Only by God’s Grace Can we Live The Christian Life

In a small cemetery of a parish churchyard in Olney, England, stands a granite tombstone with this inscription: “John Newton, clerk [pastor], once an infidel and Libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, … More

Grace

As we live day in and day out sometimes our feet begin to drag. The fact is that we cannot trust ourselves to always be steadfast or faithful. We can muster up courage to the best of our ability and yet fail. This is why it is so marvelous that something has been given to help us, that being the grace of God.

God’s manifestation His grace began with Christ’s incarnation but includes His life, death and resurrection. The person recipients of this grace are those who have personally accepted His grace for salvation (v. 11). After salvation it is His desire to continue teaching us, much as a parent does a child (v. 12). In his child training process instruction plays a prominent part but every parent knows that the process at times also requires rebuke and chastisement.

God’s grace offers not merely an escape from the punishment of sin but attempts to bring about a transformation in our character  and conduct. So grace takes the believer into its school and carries on the process of training us. In other words the knowledge of spiritual things is not enough. There must also be rebuke and chastening along the way. The final aim is not creed but character. In Hebrews 12:6 we read “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” If Paul thought it possible for the believers on the island of Crete to live “soberly, righteously and godly (v. 12), then surely we cannot excuse ourselves by planning our failure on our adverse circumstances.

Application

Am I ready and willing to admit that I cannot live the Christian life in my own strength but must call upon the Lord who saved me to keep me from failing Him?

Titus 2:11-12 (English Standard Version)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age....

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