We often think of God’s grace in terms of our initial salvation. We are saved by grace. We are released from the penalty of our sin by God’s free gift; by Christ’s death in our place on the cross. When we place our faith in this free gift, we are saved.
But God’s grace continues to be extended to us long after our salvation decision. We are not saved by God’s grace and then left with a list of instructions of “how to live the Christian life”. No, the Christian life itself is an ongoing and never-ending gift of God’s grace. We can only live as God would have us live by the power of His grace. God’s grace literally fuels the life we live; a life of setting aside lawless deeds and becoming zealous for good works.
Paul explains it this way. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).
God’s grace has appeared to all men so that those who receive it would, in the here and now, and by His grace:
- receive salvation.
- be instructed in saying “no” to sin.
- be instructed in saying “yes” to righteousness and godliness.
- be hopeful for His return.
- be set free from every lawless deed.
- be made pure.
- be Christ’s own possession.
- be zealous for good deeds.
All of these things are made possible by God’s ongoing grace. Remember, the Christian life itself is a gift of pure grace. Or to put it another way, “Grace is not just a door by which we enter the Kingdom. Grace is how we live, move, and thrive in the Kingdom.”