"An Inside Perspective"

August 2012


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jimmy Grace and Ricky Rogue grew up together from a young age. Although they were from different families, they were closer than brothers and became the best of friends.

They went through high school together and watched each other mature. They were friends with each other’s’ girlfriends and dated together as couples all the time. The late sixties and early seventies was a very liberal time in America and they soon found themselves being drawn into the drug culture.

At first, their drug use was just recreational, or so they thought, and they just wanted to have fun. They were teenagers sporting their first cars and at the time it just seemed to them that “everyone was doing it.” With the clarity of hindsight, which we all like to think is 20/20, they now know that everyone “was not doing it.” It was the circles that they had chosen to walk in; they just wanted to be cool. Uncool is more like it.

Anyway, as time went on Jimmy started to take life more seriously and he slowly faded out of that lifestyle. He went off to college and began to do the right thing. He graduated and became a very well respected lawyer. He also made oodles of loot, married a lovely lady and had three beautiful children.

On the contrary, Ricky went in the other direction and his life began a slow downward spiral. Drugs and alcohol had a hold on him that he could not break, nor did he seem to want to. He was a slave to them and in some perverted way, he enjoyed it. Despite losing everything, including his very dignity, he lived willingly on the streets with the dregs of society, yes, he dwelt amongst the foul underbelly of humanity.

Jimmy and Ricky remained friends because of the strength of their past, but they no longer traveled in the same circles. It went unspoken, but in reality they were living in two very different worlds and they both knew it. Jimmy felt sorry for Ricky and occasionally, as opportunity allowed, he tried to talk some sense into him, but it was not to be.

Over time Ricky was finally arrested for robbery. He went to trial and was found guilty. On sentencing day he went before Judge Justice who said, “Mr. Rogue, approach the bench. The jury has convicted you of robbery and I hereby sentence you to ten years in prison or you may pay a $100,000 fine.” Ricky said, “Your Honor, I have no money.” Judge Justice just shook his head in disgust; he then lifted up his gavel ready to slam it down, thereby sentencing Ricky to the ten years!

Lo and behold, at that exact moment Jimmy stood up in the back of the courtroom. Ricky had not even known he was there. Jimmy was dressed in a stylish three piece suit looking sharp as a tack. He spoke boldly without hesitation stating, “Your Honor, I will pay the fine for Mr. Rogue,” to which Judge Justice authoritatively replied, “Approach the bench, Mr. Grace.” Jimmy came to the bench and quite purposely wrote out a check for $100,000. He handed the check to Judge Justice who received it from Jimmy’s hand. The Judge then turned directly to Ricky and looked him straight in the eyes as he said, “Mr. Rogue, you are free to go.” Immediately the court officer came over to Ricky and removed his handcuffs!

It is written, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:8-9)

Beloved, the law had no more hold on Ricky because justice had been forever satisfied by the payment of another on his behalf! Hallelujah! This is the heart of our gospel. The theological word used to express this idea is vicarious. It means one acting or standing in the stead of another. Jesus Himself became the vicarious propitiation (satisfaction of God’s justice) on our behalf, so that we, whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world, may be free to “go and sin no more.” Oh, precious Blood divine---reconciliation is mine!

It is written, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 Jn. 4:10)

Saved from wrath means that we are saved from the penalty of our sins. Wrath, in accordance with God’s perfect justice, is the result of God’s righteous and necessary judgment of sin. His holiness demands it, His justice executes it and the sinner must receive it.

Beloved, I purposely did not work while at the Greenhouse today. I simply rejoiced in my finished work. Everything is blooming in all of its glory and I just rested and marveled at the Lord’s handiwork in creation. You too ought to rest and marvel that God is forever satisfied with the inestimable blood of Jesus Christ on your behalf.! Precious one, your handcuffs have been removed...