to the wise is sufficient,” (M.L. Tate, Letters, 2003, pp. 26, 27, 28). Plainly, what more is there to be said? Lengthy discussions, extended exegeses, and other such verbal exercises, yield nothing short of weariness of the mind and spiritual confusion. According to Solomon, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man,” (Ecclesiastes 12:12, 13).
In his letter to the Romans (Roman 4th through 8th chapters), the Apostle Paul bluntly, although lengthily, posits the committed stand: neither the (Levitical) laws of circumcision, nor works, nor deeds merit salvation. Christ is the only answer. What more is there to be said? “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:38-39).
Paul discusses “Grace” throughout chapters four through eight. During this year's General Assemby, we will focus our attention on the bible concept of Grace. Who are the benefactors and beneficiaries of Grace? What are the requirements to receive Grace? We will examine the mindset and conditions of the Roman converts and how one falls from Grace? Most importantly, we will discuss Grace and share our hope for today.
Meharry H. Lewis, Chief Overseer