3 MAJOR WORKS OF GRACE IN THE BELIEVER’S LIFE
In continuation of our Grace Series, we want to look at the three major works of grace in the believer’s life. We have had two titles in this series. The first explained the meaning of grace, in part, and stressed how it should be reflected in our relations with others. The second was a testimony of grace derived from my interactions with some believers online. You can click’on their titles to read.
3 MAJOR WORKS OF GRACE IN THE BELIEVER’S LIFE
1. We are saved by grace and not by our efforts:
Without the grace of God, we would still be separated from Him, condemned to die for our sins. That is the first major work of grace in our lives as children of God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people” – Titus 2:11.
A ransom was needed (one we couldn’t pay) to buy us out from suffering God’s judgment for sin, which is death, and Jesus, the Son of God took our place.We are saved by grace because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Click To Tweet
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” – 1 Peter 3:18.
2. We overcome sin and stand firm in trials by grace.
So Christ died in our place and we have life, then what? Do we have the liberty to do as we please because His grace covers us and God’s mercy endures forever? Certainly not! The very reason God sent His Son to die for us is that He hates sin and we cannot have fellowship with Him if we persist in sin. Look at the Bible’s descriptions of God through the prophet Habakkuk and King David.
“You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong” – Habakkuk 1:13a.
“For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” – Psalm 5:4 & 5
Being saved does not immediately translate us to heaven physically. We are still in a world that hates God and is full of temptation to do wrong. Grace comes in again and we see its second major work in the Christian’s life.
Here is the continuation of the scripture we read earlier from Titus. In fact, we take verse 11 again and go further.
“11. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
“12. training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
“13. waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and
“14. to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
We are not helpless in the face of sin. The word of God assures us that His grace can bring change to our lives so that we can testify as the words of a popular song says: “The things I did before, I do them no more …, There’s a great change since I’m born again.”
We may make mistakes along the way and our God understands our frailties and the stiff contest between our flesh and reborn spirit in its quest to live a life that glorifies Him. Jesus intercedes for us and His indwelling Spirit keeps helping us.
Hebrews 4:15 & 16
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
From the foregoing, we see that there is no biblical basis for living in unrepentant sin in the name of grace. This is not a new attraction. Paul adddressed it in the early church.
Romans 6:1 & 2
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
“By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Besides battling with temptations, believers also face trials and persecution. God’s grace helps us to endure and hold on to our faith in the face of these.Grace helps us to endure and stand firm in the face of trials. Click To Tweet
The Lord Jesus is our greatest example in this. His Passion was a complete work of grace. His flesh shrank from the humiliation and the agony of the Cross as we see in the prayers He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane but He persevered and drank the bitter cup by grace (Matthew 26:36-44).
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” – Hebrews 2:9 (KJV)
3. Grace enables us to do the work of God’s kingdom.
As God grants us victory over sin and temptations, and makes us patient in trials by His grace, we see ourselves growing in our faith (James 1:2-4). He then begins to give us responsibilities. We don’t remain babies forever. He sends us to share the gospel, heal the sick, teach and strengthen the saved, etc. But many of the tasks God assigns us cannot be accomplished in our own power or wisdom. In comes the grace again.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” – Hebrews 12:28 (KJV).Grace enables us to carry out the work of preaching the gospel and building up the saved. Click To Tweet
In Ephesians 4:7, this is what the apostle Paul said before discussing maturity, spiritual offices and the work of the ministry.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” – Ephesians 4:7 (KJV).
The apostle Peter, on his part, described the work of ministry as stewardship of God’s grace.Peter, the apostle, described the work of ministry as stewardship of God's grace. Click To Tweet
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” – 1 Peter 4:10.
It is the grace that enables someone to perform miracles and see souls converted, to speak timely words on hidden matters in the lives of strangers and to teach and fortify the faith of the saints. None of it can be accounted for by human skill or knowledge.
It goes without saying that if we aspire to see victory over sin, steadfastness in the face of trials and fruit that abides unto eternal life in our ministry, we need to allow God do the first major work of grace in our life. We must accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. If you haven’t done that, pray now surrendering to Him so that you can properly begin the journey of faith and enjoy the grace God has abundantly poured forth for us in Christ.
The Grace Series will continue with a look at grace in the life of the Apostle Paul.
The scriptures used in this study are from the English Standard Version except where otherwise stated.
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