Hi again and welcome back. Last time I gave you some work to do. Did you look up your verses? If not, you owe me twenty pushups right now! Sorry, old habits are hard to break. I do hope you read several of the verses on grace. The purpose of that exercise was for you to see in how many different types of context, the word grace is used. We have discussed it's significance in salvation. It is by God's grace you have been saved, through faith in His only begotten son, Jesus. Why am I saying it again? Well, if I learned one thing in thirty some years of coaching, it is that you can never repeat the basics too much. Learning is based on repetition.
Some people seem to think that since our salvation is all about God's grace then we aren't required to do anything. Well that is not really accurate. Jesus said in Lk 5:32 that He came to call the sinners to repentance. In Acts 20:21 Paul said that he had declared to Jews and Greeks (representing all non Jews), that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. The word repentance in Greek comes from the word metanoia. It really means a reversal of thinking or decision. In order to receive grace leading to salvation we must turn from our worldly way of thinking and acting, to God's way. This is the decision you make when you receive Christ as your savior. There is no true salvation without repentance. This is not contrary at all to the idea of grace. Repentance means surrendering your will to God. Faith is believing in God's ability to forgive and save you, accepting His grace.
There is another misconception about God's grace that we must clear up before we go on. This one is particularly distressing because I believe that it keeps so many people from experiencing real victory in their Christian life. Even worse, it may even give them a false sense of peace and security of their salvation, which may never have taken place. It is sometimes referred to as "cheap grace". Let me explain. Have you ever heard people say " I don't have to worry about committing sin, it's all covered by grace". Some people seem to think that grace means that they are allowed to do or say anything they please, live any way they want to and God is obligated to forgive them because they said "the sinners prayer". My friends, this is a very dangerous position to take. Paul addressed this in Romans 6. He says in verses 1and 2 "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!" He says if we are truly saved we have died to sin. Now don't get me wrong. This does not mean we won't sin at all after we are saved, but there is a big difference between missing the mark (the definition of sin) and an attitude of using God's grace as license to sin. A person who has surrendered their will to God will have a desire to live in a Godly way. Remember, repentance means that you have chosen to turn from your will and your way to His will and His way! If that is you then you are ready to walk in His grace. If not, why not turn now and surrender your will completely to Him. I promise you, your life will change and you will never regret it.
Now let's begin to explore what it means to walk in His grace. As I mentioned, the Bible uses this term in many different contexts. In Ephesians 4:7, Paul says, "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." This shows us that Christ gives us different amounts or measures of grace and in this context it not only means unmerited favor but also power and equipment for ministry. You might be thinking, well, no wonder I can't do the kinds of things I see others Christians do. God has given them more grace. Nice try but that is not what Paul means. What it means is that when we make ourselves available to the Lord, He provides the grace we need for the particular time or situation we are in. Paul relied on that as He traveled about teaching and preaching about His Lord Jesus Christ. That same grace is available to us. Remember when God called Moses to lead the Hebrew nation out of Egypt. He tried to get out of it by claiming that he did not speak well enough to do the mob, but God told Moses that He would speak through him. This is God grace in action. It is just as available to you and I when we follow His leading. Appropriating that grace is what leads us to accomplishing God's will in our lives. That, dear friends, is what victory in Christ is all about. That is what brings peace to our souls.
I hope this encourages you to make yourselves available to be used by the Lord and experience the joy of His grace in your life. We will continue the subject of walking in grace in the next post.
Game plan: Spend time with the Lord in prayer this week, asking Him to reveal any area of your life that you have not surrendered to Him. Then, ask Him for the grace to release it to Him and watch what He does. Then ask Him to use you in a special way. Remember, you don't see victory unless you are willing to risk defeat. May God bless you in this endeavor.