“Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:20)
This is the day which Americans set aside to reflect on the blessings of God which have been showered on us in the previous year. All other holidays, even Christmas and Easter, can be skewed into a non-Christian meaning, but not Thanksgiving. Historically, it was a time to give thanks to God for the bountiful harvest, and experientially, while there are those to whom we should give thanks for particular favors, there is only one to whom we can give thanks for the blessings of life. Nothing else makes sense.
Christians, of course, have much more for which to give thanks than the non-believer, or at least they have the eyes with which to see and the heart with which to recognize God’s blessings. Indeed, Paul instructs us that “in every thing [we should] give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18); the tense of the verb implying a habitual, continual thanksgiving.
But specifically, we should be thankful for His grace, which, as explained in our text, completely overwhelmed our sin and instead brought salvation and freedom from guilt. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Note that in our text the word “abound” appears three times. Both the offense and sin exist in abundance. But the abundance of grace comes from a different Greek word which means literally “to exist in superabundance.” But there is more. It is further modified by the prefix “much more,” implying a grace that is beyond superabundance.
On this special day of thanksgiving, let us not fail to include in those things for which we are thankful the overwhelmingly superabundant grace of God. JDM