Read: Ephesians 2:5-10
Reflect: This morning I am going to give you a quiz. Don’t worry, it’s not a difficult one, like when I asked the second-grade class: Who was the first president of the United States? Most of them said Abraham Lincoln, with one saying Donald Trump. I guess second-graders aren’t really into politics. NO, today I want to ask you a simple question. What is grace? Is it “God’s Riches at Christ Expense”? Is it the love of God? Is it the forgiveness that God gives? How about the name of a church? Or a college? Wow! Grace is used in so many different contexts and means so many different things. One theologian has said “Rightly understood, this one-word grace contains within itself the whole of New Testament theology. It is God calling us to receive it (Romans 5:17), to know it (Colossians 1:6), and to continue in it (Acts 13:43)”. It is a vast word which means a lot, but if we don’t know what it does or who it is that does it, then it doesn’t mean anything. It just becomes another truism which Christians throw around.
GRACE IS WHAT MAKES GOD, GOD
Let’s see what Paul wrote in Ephesians. Grace is an attribute of God, it’s what makes God, God. God has many attributes: his love, his mercy, his justice, etc. But when we come to grace, we are talking about an attribute that specifically speaks about our salvation and purpose. Paul says in verse 8: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”Paul also says that with God’s kindness, He was able to show us his grace. “In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus he will do. When God met us many years ago and challenged us to either accept him as our Savior or walk away, it was the grace of God that put everything into motion so that we could make that decision. And that decision doesn’t just make us saved, that decision leads us to a purposeful life. Paul says in verse 10: “ For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” By the grace of God, He not only saved us, but by the grace of God He makes us into the man or woman God intended for us to be, and by the grace of God He will also lead us “beside still waters”. (Psalms 23). This is the kind of God that we want to have in times of trouble, in times of doubt or even times of discouragement. Grace is an attribute of God and it is totally intertwined with the love of God.
HAVE YOU FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD?
Apply: Remember, as a Christian, you are free from sin’s power. You are free to “put to death the deeds of the body (bad habits) whether it is a commission or an omission” (Romans 8:13). This is one of the benefits of the grace of God! I trust you will choose this path and enjoy his grace, just like I did in 1982. That’s when our second son was born, Noah. Many people have asked me. Why did you name him Noah? Was it because he was a leader who saved his family from drowning? No, not at all. I named him that because I love the verse in Genesis 6:8 which says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” I hope that you also find that same grace today in your life.