Lavish Sin, Lavish Grace

Back in the 1940’s, a black man rose in a meeting to give his testimony to the saving grace of God.

He told how the Lord had won his heart, and given him deliverance from the guilt and power of sin. He spoke of Christ and His work, but said nothing of any efforts of his own.

The leader of the meeting was of a fine educated minister, prideful, and of a legalistic mindset. When the old man’s testimony had ended, he said, “Our brother has only told us of the Lord’s part in his salvation. When I was converted, there was a whole lot I had to do myself before I could expect the Lord to do anything for me. Brother, didn’t you do your part first before God did His?”

The aged black man stood to his feet again in an instant, and replied,

“Yes, sah, Ah clear done forgot. Ah didn’t tell you ‘bout my part, did I? Well, Ah did my part for over thirty years, runnin’ away from God as fast as evah my sins could carry me. That was my part. An’ God took aftah me till He run me down. That was His part!”

In the parable of the lost son, in Luke 15, we refer to him as “the prodigal son.”

However, the word prodigal, which we usually equate with “wayward and rebellious,” actually means “lavish,” or “abundant.”

This can give a two-fold meaning: First, the son was lavish in sin, and, second, the Father was lavish in grace. 

Lavish sin was met by lavish grace.


“Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.”

Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center

 © 2012 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.