Living a powerless life as a Christian is like having a new car without an engine. Everything looks brand new, has that new car smell, seats comfortably, but it can go nowhere. As born again Christians, we should be living our lives infused with Holy Spirit power. The grace of God has provided that power to us through His Son Jesus Christ:
â€œGrace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.â€ (2 Peter 1:2-4)
Notice that Peter did not write â€œgrace and peace be added to you…â€ No, he wrote â€œmultiplied,â€ meaning that God abundantly provides grace and peace for our lives. It is important to once again define what is meant by Godâ€™s grace. My Thompson Chain Reference Bible defines it as â€œunmerited favor, available to the sinner for salvation and the redeemed for victorious living.â€
Born again Christians should be experiencing victorious living not because of anything we do, but because of the grace of God. Something that is unmerited is undeserved and unearned, however God freely gives us His grace:
â€œFor the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.â€ (Psalm 84:11)
Okay, so there might be a little catch to this grace thing; we have to â€œwalk uprightly.â€ That means we have to be obedient to Godâ€™s call on our lives. We must obey his Ten Commandments and the teachings of Scripture. Do not look at that as a catch though; that is actually a heavenly clue showing us the way to abundant living.
Whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared, then Godâ€™s grace is spread among those who receive the good news:
â€œNow those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.â€ (Acts 11:19-24)
The great challenge for the Christian is to remain in the grace of God. Oftentimes through our disobedience, we wander away from Godâ€™s grace umbrella and go out into â€œthe corruption that is in the world through lust.â€ We get to the point where we believe God is holding back from us. We not only leave the grace of God, but we also become stingy with it. Oswald Chambers explains:
â€œIf the majesty and grace and power of God are not being manifested in us (not to our consciousness), God holds us responsible. â€˜God is able to make all grace abound,â€™ then learn to lavish the grace of God on others. Be stamped with Godâ€™s nature, and His blessing will come through you all the time.â€
A stingy Christian is an oxymoron. We must â€œlearn to lavish the grace of God on others.â€ Is that you? Are you â€œstamped with Godâ€™s nature?â€ Does His blessing â€œcome through you all the time?â€
Beloved, if we will learn to â€œbe partakers of the divine nature,â€ then we will be empowered to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
More on that next time…
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers