Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | November 18, 2021 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website

November 18, 2021


A man has been found guilty, shall we say, of a hideous crime and has been sentenced to death. He is now in prison, awaiting the day of his execution.

A friend comes to visit him. This friend calls out: I have good news for you! Eagerly the condemned man asks: what is it? The answer comes: Be good.

In that message, there is not so much as a shred of good news. It is a most-cruel mockery.

R.B. Kuiper


The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. Romans 5:20


Dear friends,


When the church of Jesus Christ sings, the vilest offender who truly believes. That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. A good question to ask is, how would we cope with an invasion of newly repenting, placed their faith in Jesus Christ, world-stained hard-edged sinners in Christ’s church? Think of it, broken people who still have a long way to go emotionally, morally, and spiritually yet, who are covered by God’s grace.


The Scandal of Extravagant Grace


If you read the Books of Kings and Chronicles, you will find king after king who in some form or fashion lived in what seemed like perpetual defiance and revolt against God.


The God who chose Israel, who brought them in covenant, who gave them His law, who provided for them the sacrificial system to atone for their sin and place them in a land flowing with milk and honey, was repaid with a ridiculous amount of wickedness.


Maybe the darkest moment of wickedness was the reign of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, which we read of in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33. Why God did not wipe Manasseh, and the nation from the face of the earth, is a wonder upon wonders.


This is what happened to this very wicked, His own children sacrificing King.


The Lord had Manasseh tide by hooks to be led into captivity by the invading Babylonian army. (Then) in his distress, he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so, he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (2 Chronicles 33:12-13)


This moment is deeply insightful, reflecting the very nature of God. The grace God showed Manasseh drew him to a conclusion—(He) knew that the Lord is God. The Hebrew word know means an intimate personal understanding. God was no longer distant or unimportant.


Manasseh confessed his sins, convicted himself, was humble before God, prayed to be forgiven through the great mercy of the Lord, and He was. At that point, something new happens. Manasseh knew God as God, willing to deliver. He knew Him as the God of salvation; he learned to fear, trust, love, and obey him. If you like, because of the grace God gave to Manasseh, he discovered the truth about God—the Lord is God.


The extravagance of God’s grace is not a free pass for living a lawless and godless life. Right after Romans 5:21, Paul writes in Romans 6, what shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! The grace which forgives is also the grace that transforms. Still, the Christian life begins, ripens, and ends with grace. The Christian will never grow past grace; grow out of grace, will never stop needing grace. It's never unessential.


So how would we cope with many newly repenting, placed their faith in Christ, world-stained hard-edged sinners in Christ’s church? Extravagant, scandalous, amazing Grace.



                                              Come behold the wondrous mystery

                                              Christ the Lord upon the tree

                                              In the stead of ruined sinners

                                              Hangs the Lamb in victory

                                              See the price of our redemption

                                              See the father’s plan unfold

                                              Bringing many sons to glory

                                              Grace unmeasured, love untold


                                                             Verse Three—Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery



May God bless you this week, especially as you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebrations.


Pastor Joe