The Power Of The Grace Of God
Salvation is the most important thing in the lives of Christians. It is a transition from death to eternal life, made possible by what Jesus Christ has taken on for us at Calvary. It requires participation from two parties, the willingness and power of the One who is able to save, and the readiness of the other party to accept the gift. Now looking at this objectively, whose part has the greater demand?
Every Christian believes that salvation is an unmerited favor from God, given solely through His grace. Additionally, we always speak about God’s unconditional love. That definition is our understanding of His grace. In Ephesians 2:8-9 we are reminded that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by works.
Our salvation is not something of which we can boast about. It is not through how ‘good’ we are, it is through our identity in Christ, purchased by Him on that Good Friday and made possible on that Easter 2000 years ago. It is everything about God. By right, this should be Good News. But why is it that so many Christians live their lives as if they do not believe in this Good News? Recently, Rev Jai shared a message centering on this at Seremban Life Assembly.
Recognizing Our Identity in Christ
He shared that in order for a Christian to live victoriously, we must first recognize our identity in Christ. This is the most important thing for a Christian, and many of us struggle because of our ignorance in this area.
The power of the Gospel is essentially tied with the power of God’s grace. This grace, like all attributes of God, is magnificent and authoritative. However, the sad thing in today’s world is that the word ‘grace’ has been so freely used that it has lost its fundamental essence.
Under the New Covenant, we need to believe in order to receive. This speaks about faith in God and an open relationship with Him. The influence of God’s grace is the power in a believer’s life to revolutionize and change them radically.
Yet instead of appropriating the finished work of Christ on the cross, many Christians are dwelling today in the place of condemnation, doubt, fear, and unbelief. We do not receive power against the attacks of the devil, etc.. because we do not believe! We have become a faithless generation.
The Devil Wants To Cripple Us
This is something that we all know. We are on constant warfare against the enemy. Conversely, he will deploy any method or tactic in order to cripple the followers of Christ. Sometimes, it may come through temptations, at times unintentionally, at other times deliberately placed by others to stumble Christians. Not all bondages, however, come in the same way.
Sometimes it can come through paralyzation, and not all paralyzation come from sources that we can instantly recognize. Another way the devil set bondages on Christians is by throwing accusations and condemnation at us, judging us with falsehoods and subjecting us to a low self-esteem. We start to doubt God and our position in Him. After some time, we doubt whether we are even saved.
This is one way in which Christians can lose their faith and fall away from God, and this is the problem of the religious spirit. Rev Jai shared that lies repeated to ourselves too often will sound like ‘truths’ to our mind and ears.
It is because of the fallen human nature we struggle in accepting our born-again position. This is why Paul wrote in Romans 12:2 of the vital importance in renewing our minds and aligning ourselves to God’s word. This is a constant thing that we need to practice daily, Rev Jai imparted, and not a one-time event. When we understand the grace of Christ and abide in Him, we will start to see breakthroughs and miracles in our lives.
Grace Even Unto the Gentiles
In Romans 1:16-17, the apostle Paul writes of the power of the Gospel and of its saving work even unto the Gentiles. There is significance in this, and because Paul understood its power, he was not ashamed of the Gospel. Paul was specifically called to minister to the Gentiles. This calling of ministry to the Gentiles has paved the way even for us to receive the gift of salvation.
How then shall we respond? If we truly believe that we are born-again with new identities through Christ, we cannot listen to the voice of condemnation and set ceilings upon ourselves. We must stop living below the par. If we focus on our weaknesses, we will end up in cycles, always trying to perform but never reaching the bar.
The Gospel: A News ‘Too Good To Be True’
What is the power of the Gospel? It is open access to God, the dispensation to receive guidance and resources from Him. It is the empowerment to get into the totality of the finished work of Christ.
It is the power that will bring us into a place of abundant living. It is the very solution to all of man’s ultimate questions and problems in life. Because it is given freely to us by God, the Gospel often seems too good to be true. And because of this fact, it demands a response of faith.
How does the power of God’s grace work? In Galatians 1:4, Paul reminded the Church that Jesus gave His life on the cross so that we may be rescued from this fallen world in which we live. In Galatians 2:20-21, he wrote that it was no longer him that lived but Christ through Him.
Paul came from a drastically different background than the one when he was an apostle. Before, he was a hard-line intellectual and a violent man. In fact, he persecuted the Christian Church and was one of the people responsible for the martyrdom of Stephen.
Rev Jai communicated that when Christ lived in Paul, he forsook all worldly thinking. He was not focused anymore on worldly systems. There was a radical change in him. He was living in Christ, even unto enduring all things for the Gospel, for he recognized the power and importance of it. This is the power of God’s grace and of His enablement into our lives. It enables us to overcome the greatest challenges in life.
Our Response to the Gospel
Christianity in essence is about hope for everyone (“even unto the Gentiles”). A genuine response to the Gospel would be characterized by gratitude and faith. Rev Jai conveyed that our identity in Christ will never change. When do we lose our position in Him and our salvation through Him? It is when we trample upon the blood of Christ and His finished work.
Grace is not a license to sin, he imparted. When we understand the essence and magnitude of God’s grace, this understanding will teach us not to sin anymore. When we understand the sacrifice of Christ, it will grieve us when we sin, and we will never be at peace whenever we fall into it.
If we are going to overcome our sins and prosper, it is only going to be through the grace of God and through abiding in Him (Galatians 6:9). We must be careful not to twist what is spiritual and turn it into flesh. We are not trying to earn God’s favour. We fast and we pray because we love God. And we love God because He first loved us.
Because Christ has purchased our salvation by His stripes, and because of what He took upon Himself for our sakes, we must respond to our responsibilities in thankfulness. We must bring the Good News to others, to preach the love of God and bring them into a relationship with God and transformation into their lives.
For too long, we have overcomplicated the Gospel. First and foremost, the Gospel is about the love of God and our love for God and people. We must understand God’s heart and who He is. Out of the fruit of the Spirit will spring forth good works, and we can take on our roles as salt and light of the world. We must walk in the Gospel and be overcomers, yet recognizing the source of all good things and not take glory for ourselves that rightfully belong to God.
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– Jason Law