As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our fleshand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do, Ephesians 2:1-10.
One man paid the price so all could know God intimately. All who believe in Him and follow Him will inherit not only eternal life, but every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. What is so magnificent about grace? Grace is God’s gift to us and it reaches beyond what our minds can comprehend. When we understand all that God has given us, we live differently. We respond to Him differently.
Grace can be scandalous in our eyes because God reaches from on high to save the lowest of the low. I heard someone say once,”Grace is offensive to the self-righteous and seems too good to be true for the sinner. ” You see, God’s grace is not earned. We can not do enough good works to earn His favor. We are not good, He is good. We can take no credit for His favor on our lives, nor can we deny grace and mercy to those we deem unworthy. God’s grace is unmerited. We are recipients of His grace by faith alone. We can not add to it or take away from it. God’s grace covers a multitude of sins and washes away the most putrid stains. What manner of love is this that God would grant us favor based solely on what He has done, not on who we are or what we have done?
Grace is opposite of our culture. We live in a culture that says, “Only the strong survive!” The world says, “If you want it, you have to earn it!” We favor, bless, honor, cherish, and love the loveable, the wealthy, the famous, the “good” people, those with titles, gifts, talents, and fame. God extends His favor to the poor, the wretched, the weak, the forgotten, the sinner, the worst of sinners, and those willing to believe Him. He takes the lost causes and creates something beautiful.
Grace is saving power. God is so good. He says, “You’re lost, you can’t save or help yourself, so I am going to come and do what needs to be done for you. Not only that, I will give you My favor, My inheritance, My favor, My Spirit, so you have all you need to live the abundant life. It’s not about what you do. It’s about what I have done.”
Grace not only saves us, it enables us to do His good will and pleasure. We can not in our own strength and effort save ourselves. We cannot do all that He asks us to do without His help. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9. He encourages us to rest, rely on, depend on, and submit to Him. His yoke is easy, and His burden light (Matt 11:30).
Grace is not a license to live as we please. Paul explains it to us in Romans 1.
Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness, Romans 1:15-18
I think of sin as a deadly disease. It enters the body to infect and destroy it. It not only destroys its host, but attacks anyone in close proximity. God has provided the cure for the disease. No matter how sick we are, He has the cure. He will always administer the cure because He loves us. He’s the Great Physician. Shall we keep seeking a disease because He has the cure? Absolutely not. If you knew you’d die from eating say bananas, you’d avoid them like the plague even if you knew someone had a cure. God says, “Don’t choose sin simply because I paid to save you.”
I also think of what it cost God to save us. The Father gave His Son. The Son gave His life. Jesus left Paradise. He entered the world through the most humble of circumstances. He walked the earth for 33 years making friends and enemies. He was tempted in every way and did not sin. He chose to endure an excruciating death, all for love. When we think about what our cure cost Him, how can we willingly choose a life of sin? We entered into a relationship and covenant with God. When we love someone, we want to do what is right by them. We want to cultivate a healthy relationship based on love. How can we choose another love that leads us to destruction? He is the best thing that could happen to us.
My dear sweet friends, it truly is…Amazing Grace! Love in Him,~Erin.