(This blog will be offline for a couple of weeks while I travel. Please enjoy these posts from the archives. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I will be able to respond when I return.)
There are so many definitions of grace out there today… and some of them don’t look like grace at all to me. When I say grace, I mean the sufficiency of Jesus Christ in all aspects of the Christian life. John Newton wrote that “’tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will bring me home.” This is more than saving grace. It is grace that called out to me when I was in sin. It is grace that justifies me in the sight of the Almighty God. It is grace that works sanctification in me. It will be grace that glorifies me in that wonderful day. And the whole thing is the work of Jesus! Grace is God’s activity in us, for us, and through us
So, I believe that there is no life in me but the life of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20). I was lost – unwilling and unable to live spiritually – and He gave His life for me. My life, in a sense, was exchanged for His.
That has serious meaning. It means that I can do nothing on my own, as Jesus said. It means that I depend on Him alone for strength, righteousness, wisdom, love and everything else. If these things are seen in me it is because of the life and activity of Jesus within me. And that is grace.
So there is saving grace, grace that reaches into my life and saves me from my sinful state, but there is calling grace, sanctifying grace, relationship grace, grace for daily living, and so much more. I depend on the activity of God’s love for every part of my life – in fact, the ultimate activity of God’s love (Jesus) is my life.
I am beginning to think that grace is something experienced a little differently by each of us. That would make some sense, because God is a real Person and does relate to us individually. The activity of His love will be seen in different ways in each of our lives and some will find it easier or even wiser to focus on particular aspects of His grace for their own hearts. That just makes it even more wonderful!
No wonder they call grace “amazing”!