“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ
Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can
boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:6 – 10
What is Grace? That is a question we will be looking at over the next few weeks. In his book, The Power of God’s Grace, Gary Schulz describes Grace this way:
“Grace comes from the heart of God and has its greatest benefit on the heart of man.
Grace is filled with love and compassion, but it also [is] filled with power and the will of
The great joy for us is that the desire of God’s heart is for us to benefit from knowing him. Our God, in his awesome power, cares deeply for his creation. Schulz goes on to say:
“It is about our relationship with God. Grace is a flow of power of God through his
people to accomplish his will among us. It is about his life manifesting in and among
Clearly, God wants more than just worship or praise from his people. He deeply desires a relationship with us. Grace is about God moving through us in a real and powerful way. It is more than forgiveness or mercy; it is the engine of redemption played out through our lives. Its power brings change in our hearts as we draw closer to God. It is the gift of knowing that our God is interested in our every moment of being.
Schulz also notes:
“Grace is a teacher. Our heavenly Father teaches us how to live according to his
righteous ways. This is a critical aspect of his grace.”
We are not left alone to figure out what God’s will is nor are we left alone to struggle with the path of righteousness. Christ has given us the Holy Spirit to guide our steps. It is through relationship and communion with Christ and the Father that the Spirit grows within us. Grace is the working of the Spirit upon us to prepare us to be a light to the world.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to
say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and
godly lives in this present age, ….”
Titus 2:11 – 12
It is this “teaching” of Grace that allows us to grow in righteousness in a broken and troubled world. It is the moving of the Spirit within us that helps us to become more Christlike in our daily living. It is the gift, from the Father, that refines us and burnishes the rough edges of our lives to make us true tools for the building of his Kingdom here on earth.
But we must be careful. From the very beginning there have been those who would twist God’s gift of grace into something it is not. Grace is not an excuse to live unrepentant lives. It is not a cover for continuing to live in disobedience to God.
In the garden, the serpent used half-truths to convince Eve to disobey God and eat of the fruit. We are faced daily with this sort of temptation. Leaders, both religious and public feed us with these half-truths to keep us from really listening to God. We must remember it is a personal relationship with Christ and the Father which keeps us connected to the Spirit.
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good,
reject every kind of evil.”
I Thessalonians 5:20 – 22
Remember, relationship is God’s heart desire. And when we stay in relationship with him, through Christ the Son we are filled with the Spirit of Truth. Schulz says:
“Jesus came to deliver us from sin for eternity so that we would live for eternity.”
Grace is Spirit driven, through Christ who gives us the strength and wisdom to know righteousness. We do not become perfect in this world, but through the teaching of Grace, we learn to build our relationship with God and the path of righteousness becomes clearer.
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