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Thursday, August 8, 2013
Saved By Grace
"For by grace have you been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
In Ephesians 2:1-3, the Apostle Paul describes our state as fallen humanity prior to the coming of Christ. The description of our former state is that of spiritual death, transgressions, and sins. He goes on to declare that we were followers of this world's system and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, who is Satan. Our state was bleak with serious consequences. However, through Christ, God the Father has transformed our lives and altered our allegiance from following the prince of the air to that of the resurrected and exalted Christ.
Today some people argue that there are variety of ways to salvation and the kingdom of God. They hold the belief that all roads lead to salvation. However, the Bible states emphatically that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that nobody comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Salvation is purely and entirely based on the grace of God through the atoning work of Christ, the Son of God. Therefore, the saved are the ones who have their tickets and are on their way to heaven. Someone has said that grace is the undeserved favor that God gives to those who bow the knee of their heart before Him. I like that. This removes any proclivity to pride and self-exaltation. It enables you and I to see our helplessness apart from the grace of God as manifested in Jesus Christ our Lord. Furthermore, it shows our hopelessness as humans besides the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. It eliminates human merits and the alleged inherent "human goodness."
Show me a person who is boastful and self-sufficient and I will show you a person who does not know God. Show me a person who has arrogant spirit and I will show you a person who does not know the grace of God. The Apostle Paul asked the boastful believers of Corinth, "What do you have that you did not receive from the Lord?" Many people think that somehow they can make it to heaven without Jesus Christ. In their self-efforts they try to give alms to pacify God. They try to perform in order to win the approval and favor of God. They think that they can "buy God off." They think that salvation is based on personal efforts whereby their good deeds would outweigh their evil deeds. They imagine that their scale of goodness would outweigh their sins. The bad news is that the Prophet Isaiah says, "Our righteousness is like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). If salvation is acquired by works or personal performance then, Jesus died in vain. That was Paul's argument with the legalists that had hijacked the Galatian church.
On the contrary, salvation brings humility in the life of a believer, because the believer comes to the realization that he/she was on the way to destruction when Jesus stepped in and rescued him/her. When you sit down to ponder what the grace of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ has done for you, it encourages and compels you to rely on Jesus and develop an unceasing attitude of gratitude to God. This should motivate every recipient of God's amazing grace to share the good news of salvation with family members, friends, and neighbors.
Therefore, look up to Jesus and bend your ears to hear what He is saying to you. Grace and grace alone will see you through life. It is not your skill, talent, intelligence, prowess, and special gifts that make you acceptable to God, but divine grace and faith in Jesus Christ. I like the acrostic of "GRACE"--God's redemption at Christ's expense.
Therefore, when pride is about to rear its ugly head, remember that it is grace that has led you thus far and grace will lead you to your eternal home.
- Kennedy A. Adarkwa, PhD.
Instructor of Evangelism
Posted at 8:17 AM | Comments (0)