The Liberating Power of Grace

Romans 3:22 “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.”

Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”

Galatians 5:13 do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another out of love.”

There are so many ways we can be subtly deceived into a legalistic mentality; a thinking process that can either proudly elevate ones self for not committing certain sins or crucify our souls through self-condemnation. When God’s grace is allowed to reign in our hearts, these legalistic traits should bit by bit be eroded away so that we can humbly experience the freedom God lovingly intends us to have.

It doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks…

When talking about God’s grace there are two fundamental points with which God keeps me in check: firstly we are all guilty and blemished before our holy God. Romans 3:10 says ‘no one is good, not even one” whilst Romans 3:23 says “we have all fallen short of the glory of God”. Arrogance, pride and even ignorance can tragically lead people into thinking we are good enough to go to heaven on our own merits. It doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks; the Bible clearly teaches that we all deserve to be separated from God or “go to hell” because we were born into eternal condemnation through our inherited sinful natures (Rom 6:23) – a nature that is continually luring us to go our own way and not God’s. We are sinful by nature and God will not accept anything less than absolute righteousness.

…its a lifelong process

This leads me to the second point – those who believe in Jesus Christ are free from condemnation. As depressing and debilitating our inherited punishment is, it evaporates into thin air with the realisation of the eternal security we have in Jesus. As bad as we think we may be, we are free from any accusation before our holy God only because of the sacrifice Jesus has made for us! We are whiter than snow and appear completely righteous. What an amazing and humbling reality!! I still get chills up the back of my spine when I think about it, especially when I think of the major stuff-ups I have made over the years!! It doesn’t matter where we have come from, what we have done, or what struggles we are going through now; through our faith in Jesus alone, we appear righteous before our holy God. We mustn’t allow the burdens of guilt, shame and despair tear us away from our loving Father. We are born into a family that is built on love and unity, not legalism and condemnation! So let’s humbly acknowledge God’s work in our lives and know it’s a life long process in becoming more like Jesus in how we live. Let’s encourage and nurture one another to discover and realise their God-given purpose and value. We are all precious. Let’s treat each other accordingly!

Our Response…

Is there anyone you’re persecuting, whether it is in word, action or thought? What condemning thoughts are stopping you from drawing closer to God? How can you better love those around you out of gratitude and response to the endless love that God has shown you? We are freed by God not to indulge in our sinful nature, but to personally experience the great plans He has for us in serving Him and and others. Our response to His gift of salvation through our attitudes and lives will express the place and reality God has in our hearts. May we all experience the power and taste the fruits of the God’s grace together…

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2 responses to “The Liberating Power of Grace

  1. Stu,

    Understanding God’s grace is perhaps the most foundational truth I needed to come to grips with. And you’ve expressed it excellently.

    The most liberating aspect of grace for me, as you’ve stated, is understanding that becoming like Christ is a life-long process. It will never be finished. As long as we inhabit this body of flesh, for as many years as it lasts, we will always still be incomplete in some way.

    But God see us as finished. Whole. And holy. When Jesus uttered, “it is finished” as He hung on the cross, the very event we honor today, in God’s eyes we then become complete.

    So we are both finished and unfinished. We are royal heirs destined to reign with our King, but at the same time we are still growing into the robes of righteousness He purchased for us.

    Grace is such an awe-inspiring attribute of God’s love. Thanks for sharing the reality of its profound liberty!

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Richard.

      An interesting point you made “we are both finished and unfinished”. It’s an intriguing and marvelous idea that through faith we are justified now, ie saved now, yet we are to work out our salvation. Salvation is a work done by God when we are born again, yet we are told to persevere in our faith. My understanding is that our perseverance, with many stuff ups along the way, is the evidence of the born-again nature within, the work that God alone has done. He alone justifies and saves. Our perseverance highlights the work He has done within us. Perseverance in our faith in Christ highlights that we are truly born again and that we are children of God.

      The beautiful aspect of God’s grace in the Gospel is that as we persevere in our faith to glorify and honour Christ with our lives, we know we are not condemned for our sin, but are made clean and righteous with God through the work of Christ within us. Despite our struggles, as we persevere in our obedience to Christ, trusting in Him to make us clean, we receive assurance of the authenticity of our born-again nature and reflect to others the centrality and sincerity of Christ within our hearts.

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