It’s such a simple word, and yet it is so very deep. I started realizing its vast importance less than two years ago, and yet it is beginning to define my life.
Grace: God riches at Christ’s expense, God giving us what we do not deserve – statements that try to explain an immeasurable divine attribute in an understandable way. And yet until Jan. 25, 2011, I knew the right answers but not the trueness of God’s Grace in my life.
I’ve written about this a couple of other times earlier this semester (here and here). But I’m writing about it again because it’s still a lesson God is teaching me.
This morning, the sermon at my church in Dallas came from Romans 8:1-13, one of my favorite passages of Scripture. The teaching focused on the fact that we *can* have victory in the battles of our lives, reflective of the victory that Christ has *already won* in the war. Our victory is already AND not yet. And we can choose whether to live and walk according to the flesh or according to the Spirit.
Mr. Wright focused in on the fact that positionally, our fate as children of God is sealed: We are declared righteous in God’s sight through justification. But in our daily lives, we have a choice to make: Practically, we can choose to be slaves of God, sold out to Him, being sanctified – or we can choose to continue trying to live in this world on our own.
God’s Grace does not change one iota either way. And yet my decision of which man (old, fleshly man or new, spiritual man) to feed and encourage makes a huge difference in my outlook on life. Learning to let go of my attempts to improve myself and of the belief that I had to meet God’s expectations of me before He would continue loving me has been, in some ways, a slow process. God’s faithfulness throughout this time has been a huge testimony to His continued Grace.
A couple of other comments Mr. Wright made that stood out to me…
- Christ *has already* fulfilled the requirements of the law. I do deserve condemnation under the law – but He has fully removed that.
- The Holy Spirit comes to indwell us so that we may more fully reflect God’s character, NOT so that we can then fulfill the law.
- The newness of our spiritual life is to be defined by Spirit-walking, not Law-keeping.
- Our walk and our mindset are closely connected. What is it that I focus on? That heavily impacts how I will act.