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For sin, forgiveness; for weakness, strength; for …

For sin, forgiveness; for weakness, strength; for foolishness, wisdom; for bondage, deliverance—such is the way of the grace of Jesus.

I love Colossians 2 (stop now and read verses 1–15). Maybe I love it so much because Luella, my wife, is the owner and director of a large private art gallery. You might be thinking, “Well, that’s a strange comment, Paul.” Permit me to explain. Colossians 2:1–15 is like a gallery of God’s grace.

At the beginning of each month, artwork is delivered to Luella’s gallery for the next show. The paintings come wrapped protectively or boxed in crates, and it is exciting for Luella to open them and to begin to experience the art that will give life to the gallery over the next month. After she has unpacked all the artwork, Luella goes through the process of arranging and rearranging it until each piece is where it needs to be to be displayed with the most power. The next day, a team of hangers comes into the gallery to help Luella actually affix the paintings to the walls. The final step is for each
painting to be properly lit. Every month, it seems that the gallery actually changes shape with the new work. Once it’s lit, I like to come down to the gallery in the evening and see the work in all its splendor. Often Luella and I stand across the street at night, look into the huge gallery windows, and
take in the beauty. Then Luella does something that bothers me every time. She gets her briefcase and hits the light switch, plunging the gallery into darkness. I always think, “No, no, these paintings should
never be in the dark.”

If you’re God’s child, you are a gallery of his glorious grace. The walls of your heart have been festooned with the gorgeous artwork of redemption: wisdom for the foolishness of sin, power for the weakness of sin, forgiveness for the guilt of sin, and deliverance from the bondage of sin. Grace means that beautiful things are being done for you and happening within you. Yet I have this concern—for many believers, the artwork is there, but the lights are out in the gallery. These believers simply don’t see or fully understand the stunning beauty of what they have been given in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. And because they don’t see or understand that grace, they neither celebrate it nor live in light of its majesty. So they give way to weakness when power is at their disposal. They give way to foolishness when they have been personally connected to the One who is wisdom. They hide in guilt when they have been fully forgiven. They surrender to addiction when they have been given freeing grace. Their hearts have been decorated with the artwork of grace, but the lights are out in the gallery. How sad! What about you? Are the lights on, and has that radically changed the way you live?

For further study and encouragement: Galatians 5:16–26

(Source: New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp)

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