“And you were dead, through the crimes and the sins in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air, the spirit who is at work in the rebellious. We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God’s anger as the rest of the world. But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.” Ephesians 2:1-10 (taken from The Jerusalem Bible, copyright 1966)
We have begun our fourth week of Lenten reading and discipline. I hope you are finding strength in the challenges and renewal in your walk with Christ!
The passage I have chosen today makes me so thankful for grace. I haven’t always understood the concept of grace but over time, God has shown me just a tiny bit about the grace He has extended to me. Remember, mercy withholds from a person what is deserved (like the judgement we deserve); grace gives what is not deserved (like salvation).
Romans 6 has something to say about grace that might make it more clear:
“Does it follow that we should remain in sin so as to let grace have greater scope? Of course not. We are dead to sin, so how can we continue to live in it? You have been taught that when we were baptized in Christ Jesus we were baptized in his death; in other words, when we were baptized we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life…you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
That is why you must not let sin reign in your mortal bodies or command your obedience to bodily passions, why you must not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin; you should, instead, offer yourselves to God, and consider yourselves dead men brought back to life; you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are living by grace and not by law.” (Romans 6:1-14)
What an interesting thought that we must not let any part of our body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin. Not the things we put our hands to, not the things we let our eyes look at, not the things we say with our mouth. We should instead offer ourselves to God and make every part of our body into a weapon fighting on his side. The things we put our hands to (our work, our leisure), the things we listen to, the things we look at, the things we say should all be made into a weapon fighting on the side of God. How exciting to know what we can accomplish with God’s help!
It is so encouraging that we have been given the grace we need to become more like Christ. We need only offer ourselves to God and accept (and pray for) grace for every situation!
These thoughts come from the scriptures in our Lenten discipline, Be Made New. You can still join in! Click the download button to download the PDF and read this post to find out how to participate.