Death Row

Friday, Sept. 5

“We are born on death’s row.”—Tom Thieme. What a neat way to say that we are born with the sin nature and therefore already judged and awaiting our due punishment. I got to thinking about some people on death row that are daily looking for a reprieve. Sometimes the governor will set a death row man free. It’s sort of like that with God and the sinner, but there’s a significant difference. A reprieve recognizes the crime while merely removing the penalty. The crime itself remains on the books. Not so with God. He wipes the slate clean. The sin itself is gone, to be remembered no longer. Both of these scenarios would be called mercy. But there’s a second major difference. The governor doesn’t really change the man, nor does he guarantee a new and prosperous life. The reprieved man could well go back to his evil ways. Not so with God—on two counts. With God, the sinner is changed on the inside. He no longer is a slave to sin, but is set free and given the tools to live a productive and holy life. On top of that, God provides a sin free life in heaven—and it’s for all eternity. That’s grace. I can’t resist a final comment. Most governors need God’s style of reprieve—just like all other sinners on death row.

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