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Can Grace Be Seen?

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Many years ago in Lena Illinois, while serving Lena Baptist Church bi-vocationally as the Assistant Pastor, I worked fifty hours a week at a local Cheese Factory. The name of the factory was Torkelson’s Cheese Company. They were, at the time, primarily producers of the famous Munster Cheese. It was a small company but they supplied for a couple large companies. It was small enough that often the owners worked beside the employees. I will always be grateful to them for giving me work while I served Christ in the church. God taught me many things in that brief time I was working for the Torkelson family. 

While it was a growth experience for me, some of the growth was not apparent at the time. There were a few employees who made everyday hard for me. I was the newest employee, a southerner, a Christian, a preacher, and a Baptist. These were things did not set well with some of the other employees. One fellow in particularly rarely had a kind word for me. Generally speaking, he talked about things that made me consider him to be a lost person. Not once did it entered my mind that this guy would even consider being a Christian. 

One day, I was assigned to work with this gentleman. He and I worked together for a few hours during which time I said almost nothing. Trying to keep the peace and not make my day worse seemed to be the best way to proceed. Suddenly he turns, looks at me, and says that he had been reading a book by Chuck Swindoll! I was stunned! This guy began discussing what he was reading and talking as if he were a Christian! Where had this faith been? Was it genuine? Of course, it is not up to me to determine the genuineness of his faith but I can say this, if he were on trial for being a believer in Jesus Christ, there wouldn’t have been enough evidence to convict him! 

Is there evidence of God’s grace in you? Can we know if someone is a believer? Perhaps, more importantly, can we discern our own hearts? In the letter to the Philippian Church, Christ’s Apostle commends members of the church there for demonstrating their faith in Jesus Christ. By demonstrating we mean that they had experienced a spiritual transformation after believing in Jesus which resulted in a radical change in their daily lives. The answer to the question posed above is answered for us in the passage below. Jesus Christ as Lord and Christ transforms us through faith in Jesus and as we confess our sins, repenting from our old life and embrace new life in Jesus. 

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, [4] always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, [5] because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. [6] And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV) Philippians 1:3–5

I Love You All, 

Pastor Scott

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