Grace In Holiness, Holiness In Grace

Grace In Holiness, Holiness In Grace

Preacher Huijun - 30 January 2021

Grace In Holiness, Holiness In Grace

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<Genesis 38> 1 At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah. 2 There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and made love to her;

6 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.

8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.”

9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.

11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.

12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him.

13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”

“And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.

17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.

“Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked.

18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?”

“Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.

19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again.

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.”

Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”

25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again.

 

God extends His grace to the disgraced.

  • Tamar:
    • Gentile . Woman . Widow . Despised
    • Yet included in Jesus’ genealogy.
    • Her dishonest way of seeking redress not meant as a model.
  • Whether we sin or are sinned against, we are all fallen and broken.
  • God loves and saves sinners in spite of our flawed lives.
  • “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” <2 Co 5:17>

 

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more <Ro 5:20>.

  • Judah:
    • Married a gentile.
    • Broke promise.
    • Involved with “shrine prostitute”.
  • No person too sinful for God to redeem.
  • Do not give up on “unlikely candidates” or hardened sinners.
  • God’s people were so flawed that whatever good that come to them was the sole result of divine grace.
  • If grace is so good, why bother to obey God and resist evil?
  • Must not mix the right doctrine with the wrong application!
  • Right doctrine: Sin increased, grace increased <Ro 5:20>.
  • Wrong application: So feel free to sin more!
  • Blessed view: Because of God’s grace, even if we fall again, we will still have victory through Christ in the end, so persevere in obeying God.

 

God has both holiness and grace.

  • God’s grace won’t contravene His holiness
  • His holiness won’t wipe out His grace
  • God won’t tolerate sin, but also won’t be hampered by man’s sinfulness.
  • In His holiness, Er and Onan died for their sins.
  • In His grace, Judah and Tamar were in Jesus’ genealogy, despite their improper sex.
  • Why one pair died but the other lived? : God’s sovereign grace
  • In Christ, God manifests both Holiness and Grace.
    • In Christ, God punishes sin. [Holiness]
    • In Christ, God forgives undeserving sinners. [Grace]
  • Reject Christ: Pay for own sins.
  • Believe in Christ: Receive mercy and forgiveness.

 

Reflection

  1. Confirm how you have also received undeserved grace like Judah and Tamar. How can we cherish God’s grace without being emboldened to sin?
  2. How can we fear God’s holiness yet still dare to come confidently to Him for help and forgiveness when we fall again?
Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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