A home full of grace is also full of truth, because grace doesn’t make people less holy – it makes them more holy. Grace doesn’t make people despise or neglect truth – it makes them love and follow truth. Grace isn’t a free pass to sin – it’s a supernatural empowerment not to sin (Titus 3:5). By failing to address sin in each other’s lives we send an unspoken message: I’ll overlook your sin if you overlook mine. Grace raises the bar – but it also enables us to joyfully jump over that bar. Any concept of grace that leaves us – or our children – thinking truth is expendable, is not biblical grace.
As a result of grace, we have been saved from sin’s penalty. One day we will be saved from sin’s presence. In the meantime we are being saved from sin’s power.
Scripture speaks of both a holiness we already possess in Christ before God and a holiness in which we are to grow more and more. The first is the result of the work of Christ for us; the second is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The first is perfect and complete and is ours the moment we trust Christ; the second is progressive and incomplete as long as we are in this life. The objective holiness we have in Christ and the subjective holiness produced by the Holy Spirit are both gifts of God’s grace and are both appropriated by faith.
God’s grace is not given to make us feel better, but to glorify Him… Good feelings may come, or they may not, but that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not we honor God by the way we respond to our circumstances.
This is the amazing story of God’s grace. God saves us by His grace and transforms us more and more into the likeness of His Son by His grace. In all our trials and afflictions, He sustains and strengthens us by His grace. He calls us by grace to perform our own unique function within the Body of Christ. Then, again by grace, He gives to each of us the spiritual gifts necessary to fulfill our calling. As we serve Him, He makes that service acceptable to Himself by grace, and then rewards us a hundredfold by grace.
It is a rule in divinity, that grace takes not away nature; that is, grace comes not to take away a man’s affections, but to take them up.
The spiritual life is lived between two polarities: our sin and God’s grace. The discovery of the former brings us to seek the latter; the work of the latter illuminates the depths of the former and causes us to seek yet more grace… The heart-conviction of sin is the way grace prepares the heart for more grace.
God’s grace does not mean that God benignly accepts humans in all their fallenness, forgives them, and then leaves them in that fallenness. God is in the business not of whitewashing sins but of transforming sinners.
Indeed, the abject weakness of the human instrument serves to magnify and throw into relief the perfection of the divine power in a way that any suggestion of human adequacy could never do. The greater the servant’s weakness, the more conspicuous is the power of his Master’s all-sufficient grace.
Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon. Therefore the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies.
Do you believe there is no need for grace once you come to Jesus? If so, you need to read Titus 2:11. Do you who understand that good works did not save you in the past disregard any responsibility for good works in the present? If so, you need to read Ephesians 2:10. Do you think it is all right to sin because we are now living in the age of grace? If so, you need to read Romans 6:1 and 15. Do you think you were saved by grace but now must become like Christ solely through your own efforts? If so, you need to read Galatians 3:3.