Saturday, February 25, 2006

We Stand in Grace

Not only is salvation by grace, but standing (vs falling) and growing are all by grace through faith and not by works. Galatians 3:1-9 covers this pretty thoroughly. He says in verse 3, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Verse 9 says, “Those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” I can’t begin to explain how important this is. So many Christians begin the Christian life by faith – trusting Christ’s finished work on the cross for their salvation. But after that, they begin to develop the mentality that the rest of the Christian life is by works. Not so! Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” You receive Him by faith so walk in Him by faith. In Romans 14 where we are taught not to judge our brothers, Paul asks who we are to be judging our brother. To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand because God is able to make him stand. At the time of salvation, we not only get released from condemnation, we receive the Holy Spirit, a new heart, new motivations, along with the grace and strength to grow and persevere. These all come as a gift of God’s grace. Paul told the Philippians that “he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”(1:6). He also told them that it is God who works in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (2:13) The writer of the Hebrews prayed that God would “make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…” (13:21) We need to be encouraged to know that what God asks of us, He provides all of the resources including motivation, will and strength to do.

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