God’s Grace is the Nature of Your Christian Life – Part 2
In a previous post we saw that there is no problem with God’s grace as far as being rescued from the guilt, shame and condemnation of sin. Neither is there a problem with God’s grace when it comes to living holy and righteous lives as Christians. The Bible teaches us that approaching God is by grace, knowing God is by grace, and also living for God is by grace. In short, God’s grace is the nature of your Christian life. Let’s see how…
God’s grace comes to believers through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection
God extends to you his mercy and grace because of Jesus Christ’s perfect life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection (Eph. 2:4-10). The Bible tells us that God “saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Tim. 1:9). Abundant and everlasting life with God is not earned, but freely given (Titus 3:5). All you need is to believe this is true.
Read these verses to learn how grace comes to you: Isa. 53:1-12; Matthew 1:21; 18:11; 20:28; 26:28; Luke 19:10; John 6:37-40; 6:63-65; 10:14-16; 27-29; 17:1-2; 6-9; 24; Acts 9:1-16; 10:39-42; Rom. 9:11; 19-24; 11:1-23; Eph. 2:10; I Pet. 2:9-10.
Grace continues for believers in Christ
God’s grace not only made a way for you to be reunited to him through Jesus Christ, his grace also keeps and leads you through this life into eternity. Look at what Ephesians 1:4-6 says: “Just as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, in order that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
What’s even more awesome is that the Lord, whose grace began a good work in you, will, by grace, bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
Grace is the essence of your Christian life!
1. Through humility you can receive more grace for life (1 Pet. 5:5).
2. The means for you to live Christian life is by grace (2 Thess. 1:12)
Notice in Acts 13:43 how Paul and Barnabas pressed upon Jews and Gentiles who had come to faith in Jesus to keep on living in the grace of God. It is no different today for the believer. God’s Word of grace is able to build you up in the faith (Acts 20:32). Baptism is a means of grace to put off your old sinful habits and put on Christ (Rom. 6:1-14). The Lord has also given you his Supper in order to commune with Jesus, even spiritually “feeding” on him for nourishment and sustenance (Matt. 26:26-28; Lk 22:17-20; Jn. 6:35-58; 1 Cor. 10:16-21; 1 Cor. 11:17-34). Prayer is yet another gracious means to live the Christian life.
3. God gives you power to live the Christian life, and that is by grace (Gal. 2:20-21).
As one who follows Jesus, you are urged to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). We are strengthened with all power by God’s might, not ours (Col. 1:11-12). Power for Christian living comes from the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, not by our works of Law or personal ability.
As a steward of God’s grace (Eph. 3:2), Paul was able to help lay the foundation for Christ’s Church by the power of God’s grace (1 Cor. 3:10). Who he was and what he was able to do was through the grace of God in him (1 Cor. 15:10). Timothy, and by inference, all ministers in Christ are to find strength in Christ’s grace (2 Tim. 2:1).
4. Your sufficiency in the Christian life is through grace (2 Cor. 9:8).
His grace is sufficient for all your needs (Phil 4:19), for all your strength (2 Cor. 12:9), and for the endurance required to live for Christ (Heb. 13:9; 1 Tim. 1:12-14).
5. Your suffering in the Christian life comes with grace (Heb. 4:16).
Look at these verses: Rom. 8:26-28; 1 Tim. 2:1-6; Heb. 13:9; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:10.
6. The only way to persevere in the Christian life is through God’s grace (Phil. 4:13)
Want to see how God’s grace is what gives you endurance? See: Matt. 1:21; 7:21-23; John 6:32-39; 8:30-32; 10:27-29; 15:1-9; 17:1-2; 11; Rom.8:35-39; 11:29; II Cor. 1:20-23; Eph. 1:13; 4:30; Phil. 1:3-6; II Tim. 1:12; 2:19; 4:18; Heb. 5:5-9; I Pet. 1:1-5; 18ff; I John 2:17, 25-27; Jude 1; and Jude 24.
This study only touches the surface of how it is we are made Christians and how we continue to live as Christians – it is all by the grace of God. The indescribable grace of God in Jesus Christ is the very sphere in which live and is the central resource by which follow Jesus. God’s grace is enough!
What about the Law and doing good works? Good question, but hold that thought until the next time.