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Grace through Faith

You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:1-10, NRSV)

We were not saved by anything we have done. This passage clearly states twice that we are saved by grace. By the gift of God. When we were dead in sin and far from God, we were lifted up out of the mire through the faithfulness of Jesus.

We are saved by grace, and that is the gift of God so none of us can boast that we did it.

But it doesn’t stop there, and just because we can not do anything to earn that grace does not mean there isn’t anything for us to do. Verse 10 clearly states that we were lifted out of the mire to do good works, works God had prepared for us in advance of the grace to show God’s love to the world.

So thank God you do not have to earn your salvation, but go into the world and share God’s love because of your salvation!

 

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Do Not Grow Weary

7Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. 16See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears. (Hebrews 12:7-17, NRSV)

God does not put us into circumstance but can work in and through all things to help us grow into closer and deeper disciples of Him, just as our parents helped us learn from our mistakes, and helped us learn how to be productive members of society, God fashions us through the things that happen in our lives to be better spreaders of His grace, mercy, and love.

God works in and through all things for good, so that we might better spread His kingdom.

Are you ready to be a better grace spreader?

 

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Made Pure Because of Christ

13Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. (1 Peter 1:13-21, NRSV)

Do not hold to your old ways but be made different by Christ. Do live life as you had looking out for yourself first, but look out for others first and know that by doing this you will show them the love that Christ gave to you and Christ, in turn, will refill your cup.

Because if we are filled with Christ we can not live the old life we had been living for the old has gone away and the new has come. That is what life in Christ does, it changes us to look at the other first.

Are you filled with the spirit and guided by His love to give grace and mercy to all of the world?

Do you live a new life in Christ?

 

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Servants of God

15What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.20When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:15-23, NRSV)

Should we sin because we know when we sin we get grace? No! We get grace regardless. We do not need to remove our selves from God’s presence through sin to get more grace.

But we are either a slave to sin or to righteousness?

So who is your master?

God or sin?

 

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We share in Christ’s Death and New Life

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:1-6, NRSV)

Christ was raised from the dead so we might walk in newness of life.

Jesus died so that you might have a new life. One that is filled with grace and love from God. Not one without hardships or always easy, but one that is filled with Grace and Love.

We no longer have to be a slave to sin but can live in the mercy of a relationship with our creator.

We have died with Christ and are raised anew to a life of love and grace to share with the world.

So walk in the newness of life through Jesus!

 

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Jesus is Baptized

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17, NRSV)

This is the version of this story that is open ended and doesn’t really give us a lot of details. We don’t know who was there if it was a crowd or just John and Jesus. We don’t know who heard the proclamation of God.

But the story still shows us that Jesus knew somethings needed to be done for good order and to give us an example of how to live.

We also see the love that is poured out through baptism to all of God’s children by God.

We all get grace and love through baptism. Live in the love we are given through the love given in baptism.

 

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The Word Became Flesh

14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (John 1:14-18, NRSV)

Jesus was with God in the beginning and helped create everything that is. And because of that he is filled with Grace and Truth.

Not truth as most of us know but ultimate truth that doesn’t change.

You see we can say that God changes but I would say it isn’t God that changes but us. Our perception and understanding is what changes.

Know that Jesus is always the same.

 

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