Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s grace is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. It is our union with him that unites us also to the grace of God. God acts freely toward us without hesitation or limitation because of Christ.
Because God’s grace is in Christ alone, it is completely uncaused by you. You have done nothing, do nothing, and will do nothing to make you deserving of this grace. We must learn to stop trying to cause God’s grace. We cannot bring it about. We cannot even produce it by our faith. Our faith is in existing grace; it does not make grace exist. Grace is not contingent at all upon what you or I do. It does not come and go with our sinning and behaving. It does not increase and decrease by our consecration. It does not rise and fall by our worship. Grace is a principle and a power that is completely outside of us that enters us in spite of us by the Spirit of Christ.
Because God’s grace is in Christ alone, our response must be full and free humility. The receiver of grace must see himself as completely unworthy and yet completely blessed. There is no room for fleshly pride in the economy of grace. Grace produces the self-forgetfulness that neither has anything to gain or anything to not lose.
Because God’s grace is in Christ alone, we are fully accepted in Christ. Fully righteous. Fully justified. We are not on probation until Heaven. We are heaven ready – absent from body, present with the Lord. The past Adamic life is gone. Our life is Christ. This grace can never be taken away. God bestowed his grace on us knowing every contingency beforehand. He loved us in spite of all the things we did do wrong and would do wrong, even after receiving grace. We will be judged from the reality that we have already graciously been judged in Christ.
Because God’s grace is in Christ alone, our focus is on Christ alone. We do not hope to be better, for we are as good as he is. We are not disappointed in ourselves, for that is to trust in ourselves. We are not proud, for all of our standing is in Christ. We are not discouraged, for we know God’s plan of future grace for our life. Our devotion comes from recognizing God’s blessing by grace, not from our will to be devoted. We do not make vows and resolutions, for these come from the flesh. We are not burdened by our own life, but take up the burden of others. We allow ourselves to be loved more and more while seeing our unworthiness more and more. We rely on the discipline of the Lord, while testifying of the goodness of the Lord.
“To live is Christ” is to live in this grace alone. Grace that changes everything. How we see ourselves, God, others, all hinges on our reception of grace.
Do you receive or resist grace? What makes it hard to receive grace? What makes it easy? Are you relying on your position in Christ for blessing or are you relying on something else?