This is something my grandfather sent me recently. Since it’s something I needed to read this morning, I thought I’d pass it on… (My apologies, I do not know who the author is)
Of His [Jesus’] fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:16 NKJV
God first reveals grace in the New Testament as the empowerment that gives us the fullness of Jesus. Grace is not first mentioned as a free gift or as the remittance of sins, although both these things are aspects of grace.
Grace is more than a “get out of jail free card.” It’s an unstoppable force that enables us to fulfill all God has called us to do. The primary function of God’s grace is to empower us, giving us the ability to go beyond our natural ability.
My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV
In giving us the richest abundance of grace, God has given us the fullness of Jesus Christ Himself! This includes all of His characteristics. So one way to put it is that God’s grace has re-created us to be like Jesus and to live on the earth like He did.
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
This is no suggestion; it is God’s command! This charge might seem intimidating, especially when we are struggling with sin. But holiness is not a work of the flesh; it is a product of His grace. We will always struggle with sin if we don’t tap into the power God has given us to set us free. If we see grace as only covering our sins, of course we’re going to struggle to find victory. But when we take hold of His grace as He truly intended it—as an empowering force that enables us to be like Him—then we can acceptably serve Him (see Hebrews 12:28).
God knows that we are human. He knows where we are weak. We cannot live rightly on our own, which is why He gave us His grace. It gives us the ability to do what we cannot do in our own ability.
…we beg you who have received God’s grace not to let it be wasted…
…So then, let us purify ourselves from everything that makes body or soul unclean, and let us be completely holy. (2 Corinthians 6:1; 7:1 TEV)
When God calls you to be holy, He is not setting you up for failure. He didn’t send Jesus to die and conquer death just so you could survive in a small, sinful life until you finally make it to heaven. He has made available to you all that you need to live a relentless life of victory and righteousness. Do you believe you can appropriate the grace He has placed before you and use it as He intended?