The last post covered some really neat things about grace that I haven’t really thought of before. From that perspective, my interaction with others has changed in a great way. The way I interact with my kids, wife, volunteers, fellow workers, and acquaintances. But now even deeper than that, there’s another understanding of grace that exudes from the next chapter in Ephesians: Grace is a calling.
Think about that for a moment. As mentioned in the previous chapters, all receivers of grace are examples of grace to those who have not received yet. So no matter how “small” or terrible the sin, grace overcomes. So grace introduces us into a new way of life. It’s a life that can now be lived in the glory of God. It’s a call. It’s the call.
Paul mentions how the grace he received called him to inform others of the mystery of Christ, the fact that Jesus died on the cross for sins not only committed by Jews, but also for Gentiles. So all can receive God’s grace through the cross. That’s big news! Especially for us! And if grace called someone who persecuted Christians to now proclaim that faith, then we have access as well.
Grace establishes purpose to life.
Grace establishes purpose to life. We no longer simply exist for a moment to do whatever for no reason, but have now gained eternal purpose for the work of God that He purposed us to do since before the creation of the world. It says that every family derives their name from God. There’s original purpose right there. And now a purpose to live and do what we are called to do through grace.
It’s not easy. We live in a crazy world filled with all kinds of things to pull us down. Our enemy is good at telling us to believe that we can’t make a difference, or the call isn’t worth it, or that we’ll miss out on certain things because we’ve chosen to live in God’s grace. And just like everything we do requires some training, we need to be strengthened in the inner man through the Holy Spirit of God. Let me show you something.
Check out these verses:
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NASB)
Did you catch that the love of Christ can be comprehended? If we don’t recognize just how great God’s gift of grace is toward us, we won’t be able to live in His grace or give grace toward others. His grace is motivated by love. Understanding how great His love is for us brings no other response than grace lived out. Only then can the fullness of Christ fill us. Imagine a life filled with His fullness that is constantly overflowing!
Paul finishes with a praise that brings to light the possibility of living in God’s grace, sharing grace with others even in the hardest moment, even when it seems impossible. He’s able to do IMMEASURABLY more than we can THINK OR IMAGINE.
What does that say about how we view God’s grace toward us? Do we try and measure it by the way we live, thinking we have to do something good enough to make God proud of us? Are we trying to make God proud of our actions and decisions? What a waste of time! Our pleasing God isn’t meant to come from a measure we put on grace, but because of how immeasurable His grace is toward us! If His love drove Him to give grace through the cross, our love displays gratitude for His immeasurable grace! And if we’re afraid of sharing grace with others or have a difficult time living in the grace He’s given, we need to remember that it’s much more, immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!
How big can you think? What’s the greatest thing you can imagine? His grace is bigger. What’s the worst possible thing you can think or dream of? His grace is greater. What’s the best thing that has ever happened? How can it get even better? His grace is even greater than that! What is the most outrageous think you could ever ask for? His grace is even bigger than that!So apparently God’s love for us can be comprehended, but what He is capable of because of His grace toward us, can’t be comprehended. Oh the great glory of God, who through His glory didn’t restrain it, but bought grace to us! Truly He is to be praised!
One other thing that to mention. There’s a phrase that I didn’t go over in the “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine” stuff. It’s this: according to the power that works within us. Let me say that again. “According to the power that works within us.” Fully:
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB)
His power is at work within us to bring glory to Himself in a great collective way through the church, a place in which your calling of grace can be lived out and fulfilled. You are important. YOU have an important role to play in the great way of God. He didn’t leave you hanging to do it all on your own. His power is at work within YOU. Let it work! Mull on that. Let it change you.
Read chapter four. We’ll cover it next week. In the meantime, leave me a comment on what grace is doing or has done in your life.