Monday, February 4, 2013

The Heart of Salvation: Grace of God

God supernaturally regenerates a man’s heart (John 3:6), and some naturally degenerate the regenerated hearts (Matt 23:15). The malady and the parody of superior religiosity are wonderfully portrayed in the Bible. 

This is a classic case of infighting, which in our context is the spiritually proud fighting God Himself. What is the solution then? The solution is brutally presented in these verses “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12 NASB).

Is it not interesting that Paul appeals to the “grace” that God has given him to exhort believers not to think too high of ourselves, but with sober judgment? “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3, NIV). 

If we do not think too high of ourselves, we will not look down or even condemn others. If ‘humility’ should be our constant attitude, then assimilating God’s grace is the foundation. If we integrate God’s grace, then we will not possess a superior attitude of ourselves. This is how the equation works. 

To summarize, if we integrate God’s grace, we will be humble and gracious; hence we will not look down or condemn others.

The major stumbling block for one to integrate God’s grace is our delight in our “spiritual successes.” This delight infuses into us a spirit of achievement. This feeling of achievement results in a superior thought of oneself. But the fact of life is rather simple; nothing is possible outside of God. 

What we are is because of HIM. When we delight in ourselves, we become bigger than God, and in the process we violate this verse, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV). So, our objective in our Christian life and ministry is to become more and more invisible and let God be more and more visible through our lives.

Having emphasized on the need to dwell in the grace of God, please allow me to recapture the process of our salvation:

1. When a sinner believes in Christ, he is “born again,” and he becomes a “new creation” (Matthew 19:28; John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:5; Titus 3:5).

2. His sins are forgiven (Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:9).

3. He is redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shed on the cross (1 Peter 1:18-19).

4. God’s righteousness is credited to him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

5. Since God’s righteousness is credited to him, he is now reconciled to God. His position changes from being God’s enemy to God’s friend (Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:19-20).

6. He is now adopted into God’s family (Rom. 8:15).

7. He begins a process of spiritual growth called “sanctification” or “growing in holiness” (Romans 8:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Hebrews 10:10; 1 John 3:2-3).

8. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again (2nd coming), he will either be resurrected (if he is dead) or he will be transformed (if he is still alive) - (John 6:40; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

9. Finally, he receives a new physical body which he (all who believe in Christ) will possess throughout eternity (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 2 Thessalonians 1:10).

I see nothing but grace firmly imprinted in our salvation. We are saved by grace through faith.

Having been born by the grace of God, how now do we live?  


Dan said...

Thanks Raj. I must look up the verses quoted in 8 above as I have a problem with JC being dead? He conquered death once for all of us?

But it's late now, so another day

Raj Richard said...

Dan, Thanks for your comment.

I am sorry if my sentence was confusing. The "he" in (8) refers to a believer, not Jesus Christ.

Trust I have made myself clear.

Remain blessed...