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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is Grace That Impotent?

Many people misunderstand grace. They believe that it means that God will give them everything they need and never expects them to do anything. They explain salvation as a gift that requires no response. Yet, that is not what I see in the Bible.

Jesus said that the one who "endures to the end, he shall be saved."(Mark 13:13) What does that mean if there isn't an expected work that comes from God's grace? It is ridiculous to assume that because a person can do nothing to gain his salvation, that he will do nothing because of his salvation. The repentant man is bound to his Redeemer. It should be assumed that there is nothing he will not do for Him.

Grace begins and continues through salvation. We are saved in a moment when we believe, we are saved in a lifetime as we work and we are saved in eternity as we worship our Lord. Heaven will have no idleness. It will not be retirement or an eternity with nothing to do. It will be filled with purpose. Purpose requires activity. This activity will require our continuance of life filled abundantly.

Grace motivates us to His work. True grace means we work because of our love. We work because the grace has changed us. Grace makes our spirits alive. We know God through this grace. We respond to God through this grace. This grace makes us into new creations.

I heard a minister tell me that he was going to do nothing when he retired. He said he would just go to church and go home. He had no plans to teach or serve in the church once he retired. I don't think he got it. I, on the other hand, want to do as much as I can for as long as I can. I don't think I am any better than this other minister. I don't want to do these things out of obligation, coercion or expectation. I want to do them because the grace of Christ has changed me into someone who wants to do them.

God's grace has done more than given me a ticket to heaven. It has changed me from the inside out. It has provided me with purpose and work to do.

I will do those things because grace is potent. Very potent.

 Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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