Helping people to have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ

The Grace of God

Categories: Staff Blog

The grace of God is one of the most important subjects in all of Scripture.

At the same time it is probably one of the least understood.

All Christians by definition believe in grace. Many of us frequently quote

Paul’s well-known words in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have

been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of

God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” And John Newton’s

beloved hymn “Amazing Grace” is said to be the all-time favorite hymn

in the United States. Why then do I say the grace of God is one of the

least understood subjects in the Bible?

When we think of grace, we almost always think of being saved by grace.

That is why Ephesians 2:8-9 is so familiar to us. Even Christian literature

available on the subject of grace seems to deal almost exclusively with

salvation. But the Bible teaches we are not only saved by grace, but we

also live by grace every day of our lives. It is this important aspect of

grace that seems to be so little understood or practiced by Christians.

My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our

personal relationship with God on our performance instead of on His

grace. If we’ve performed well—whatever “well” is in our opinion—then

we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations

are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works rather than by

grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the “sweat” of our own

performance.

Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to “try

harder.” We seem to believe success in the Christian life (however we

define success) is basically up to us: our commitment, our discipline, and

our zeal, with some help from God along the way. We give lip service to

the attitude of the apostle Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I

am” (1 Corinthians 15:10), but our unspoken motto is, “God helps those

who help themselves.”

The realization that my daily relationship with God is based on the

infinite merit of Christ instead of on my own performance is a very

freeing and joyous experience. But it is not meant to be a one-time

experience; the truth needs to be reaffirmed daily.

When we experience God’s grace, we should experience gratitude, and

out of gratitude we experience love. This fundamentally changes the

way we live our lives toward God and others. This is why Paul said, “grow

in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

Come with me on the journey of grace.

 

Pastor Rusty

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: