Much of what I have written has been related to one topic: Grace.
First let's make sure we are all on the same page as far as the definition of grace. The dictionary uses many words to define it, but I believe two will suffice - unmerited favor.
It is a blessing when anyone extends grace to another, yet when it is God doing the extending, blessing is just not sufficient a word to describe what God's grace brings to us.
Papa brought me to the first ten verses of the Second chapter of Ephesians a number of times this week.
The first three verses state our former condition, which was not pretty.
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."
That was our condition.
Living in the lusts of the flesh...
Children of wrath....
A sorry state.
Then I read two little words that seemed to jump off the page.
Yes, we were lost, headed for destruction, unable to help ourselves, yet according to verses four and five....
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),"Mercy moved His to grace, which offers us life!
Made alive together with Christ!
Continuing on with verse six and seven we learn His grace didn't stop with making us alive, which would have been a great enough gift...
"and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."In our God's economy we are already seated in heavenly places!
Don't miss the fact that it is with Him!
He intends to continue to extend that grace in its fullness to us!
By His grace, our sin is covered and forgotten, we are clean, new and able to be seated with Him!
Yes, grace saves us! Read it for yourself in verse eight....
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."Grace stirs our hearts to have faith, we don't discover the faith to believe and receive on our own. It is all grace.
This wonderful grace has even more....
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Verse tenA plan, something we can do for Him and who wouldn't want to take part in it in view of His grace?
Yes, He not only gives us life by His grace, but position and purpose!
I would echo Paul's desire for us,
"To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our LORD Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the LORD Jesus Christ."He extends grace to us...
May we give the glory to Him!