The Cost of Grace
Read Psalm 51:16-17
Grace is not a license to sin more. Grace should compel us to stop sinning. Even though God is merciful, sin is serious and restoration is costly. Because of this, your sin should break you. It should deeply sadden you. Your sin offends God and cost his Son everything. The story of David’s sin reminds us of just how much the grace of God actually cost.
David deserved to die because of his sin. In fact, David should have died. In David’s prayer for restoration that we looked at yesterday, David asks God to give him a new heart. He asks God to make it as if he had never sinned. David knew though that God has to punish sin because God is a just God. So, in order for David to be restored, someone else had to die in his place. This is a sobering thought. It is the same for you, in order for you to be forgiven of your sin and restored, someone had to die in your place.
For David, he experiences the cost of God’s grace in the most personal way possible. After David was confronted about his adultery and murder by Nathan, he confesses that he has sinned before God and this is how the story goes in 2 Samuel 12:13-14, “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.’” Did you catch that? God showed David mercy. You would think this would be a reason for immediate praise! But it isn’t! The way God chose to show grace to David was by placing the consequence of his sin on the son he was about to have with Bathsheba. Grace just cost David his son! And mind you, David’s son hasn’t even been born yet! His son is innocent! This isn’t fair!
No, the cost of grace isn’t fair but the cost of grace is just. In order for God to show David mercy, someone had to die in his place. That someone had to have never sinned. It had to be someone who did not deserve to die. Yes, we are born into sin but David’s son was innocent. He hadn’t yet had the ability to sin.
Understand this, in order for you to be saved from your sin, someone had to die in your place. The person that God chose to die in your place was himself because he was the only one that could bear such a burden. He was perfect in every way. He came and lived the perfect life that you were supposed to live, and died the death that you deserved to die. But then he did one of the most amazing things that we don’t have the power to do; he rose from the grave. Knowing that God died in your place should grieve you. When you think about your sin and price that had to be paid for it to be forgiven, you should feel remorse for what you have done. Remorse is deep regret. Remorse is exactly what we see here in David’s prayer in Psalm 51. David had regret for what he did. And the mercy and grace that God had shown him reminded him of the seriousness of sin and the cost of restoration.
One of the most amazing things about grace is that you don’t have to work for it. Grace is a free gift that God offers to everyone who chooses to surrender their lives to him. Yes, you should mourn over the consequences of your sin. But having grace gives you so many reasons to have joy. In verses 18-19 David recognizes that God doesn’t just want him to be better, God wants him to have a broken heart over his sin. Often our two main responses to our sin are to hide it and to try and fix the problem ourselves. But we can’t, and that is why God sent us Jesus. So when we sin, we are called to confess our sin to God, and turn away from it.
As long as you live on this earth the way it is, you will continue to sin. But you can find joy in grace because no matter how bad you are, grace covers your sin. But remembering what grace cost, should break your heart and cause you to desire sin less and less.