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What Could Be Greater Than Our Sin?


Still 'fine-tuning' our process. You can get to the original article HERE

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.


Societal norms are always changing. What one generation
forbids, the next generation may exploit. There is a place for recognizing
commonly held ethics, but there is a higher standard when it comes to what God
has in mind.


In the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, the suffrage movement took place in much of the Western world. It
was a movement to give women the right to vote and to participate more fully in
society. And it was a movement that many Christians either supported or


The battle for voting rights, according to Elaine Weiss
and other experts, drew together women across a spectrum of religious practice,
from Quakers to women active in the holiness movement who saw social reform as
a means of testifying to their pursuit of holiness


That’s the thing about social justice– people may make an
inspiring case from Scripture for a noble cause, but there will others that
resist the change and also appeal to Scripture. For Christians, change in
society must be shaped by a comprehensive reading of Scripture and a deep
introspection of our motives.


Around 1910, Julia H. Johnston penned the words,
“Grace Greater Than Our Sin.” This hymn is a commentary on Romans 5,
particularly on Romans 5:20b, which says: “But where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound.” Considering that many women were forbidden to teach, preach,
or pray in “promiscuous” (mixed gender) gatherings, writing a
commentary on scripture would also be, most likely, not tolerated. However, the
medium of hymn writing was utilized by women like Johnston in order to circumvent
societal norms.


While society in general and religious society in particular
frowned upon women having a public teaching ministry, Julia was faithful to a
higher call and put her message into a song. She took the grace she had
received from God and found a way to communicate it. Listen the deep, biblical
introspection found it these words.


Julia Johnston wrote,

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater– yes, grace untold–
Points to the Refuge, the mighty Cross.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!


The hope that all Christians rest in is the idea that God’s
grace will not be stopped by our slow learning. Where sin abounds, grace much
more abounds.


That’s one more thing that’s amazing about grace. Grace is
counter cultural. When the world is against something good, grace finds a way
to make it happen. The world and sometimes the church can get the right and
wrong things mixed up and grace moves in pure hearts to restore the good.


There’s something I note in the title of this hymn, and its’
reoccurring them. This is not just aimed at individual conscience, but to the
shared sin that God’s grace is greater than. Not just grace that is greater
than all my sin, but our sin.


How does God’s grace conquer our collective sin?


See also....
Israel at War: The Media Battlefield – Briefing #9

[2] Daniel Brink Towner | Julia Harriette Johnston, ©
Words: Public Domain; Music: Public Domain

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