Recently I’ve been reading Ephesians again. I’m just enamored by how excited Paul gets about God’s grace. What I’m writing about has to do with what I’ve found in the first two chapters. Go ahead and take a moment to read through it. If it went any further, this post could last forever. But this is what I’ve found that is getting me excited…just like Paul.
Grace, glory, and peace. All three are linked together. For some reason I haven’t noticed it until now. Maybe God was waiting for the right time to explain things to me.
The first thing I noticed was that because of God’s glory He has shown us grace. And then in turn, grace introduces us to His glory. What we need to understand in order for this to mean anything for us is that we need His grace. His glory is unapproachable because of our wrongdoing. And yet through His grace displayed through Jesus Christ, we can approach His glory.
In turn, through His grace He seats us with Him in Christ in glory. Seated in Christ with God! Think about that! His grace makes so much possible for us!
God has a grand design for our lives that we don’t fully understand most of the time. I’m convinced that sin has made our ears deaf to the language of God. Sin has set us at war with God. But God’s grace through Jesus opens our ears and puts us at peace with Him. God’s grace, found through faith in Jesus’ death and raising to life, makes us new and gives us the ability to understand the ways of God, to live the life He designed us to live. Before His grace we were destined as objects of His wrath. But now, in His grace, we’re made new as objects of His glory!
Finally, through His grace we can now live the life He designed for us. His grace has set us free from the trap of sin. His grace has set us in peace with God in Christ. We can now live our lives in His purpose for us. What I’ve discovered is that we can make our decisions based on living in grace rather than sin. Though our sin habit tugs at us and tries to lure us into following it, we have the power to say no because of grace. But in every circumstance in which we say yes to sin, it has then become our choice to fight against God. That’s when we notice that we lose the peace that grace brings.
I went on to a church while visiting family a while back in which I heard the speaker say something that reminded me of what I read in Philippians 4. Peace isn’t the absence of something, but the presence of Someone. Peace is knowing that God is more than just with you, but within you because of grace. And God is not at war with His Son in Whom He is well pleased. Jesus met all the requirements necessary, through Whom we can now come to God. Not only that, but 2:14 says that Jesus Himself is our peace.
Peace is not only brought between us and God, but also with others found in His peace. God has established a way for us to enjoy all the benefits of Christ regardless of where we’ve come from, our history, nationality, or family. God’s grace toward us bears grace toward others when we live in it. It’s inclusion into the great family of God! All grace receivers are now commissioned to bring grace to all those found outside of it. There is no one too great, too small, too sinful, or too good to receive His grace. So our response toward others should be seasoned with grace. We have unique opportunities to bring peace because we’ve found peace in God’s grace. Why would we keep it to ourselves when His grace is so boundless and inclusive?
These things have changed the way I relate to people in many ways. I have a desire to give grace to my children, wife, friends, and acquaintances in ways I have not expressed before. As a receiver of a limitless grace, my life being transformed in response toward grace, I deeply desire people to experience the freedom grace has brought me. Because of His grace I am brought into God’s glory. His glory is defining my life. And I’m curious to see what else He will bring me to. What I’ve realized is that His grace is much more than undeserved forgiveness of sin. It’s the undeserved EVERYTHING of God! Why then would I choose to live any other way than in His glory if His grace has brought me into it even now?!
His grace is much more than undeserved forgiveness of sin. It’s the undeserved EVERYTHING of God!
I pray this isn’t something all too easily forgotten. If you haven’t thought of what God has now brought you into as some more of His glory, how does it change your perspective now? How does the good things and bad things change? What does pain look like? What does your relationships look like? Can you recognize the glory of God through the grace He’s given you even in those circumstances? Where is His grace with you?