Understanding the grace of God

girl-324688_640Colossians 1:6: which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,

Power and purpose

The power and purpose of God is packed in his grace. It takes power to generate movement, or change, but it takes purpose to know the direction in which the change should be, or the movement.

When Paul said that we need to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1-2), we need to put in mine that we cannot be transformed except that is our spiritual genetic possibility.

The caterpillar will transform into the butterfly, because that is his genetic coding. Our new spiritual genetic coding as new creature is based on the grace of God, which is what determines our transformation. That is a new way to start looking at the grace of God, as the divine encoding to make you run the way you should be, just as the law was the way God wanted the people to behave in the past. Grace was an internal encoding.

The bible says that by grace we are saved, through faith (Ephesians 2:8). With faith we open ourselves for the implantation of the word of God.

Paul, while describing the work of salvation he was involved in among the gentiles said that the door of faith has been opened to the gentiles (Acts 14:27). He also said that by faith we have access, an entrance, into the grace wherein we stand (Romans 5:2). The door of faith leads to the life of grace, being the template of our change.

Peter associated grace with life, calling it the grace of life (1Peter 3:7). There is no turning to a butterfly by the caterpillar, if the caterpillar loses its life. Though it has the potential, realising it will only be a mirage. But the grace in us, the grace of life, ensure that the life of God continues in us, on its own, and moves us inevitably into the maturity of Christ.

The bible says that there is hope for a tree if it is cut down that it will sprout again if it “experiences” water (Job 14:7-9). Water for the tree is life. The tree still has the genetic possibility of growth and bearing leaves and fruit, but without water it is going nowhere.

Remember the hair of Samson that was cut down (Judges 16:22-31)? With that his supernatural strength was removed, but his hair grew again, his ability was restored and he died “fulfilled.”

Paul, while leaving the church in Ephesians for the final time said that he committed them to the word of God’s grace which is able to build them up (Acts 20:32). That is growth, which is power to move in a specific direction of progress. He also added that when they are build up, they will be given an inheritance, which is the direction, the compass of that growth, the end point of the grace work.

When he also wrote in his letter to the same group, he continues in his theme of growth, saying that the ultimate purpose of the church is to be build up to the fullness of the measure of the statue of Christ, when each component of the church is supplying grace of life building the church on (Ephesians 4:11-16). Grace is both movement and destination, grace is everything. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus that should be with us.

Passion and principle

When Paul explained why he seems to have such an amazing result in his ministry, he said: “I am what I am because of the grace of God. I labour more than the other apostles but not I but the grace of God with me (1Corinthians 15:8-10).”

That means his drive, his passion is generated by the grace of God. He said that: I have died and the life I live I live by the grace of Jesus who gave his life for me (Galatians 2:20). The passion of grace is difference from empty zeal, zeal without knowledge, which Paul said was exhibited by the Jews (Romans 10:2). But our grace-zeal emanates from the true knowledge of Jesus. Our passion is not about a thing but a person, it is an expression of our love for Jesus as the church, his bride (Ephesians 5:22-33).

The love of God has been shed in our heart (Romans 5:5), and it spills over in our emotion. The Christianity in which you do not feel anything for God is false. If for nothing, we rejoice in hope of the coming glory of God (Romans 5:1-2), we rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4), in the fact that our name is written in heaven, that we have eternal life (Luke 10:20), that we are the object of God’s love and that all things work together for our good, who are the called according to the purpose of God (Romans 8:28). We know that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We get this passion from the word of God, from the truth we glean from it.

Jeremiah said to God: your words were found and I ate them, and they are to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16). Also Jeremiah said that the word of God is like fire shut up in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9), fire being a symbol of passion.

There is also the principle of grace, which helps us to walk free from sin. Paul wrote that we are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6).

That grace of the lord Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 13:14) is that which helps us to walk above sin just as he did. If we just have the law we would operate in the principle of sin and death, and would say like Paul: what I like to do I do not, but what I do not want to do that is what I do (Romans 7:1-8:2)

We will have a friction between intention and practice, but that is resolved with the grease supplied by the grace of Jesus, who walked smoothly in the will of God, without the principle the law of sin working in him, like it does in ordinary men. That is what the grace does in us.

However for such reality, we need to make a shift in our thinking, we need to start seeing ourselves having died with Christ, and raised up with him and now in him in the resurrection of Christ moving with his power we get to walk in newness of life, we get to live in that life, higher life, the new creature life (2Corinthians 5:17).

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