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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Understanding the Gift of God

Here are three points to help us understand this gift of God called grace.

God’s Justice is when He gives us what we deserve.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. Ephesians 2:3

We all rebelled against God (Romans 3:9-18) and we all deserve eternal punishment in hell. The truth is, the drive to commit sin comes from our sinful nature, which is judged from the start (Ephesians 2:3). This is why any of what we think as good deeds is still unacceptable. And because God is just, sin has its punishment.

God’s Mercy is when He does not give us what we deserve. 
 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4,5)

Because of God’s mercy, being spared from the punishment is now possible. This does not mean that God is violating His character to let us off the hook. It was Jesus who actually took the penalty of our sins. Instead of us dying on the cross and being hell-bound for eternity, Jesus became our substitute. The punishment of sin was accomplished on Jesus.

God’s grace is when He gives us what we do not deserve. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the
incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6,7

In Christ, we are not simply spared from the punishment we deserve but we also receive the blessings that we do not deserve. This grace or blessing comes in different forms. Some of those are, becoming a child of God (1 John 3:1), having the power to say “no” to sin (Titus 3:5), the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), etc.

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