The Grace for Godliness
But for the grace of God, Adam and Eve should have died the moment they ate the forbidden fruit. But for grace, there would have been no incarnation, no death on the cross for sin, and no resurrection. If it weren't for grace, there would be no hope in this world. Thank God that He is full of grace, and that He freely offers it to sinners who trust in Him! It is by grace that we are saved, and it is also by grace that we are made holy.
Grace is receiving goodness when we should receive punishment. When we stumble and fall into sin, grace is what motivates us to cry out to God in repentance. And when we fail in our own human weakness, God gives us this answer: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The more that we understand the grace of God, the more we will be empowered to pursue godliness. At first, this may seem contrary to our expectations. To some, the very concept of grace appears to be a license for sin. Paul confronted this idea in his day, imagining what his critics might ask him: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" (Romans 6:1). And then he answered this foolish question: "By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (6:2).
As children of God, sin has no place in our new nature. That doesn't mean we'll never sin again, but it does mean that the Holy Spirit, who is at work within us, will not let sin continue unabated. We have been made new in Christ, and sin is part of the old. It does not belong. Our new nature will war against it.
When we understand our great need for God and the unthinkable price Jesus paid for our freedom, there is only one appropriate response: an offering. So we offer ourselves as a "living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1). Our holiness is rooted deep in the soil of God's holiness -- and though we will wear it imperfectly this side of glory, it is a reflection of Christ Jesus in us.
Prayer: Thank You, God, that You are full of grace and that You freely offer it to me. Grow my faith in You, and as You do so, may I be empowered to pursue godliness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
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