Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to spell G.R.A.C.E

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

What is grace?  Grace is God doing for you what you otherwise could never do for yourself.  It is His favor to the unfavorable, His love to the unloveable, His kindness to the cruel, His fellowship extended to His enemies and His mercy to His foes.  Who are those unfavorable, unloveable, cruel foes born into this world at enmity with Him?  Those who have not yet trust in Him by grace through faith.
How Grace is spelled prior to conversion
Prior to the cross grace is nothing more than an idealized principle.  The author of this blog was at one point an enemy of God. (Ephesians 2:1-3) When I think of Grace coming to me prior to salvation, it could be spelled out in this fashion:
G = God
R = Reaching
A = Across to
C = Comfort
E = Enemies

Salvation's grace includes the giftings of faith and repentance, whereby the sinner is persuaded by the Holy Spirit that they are that enemy, and that God reaching out to them is the only source of comfort they'll find to escape the wrath to come. (Galatians 3:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:24)  As a ten year old boy, that grace was brought to me, convincing me of my awefulness and Christ's awesomeness.  God came to me with faith and repentance in grace whereby I truly believed upon Him and repented of my sins. (Acts 26:17-18)

How grace is spelled after conversion
The event of salvation in a person's life is truly amazing.  In my Christian life Grace went from being an idealized principle to being revealed as an Individual Person - Christ.  Following the conversion experience, grace in the life of the Christian is spelled:
G = God
R = Reaching
A = Across to
C = Cherish
E = Evermore

Grace is not only something that leads me to chose Christ in conversion and transformation, Grace is the Person of Christ taking my now transformed life and leading me to live for Him.  Grace takes a slave to sin and make them a son.  Grace takes tragedy and turns it into a trophy for God's glory.  Grace takes despair and transforms it into hope.  In the final analysis, grace is really spelled JESUS, before and after conversion.