By His Grace

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Christ gave us life when we were dead in our sins. What a beautiful statement Paul makes here. I know that my life was radically changed when I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at 24 years of age. I had been raised in the church (my  mom was the church secretary) and ran away from God in my teenage years getting into all kinds of trouble and doing things twasted not only my money, but my life. I was going nowhere fast. Well let me correct – that I was going to hell fast. But God sent a friend and he started to witness. And through a number of letters he planted seeds that eventually resulted in my salvation. Something was born in me that day that just kept growing. It was that new life that he’d given me by his grace. There is no doubt that my spirit was quickened that day

And after He quickened my spirit,  He raised me up so that I can sit in Heavenly places with Jesus Christ. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It’s right here with us. It’s time we started acting like this is the kingdom of heaven. Sharing our love and the love of Christ that he gave us with others so that they can know Christ. We have an obligation to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  That preaching is love for our fellow man. It doesn’t matter who they are or what culture they come from. All that matters is that they know Christ. They need to be raised up, they need to be quickened, they need to be set in Heavenly places just like we are.

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Paul here looks into the future and he wants us to know that there are things to come there are much more amazing than we can possibly imagine. The exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us. Doesn’t it amaze you sometimes when you hear testimonies of what God has done. I have not watched the movie “Miracles from Heaven” but I understand that it’s a powerful show that talks about a miracle and how it affected a family. Those are the exceeding riches of his grace. Over and over again I hear testimony about what God has done and it brings tears of joy to my eyes to know that God still moves in kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. He loves us so much and we should be sharing that love with everybody we know.

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

These two verses are probably used to explain salvation more than any others in the Bible. I don’t know how much I can tell you about these you don’t already know. We are saved by God’s grace – there is nothing we have done to earn it. It’s a gift. Like any gift it has to be accepted and opened by the receiver. We just had Christmas around here. How many of you left your presents under the tree and said “Oh, I have a gift”. And then you just left it there and didn’t open it. There are many churches that preach that Christ died for their sins and they’re going to heaven. They don’t say anything about the fact that we have to accept His sacrifice personally into our lives. But Christ’s sacrifice is like that gift sitting under the Christmas tree that you haven’t opened if you haven’t ask him into your heart on a personal level. I pray that you have. It will change your life.
Paul emphasizes that it’s not works gets us our of salvation. If it was works the brought us salvation, we would boast and say “Look what I’ve done”. Many Christians do that anyway Pride sets in because of their accomplishments. “Oh, well,I’m  a worship leader”,  “I’m a “minister”,  I’m a teacher”.  In God’s Kingdom we are all the same, there is no room for boasting. Because He doesn’t save us because of the work we do. He saved us because He loves us. Loved us enough to send His own Son as a sacrifice for sin. Only by His grace can we can get into heaven. It is a gift from God, accepted by faith.
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