OUR PROMINENT VOCATION
Without question, spreading and inspiring the importance of relationship with God in Christ for the purpose of the salvation of sinners, is the most important vocation any believer could pursue.
There are those of us who understand and believe the God of the Bible is a God of righteousness, justice, and salvation; He sent Jesus to pave the path made available to all sinners; that they would always have the option to choose God in Christ. In our present age, despite our sinful nature, God’s grace penetrates the lies of Satan and reveals His true character to those who seek Him earnestly.
Revelation to any one person that the Biblical God was indeed Jesus as Incarnate—that He was, and should be more deified than any “force of nature,” “the Universe,” “Karma,” or “Mother Earth,” can be known as an intervention of God’s grace, through the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the most distinguishing factor by which grace is recognized in the Christian faith, is the clarifying nature in which it brings truth to areas of our faith walk otherwise obscured by the enemy (Psalm 119:18, Acts 26:18, Roman 6:14). In this article, I’d like to elaborate on how grace operates; that God uses grace to motivate the way our lives transform after choosing Him.
INTRODUCED TO DIVINE ENCOUNTERS
The range of which any individual is introduced to the idea of God varies widely, starting anywhere from a friend in school, an infinitesimal encounter with God internally, or even those who experience Christ through more ineluctably divine encounters—such as in the power of one’s reportedly irreversible prognosis cured; an egregiously shattered relationship restored, or a close friend’s notorious anti-faith overturned into a hardcore apologetic.
God’s grace is what enables our comprehension of the gravity of the difference in living a life with, or without—Jesus as Lord.
A STRONGER POWER OF PERSUASION
Viewing Jesus as only a “morally good, historically wise person,” particularly in the secular sense, is not going to have the same impact on a person as believing in Jesus as God incarnate. While the former not only deviates from Biblically-founded truth, it compromises the power Jesus claimed and demonstrated of Himself (Mark 2:5, Mark 14:60-62, Matthew 26: 63-65, Luke 22:67-70), making Him a liar, which is not compatible with calling him “good.”
The latter (believing He is God incarnate) drastically changes the life of a person from the inside out. For starters, our moral system begins to align with God’s intended moral design, based on our understanding of the Bible, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This alignment percolates throughout our spirit, impacting the manner in which we live our lives; ranging from our growing dependency on the Bible rather than ourselves, even to the careful measure we take with disciplining our children in a Christ-led household. Ultimately, our revised and Holy-Spirit-led mentality continually spreads in a pervasive surrender to all the areas of our lives we’d never considered before.
INSPIRING FREE WILL WITHOUT REMOVING IT
To give an example of the above, the permutation in prioritizing the investment of our time and finances in God first, is an indicator of a major shift in our lifestyle. God’s grace motivates us in such a manner, with such loving and convicting potency—that our decisions re-mold to complement His will, despite nothing else in our lives having previously had a strong enough power of persuasion to do so.
Because God is loving and His grace perfect, our decisions—still our own within free will—are galvanized with the desire to follow His ways rather than ours; which if we recall, were previously “inspired” by experiences in the world, which led us to decisions far less motivating by comparison.
A HUMBLE REMINDER: A NEW FORK IN THE ROAD
God’s grace is at the root of any person’s initial conversion of faith. It humbly reminds us we are not the ones who control the world, no matter what earthly power we hold. At the epicenter of grace is God’s love for us in Christ, whose voluntary life, death, and resurrection changed the course of history for eternity. With this newfound historical bifurcation, we are now able to choose the other path of the fork in the road, leading to a very narrow, challenging, but rewarding journey; a journey requiring steadfast faith, humbleness in surrender, and the persistence of commitment.
Taking it a step further is to say we are not only able to choose, but that we have the responsibility in deciding whether Jesus really is who He claimed to be or not: one decision or the other, intentionally made, leads to a very different life on Earth, and the life thereafter.
GRACE IN REVELATION
If faith in Jesus as Lord is a byproduct of realizing that our powerlessness requires a Higher Power to take the wheel of our lives, grace is the advent of surrendering the wheel, asking Him to steer us towards a relentless path of righteousness, godly obedience, and God-driven purpose. Grace is in the revelation of the endgame of our powerlessness. But it doesn’t stop at humbling us, it merely begins there, revving the spirit’s engine. Soon, the fading self-deprecation of giving up what we thought was our control over life, finally leads to the empowerment of choosing an eternal relationship with the living Christ, who is already in favor of us.
What eventually follows is the acknowledgement that the excitement we thought we had before was really a mirage, built up by the world with the manipulative intent of keeping us in a loop of pursuing transient, placebo happiness; a mere distraction from our continual suffering in a world of disappointment and never-ending mistakes.
We accept the truth that we’ve never actually been happy, and that we aren’t the only ones with this dreadful inner experience. We come to understand we’ve allowed, and even invited in whatever keeps the dim light in us afloat, drudging along through a world too tired to change or end the habitual patterns keeping obscured the source of all of our problems: knowledge that our self-inflicted suffering (sin) is overbearing, and we need the help of Someone outside the limited scope of humanity to save us from ourselves.
THE POWER OF GOD’S GRACE
This is the first time we’ve seen the world without the veil of thinking this is all there is. We don’t have to know everything, and we don’t have the capacity to be perfect; we are barraged and weighed down by the cosmic-sized parasite of sin, and the only action we can take is to turn towards the one remaining hope, Jesus Christ, and follow His every command through and through.
Our knowledge of this is a display of the power of grace, wielded into our hearts by Christ Himself (Jeremiah 32:40). Without Him, we are lost. But with Him, we are reborn, free from the pointless, hopeless mentality that we are able to do anything without God. We can’t, and we never will. The sooner we acknowledge our hopelessness, we ostracize its stronghold on us, making easier our understanding that God is good, and that Jesus has already done what we need to have done out of unconditional love (Romans 5:8).
VULNERABILITY AND MEANINGLESSNESS
Lastly, the stronger we give ourselves to faith in Christ, the weaker a hold the manipulative lies become in keeping us in bondage to living in the shame of sin, mental imprisonment, and meaninglessness. And while some unbelievers already feel they have found meaning in life, what they don’t have is a solid foundation on which to base a realistic sense of hope. A life without a hope risks the vulnerability of living without confidence in the worth of our existence; not only in this life, but the next.
The power of grace is the difference between not only questioning whether God is unimaginably real or conjured, but the revelation that the world, in all its best efforts, is a lost cause without divine restoration in Christ Jesus. There is only so much we can do on our own before our actions lead us on a downward trajectory; there is only so much purpose we can assign ourselves before we grasp the impertinence—the foundation-lessness—of the longevity and weight in our contributions to a world under the belief there is nothing more fantastic and auspicious than this.
CONQUERORS IN CHRIST
On the path of hope in Jesus, we have more than just a sense of hope: We have the continual awareness of His presence in good or bad times, and the promise of His return to Earth with a wrath for the sin of the world.
If we keep true to His Word (the Bible), and submit to His love inside of us by listening to the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves conquerors.
By His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). By His grace, we can finally see we are free indeed.
God, be glorified by every person who sees Your goodness and gives You praise in Jesus. Amen.