April 25th, 2010, 08:47 AM
Christian Fundamentals – Grace
What is it?
It has been described as God’s love, meeting the needs of men. It meets us in our sins, and it meets us as believers as well. Each one of us, still in our sins, is condemned by the law of God and deserves only His judgment. But God is ”the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) and in love today is still waiting, graciously delaying that day of judgement, and providing an opportunity through Christ for all to be saved.
Am I under law, or under grace?
As a believer, I am under grace! Thanks be to God, that our Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled every righteous requirement of the law, and through His dying He has borne the penalty of our sins. I am not under law, because I have availed myself of God’s free gift of grace – ”much more the grace of God, and the gift of grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Romans 5:15). And more than this, ”they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).
So should I, as a Christian, be praying more? Should I read my Bible more, and witness to souls? Should I set myself rules that, each day, I must achieve a certain standard of Christian behaviour? Setting our sights higher may be needful, but making rules will only lead to discouragement. No, we are to reign in life by one, Jesus Christ, who in grace supplies all the encouragement and help that we need. We prove that help by the presence of the Holy Spirit, who also ”helpeth our infirmities.” (Romans 8:26).
How does grace help me?
By strengthening me to bear fruit to God. ”He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5). Remember too ”My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30). What wonderful grace.
Does grace justify my failures?
No, but failure can happen quite often and every believer knows it. But when we read again in Romans 5:17, we find there is not only and abundance of grace, but a free gift of righteousness too! Notice it is a gift, and not something I have to work up to. It is the perfect righteousness of Christ in which I stand, and because God has been completely satisfied with that perfect offering and Jesus has taken my place, I am completely justified – just as though I had never sinned. Satan may accuse the believer, but ”it is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?” (Romans 8:33-34). I stand in all the worth of His beloved Son. What grace is this!
How does grace affect my Christian pathway?
A very important question. Read the last verses of all Paul’s epistles, and what do you find there – grace! Why? Because He knew it was needed. Can we be gracious to others around us – even when challenged by their words or behaviour? What grace our Savour showed, ”who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” (1 Peter 2:23). Then to His disciples, e says ”for I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). The God of all grace is made known through Jesus who now says to each of us, “Follow Me.”
[Reproduced with permission]
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