For the next several weeks I want to share excerpts from my new book. I hope they challenge and bless you… The book is about living in grace –
Last week we thought about the temptation to make grace smaller than it is. This week, let’s consider how God’s word treats grace as much bigger than we might think…
Peter’s first letter declares that what he has described to them is the true grace of God. Yet, much of his letter has nothing to say directly about being saved or going to Heaven. It speaks little of overcoming the wages of sin. There is no discussion of vicarious substitutionary atonement. Instead, Peter is right there in the trenches of life. Suffering, persecution, family and work life are his subjects. Yet, he says that he has written about the grace of God. So, what is it? Is it some dry and dusty theological term? Or is it much more?
At the beginning of his ministry, Peter and the other apostles are described in this way, “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33) Do you see the word there? Luke describes them as people who were experiencing “abundant grace”. This grace was not just the power of salvation (that was happening abundantly too). It was also a transformation of how they understood their world. These same apostles were hiding in the upper room just a few weeks earlier. These same apostles misunderstood Jesus’ teachings about the resurrection. These same apostles abandoned Jesus! Yet now they are experiencing power and abundant grace. It was more than just salvation. It was equality, transparency, authority, and supernatural perspective.
It is here that we must wrestle with how much we are tempted to make grace small enough to grasp in a single teachable moment. Why do we make grace small? Well, we do it for a very practical reason: we want to be able to explain it to anyone so that they can receive Jesus as their Savior! The problem comes when we let both grace and salvation stop there. When we forget that grace is more than merely a ticket to Heaven and salvation is more than just changing our eternal destination then we miss the richness of the grace of God.
Grace is more than just salvation. It is equality, transparency, authority and supernatural perspective
If you are a believer, think back to the reason that you needed saved. Wasn’t it because you were stuck in your sins? You couldn’t save yourself because you not only sinned, but your heart was bent so that sin was your default choice. We read in the Scripture that the heart of man is corrupt. We are told that our thoughts are not like God’s thoughts. Our ways are not His ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Thus, we needed salvation. So, when you and I received Christ as Savior what exactly did He save? Did He just save our souls? The apostle Paul declares in Romans 6 that we are new creations. He also says in 2 Corinthians 10 that we are to make every thought captive to obey Jesus. That doesn’t sound like salvation is just about a ticket to Heaven. It sounds like grace can and should affect more than just our destination. Grace should change how we see ourselves, our surroundings, our struggles, our hopes, our dreams, and our security. This is the grace of God. God’s grace transforms us. Does it?
Something to think about,
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