GRACE! GRACE! GRACE!
That is all I hear and I am so glad I hear it from Father's Word. "Grace upon grace" - it says in Jn 1. "The abundance of grace" - it says in Rom 5. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
May I suggest though that it is only truly wonderful when it is properly understood and applied? When perverted, it no longer remains grace --- even though people continue to call it grace.
First: What grace is not! Grace is not the freedom to do whatever you want. Paul spoke about this in Galatians 5. He tells us we are not to use our freedom to serve our flesh. This is exactly what happens when a person doesn’t understand that the LIFE they received in Christ is ‘others-centered’.
It’s a LIFE that seeks to serve, instead of being served.
It’s a Life that looks to the interests of others, not its own interest.
When we fail to realize and live out the others-centered life of Jesus, the inevitable end result is ugly: grace used for selfish gain.
So what is grace? May I venture a definition?
Grace is being delivered from an economy of being IN ADAM, which is an economy of achieving for self; and being placed instead into an economy of receiving IN CHRIST, all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.
Grace is NOT a doctrine, nor a teaching. Grace is the Person of Jesus offering to express His life in and through a person as they trust Him by faith to do so. That Christ-life is then both experienced by the individual and expressed to others in a spirit of love, acceptance, awe, and wonder as we live out our having become partakers of the divine nature.
And may I add that this Grace, Jesus, living in and through us, fulfills the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW in our lives. We live righteously because it is the only kind of life the Spirit knows how to live (Rom 8:1-4).
Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. (wonderfully redundant, huh?)
Thank you, Jesus, for giving me your LIFE which saves me from me (Rom 5:8-10).
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