June 21 - Grace and Gospel
The gospel is a gospel of God’s grace, it is the good news that God came down to earth to save fallen mankind. He does everything for us, like what the psalmist expressed through the Exodus experience. It is all God and we are just recipients of His grace. We are not worthy for we are sinners in rebellion against God, our Maker. Grace is an unmerited gift, given to those who are not worthy of it. We have done nothing to deserve God’s grace and salvation. We are just been saved by grace. When Paul preached the gospel, he preached a gospel of grace.
For those who have received the gospel, it is not like taking a passport to heaven, having our eternal home up there. To become a believer of Jesus, we must receive the gift of salvation by confessing our sins and unworthiness. This grace should be in continual operation in our lives after our conversion. The key to our growth is dependent on God’s grace and not our own efforts. We have entered the Kingdom through grace and we can only grow in grace and receiving more grace. Paul exhorted the believers in Antioch of Pisidia to continue in the grace of God. This is the basic follow-up work on a new believer, to continue in God’s grace. It is a new life with God at the center, any good thing we have is received from Him as a gift. There is no need to compete for more, there is no need to worry, there is no need to earn favor with God, we all receive our inheritance from God like the Israelites given the Promised Land as inheritance.
To continue in God’s grace after receiving the Word of grace is the key to Christian growth. The more grace a Christian has, the more is he grounded in God’s grace. Only those who appreciate the grace of God can extend grace and love to others. A graceful person is one who is filled with God and His grace. Keep receiving God’s grace is the key. Keep working on our own spirituality or our knowledge of the Word may help but learning to be a recipient of God’s grace is far more important in our spiritual growth. This is one of the main themes of the Pauline Epistles, especially in the Books of Romans and Galatians. Once we abandon grace and use our human efforts and works to please God, we become man-centered instead of God-centered. Many have stopped growing in the Lord because they have fallen away from God’s grace.
Take some time to think of God’s grace in our life. Think of how unworthy you are of all the gifts of God. Are you proud because of receiving more gifts than others? Do you pride yourself as being more anointed or more gifted? Do you realize that all you are and all you have are gifts from above? Are you using these grace-gifts to serve others rather than elevating yourself? Be a graceful person now and bless others with what you have from the Lord.
Ps 136:10-22 2 Kgs 1:1-2:25 Acts 13:42-14:7 Prov 17:19-21