Dear COA Family,
Have we been thankful for the grace of God in our lives lately?
The grace of God is what makes salvation for us possible and sustains our lives daily according to God’s will. Without God’s grace we will be totally lost and helpless, trapped in our sins and hopelessness.
This is why the early Reformers focused so much on the grace of God. Martin Luther wrote that justification is entirely the work of God and that believers are made righteous through the infusion of God’s grace into our souls.
Being right with God has nothing to do with our works but everything to do with the completed work of Christ for us. Our righteousness is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. We know this from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Actually, this teaching is not novel from Paul. At the beginning of the early church, the apostles recognised God’s grace as central to the salvation of everyone. The Apostle Peter declared the faith for all believers to live by: “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they (the Gentiles) will.” (Acts 15:11)
Salvation by God’s grace alone is a very powerful and assuring understanding for us to possess. It tells us that ultimately, God is the one who works to save us and we can depend fully on him. We do not put our trust in any other person or ourselves to save us.
In addition, sacraments like baptism and partaking of the Holy Communion save us by communicating God’s grace to us. It is not what we do that earns God’s favour, but what he does in us that counts. God is the one who infuses his grace into our lives through baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as well as our continued trust and obedience to him each day.
Let us then live in deep gratitude for the grace of God made available through the Holy Spirit for us day by day… and also utilize it fully!