So we’ve happily ended the first quarter of the Year of our Lord, 2022. We hope that you have been overwhelmed by God’s perfect and everlasting, practical love.
Today we’re starting a new quarter, a new month, a new series, and a new theme – we’re continuing down the line of what it means to be overwhelmed by Christ and His finished work, and we will be focusing specifically on another beautiful aspect of God, which is His grace.
First, I will be talking about the grace of God, and then, if we have time, I’ll be talking about how this grace applies in my own life.
The Grace of God in the Dictionary
What does grace even mean? In times like this I like to go through the Merriam Webster Dictionary to help me out. The very first definition goes like this: “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification”
Grace is assistance, or help. And it’s no ordinary help, but it is DIVINE help – Grace is help from God. And not only is grace help from God, but it is UNMERITED. We didn’t deserve it. Grace is help from God that we didn’t deserve.
And grace isn’t just help from God that we didn’t deserve – it’s GIVEN TO HUMANS. Grace is God helping us with US in mind, not reality in its entirety, but us as humans. And take note – it’s not given to a color, nor is it given to a nation, nor is it given to a class; no, Grace is help from God that we didn’t deserve, and it’s given to ALL of us.
And what sort of grace is this? Is this like a stimulus check? Is it a food pack? Is it manna from heaven, or rescue from the enemy? It may be all these things, but one thing for sure – Grace is help from God that we didn’t deserve, given to all of us, for our REGENERATION AND SANCTIFICATION.
Grace is Christ raising Lazarus from the dead; He was regenerated. Grace is Christ healing the leper – He was physically sanctified. However, the greatest demonstration of grace is Christ laying down His life.
Romans 5 says that we have been reconciled by His death. The thing here is, we needed to be united with Christ before we would ever be regenerated of anything. When Christ lay Himself down as a sacrifice, not only has an exchange happened, but a union as well – We have been united with Christ in death, and as Christ died, so we died.
But unlike the other sacrifices made in the temple, death could not hold Christ down, so when we rose again, so we rose again. We were made new creations – regenerated. We were also made righteous – sanctified. By Christ’s finished work, we have been regenerated and sanctified, both now and forever.
Grace is help from God that we didn’t deserve, given to all of us, for our regeneration and sanctification.
Does this sound familiar? God so loved the world, He did not hold His only Son back, that whoever believes in Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
If you’re having trouble understanding the concept of grace, then go to Christ, who Himself is Grace. John clearly says that Grace and Truth comes from Jesus Christ.
The Grace of God in my life
In fact, even if you think that you understand grace completely (and you won’t), I would remind you, as your Pastor, to keep meditating on the grace of God, as seen through Christ.
In John 13:34-35, Christ speaks to His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We certainly understand that God loves us, in a general sense, but I have personally found it helpful, whether in times that I need to do something, or in times that something done to me, to go even deeper into that love, intentionally. For instance, in that same verse, at times I would look at where it says, ‘just as I have loved you’. What does this mean? Well, look no further than the grace of God.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that just as God helped us even when we didn’t deserve it, and just as God didn’t give anyone priority over the other, and just as God helped us fully and completely, so we can also help others, and we love one another in this way, and all people will know that we are Christ’s. We like to say those cheesy lines, like ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ – Friends, I wouldn’t stress myself, but I would rather point us into the right direction, and have us all remembering ‘What DID Jesus Do?’
Confucius said something to the lines of ‘Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.’ Good guideline, and even Christ Himself said the negative – ‘Do not do unto others as you would not want others to do unto you.’
But friends, let’s not waste time speculating – see, even I don’t know what I like all the time; But instead of relating to others this way, let us help one another as God has helped us. Let us do unto others as Christ has done unto us. Let us take in the unmerited help God gave to all people, so we would help anyone and everyone without any discrimination, or without expecting anything in return.
In this way I believe that we become not only theoretical, but tactical in the grace that has been freely poured out upon each and every one of us. Go deeper in your theories to refine your tactics, use your tactics to clarify your theories.
And this is the grace we will be talking about in detail, as we go through this month, and in this quarter.
I sincerely hope we’re all excited.
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