We Are Brothers After All. Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (5:20-21)

Gettysburg Battle 

"The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom 5:20-21, NIV2)

The law shows us all of our shortcomings. We cannot hide from it, for it reveals who we truly are. Quite discouraging, don't you think?

However, amidst this abundance of selfishness, God's grace came through, through His Son Jesus, the Christ. He willingly died for us on a cross, paying our penalty, so that we could live for eternity with our Heavenly Dad. Imagine meeting Jesus in person, once we reach heaven. This thought fills me truly with adrenaline!

God's grace overshadows our sins, so that we can be considered righteous, even though we aren't really. That's love my friends, divine love.

His manifestation can be seen even amidst the worst scenarios on our planet earth. Imagine brothers turning against brothers for some political ideology. The American Civil War was just that. One day they are friends, the next day they were trying to kill one another.

During the Battle of Gettysburg, at the base of Oak Hill, it was suspected that some Confederate sharp shooters had lodged themselves in the McClean barn. They had to be flushed out! Elements of the 45th regiment of the New York Infantry surrounded that storehouse.

Amongst these soldiers was a corporal named Rudolph Swartz, an immigrant from Germany. As Rudolph entered the barn, he recognized one of the Confederate prisoners being taken to the rear. It was his own brother, dressed in a Confederate uniform. Immediately these two men embraced. This would be their last embrace, as later on that same day, Rudolf Swartz, the Union corporal, was killed in action.

Grace showed up that day. These brothers had the opportunity to say farewell to one another. An unimaginable task amidst the thick of a battle, but it still happened. God had known how important it would be for these two brothers to meet up this last time.

All of us, if we take the time, have stories about times when grace showed up in unimaginable places. Sadly we often forget about these, not realizing that God had come through for us. And He sure did come through when our sins were forgiven on Golgotha. Accepting His grace opened the doors wide to experience Him fully.

Do we even realize that we are now considered righteous in God's eyes?

Rob Chaffart

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