Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

It's a powerful thing to know we are saved by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." This grace Paul speaks of is a gift from God. We could not earn this grace because the truth is, we didn't deserve it - according our own merits. God extended the gift to us and all we have to do is by faith - receive it.

I am convinced that most Christ-followers have only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding God's grace. This means many true followers of Christ have no problem understanding that by God's grace they will go to heaven and not hell. But it seems to stop there for many. The gift of grace offered to you and me includes everything and all that Christ provided through the cross. When one receives Jesus, they not only receive their salvation from hell, but the have at their disposal - everything Jesus provided through His sacrifice on the cross. Do you know what was provided for you though the cross? This free, gift of grace is very extensive. It covers a vast area! The knowledge of God's grace empowers a person to live above the control of sin. Christians who constantly struggle with the influence of sin sometimes wonder if they are truly saved. This could be because they are shallow in their knowledge of the gift of grace.

Jesus broke the power of sin over you and me by becoming our sins. He paid the penalty and the price for our sins - past, present, and future. Jesus bore the guilt that was heaped on us as a result of the sins of mankind - even though He was guiltless. As a result, those who walk in His gift of grace have power of sin's control. Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." We must understand that one who is born again is no longer guilty before God. The work of the cross is finished! Being NOT GUILTY before God is a powerful thing! It frees us from the influence of sin.

The gift of grace is not a license to sin. True grace takes away the desire to sin - even when we are tempted. Grace empowers you and me to love God more than gratifying our own flesh. Pleasing the heart of our God becomes THE priority when we walk in His grace.

Walking in the power of grace is a simple matter of the knowledge of grace. The more we know God, the more we know ALL that He is and ALL that He offers. Listen to one of my favorite verses. God "...desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4) This is much more than meeting Jesus the truth, and being saved. What Paul is really saying is that we first become saved and then we are in position to come to the knowledge of the truth about ALL that is freely provided to us in His kingdom - through His infinite grace.

You don't have to struggle with sin anymore as a Christ-follower. Understand that you are not guilty before God! The condemnation has been removed! Jesus bore it Himself. The free gift of grace has set you free!

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