30 Aug How do we understand Grace?
Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW) August 30, 2021, by Tunde Olugboji Vol 21:34
How do we understand Grace?
This is a pertinent question as we continue our series on grace. Grace is most needed and best understood in the midst of sin, suffering, and brokenness. We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes us alive.
A shorthand for grace is “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma. In Hinduism and Buddhism, karma means your reward will be based on your action. If you are good, you will be rewarded accordingly, either in this life or in another life, whatever that means. In other words, karma is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. As believers, what we deserve is death with no hope of eternity. But Christ turned this around.
While everyone desperately needs it, grace is not about us as believers, it is about God: his un-coerced initiative and pervasive, extravagant demonstration of care and favor. As believers, we live every day by the grace of God. We receive forgiveness according to the riches of God’s grace, and grace drives our sanctification.
Paul tells us, “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (Titus 2:11). Grace helps us to grow (2 Peter 2:18). Grace transforms our desires, motivations, and behavior.
Grace is the basis for the following:
1. Our Christian identity: “By the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Cor 1:10)
2. Our standing before God: “…this grace in which we stand.” (Rom 5:2)
3. Our living: those who receive “the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through…Christ,”(Rom 5:17) by the “grace of life.” (1 Pet 1:7)
4. Our holiness: God “called us to a holy calling … because of his own purpose and grace.” (2 Tim 2:9)
5. Our strength for living: “Be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ” (2 Tim 2:1) for “it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” (Heb 13:9)
6. Our way of speaking: “Let your speech always be gracious.” (Col 4:6)
7. Our serving: “…serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Pet 1:10)
8. Our sufficiency: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 2:8)
9. Our response to difficulty: We get “grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
10. Our participation in God’s mission: “As recipients of grace, we are privileged to serve as agents of grace.” Believers receive grace (Acts 11:23), are encouraged to continue in grace (Acts 13:43), and are called to testify to the grace of God (Acts 20:24).
11. Our future: God, and his grace, is everlasting. “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet 1:13)
12. Our hope beyond death: “Grace [reigns] through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 5:21)
Will you embrace God’s grace this week?
Have a great week.
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