About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Recipients Of Grace
There is no doubt about
it. We are saved, and we
stay saved, by trusting in God's grace and nothing else.
Ephesians 2:8 makes that perfectly clear.
"For it is by grace
you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it
is the gift of God—"
Once understanding that
every last aspect of salvation is a matter of trusting God's grace, how
then, should we live as responsible recipients of grace?
When you extend grace to
someone who does not deserve it, as God extends grace to us, you hope
your grace will produce a positive response in the recipient of your
grace. It saddens you when
your grace is wasted on someone that ignores it or receives it to
selfishly benefit himself. If,
for example, you extend grace to an alcoholic, you hope your efforts
will help him overcome his addiction.
That will never happen if there is no co-operative relationship
between you and the alcoholic that produces the intended goal of your
grace. Ephesians 2:10
suggests that the goal of grace is productivity.
"For we are God’s
handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do."
According to Ephesians
2:8 through 10 God's grace is expected to accomplish God's will in our
lives. The productive nature
of grace is also seen in other passages.
God's grace should produce humility in our lives (Romans 12:3).
It should enable us to exercise the gifts of the Spirit (Romans
12:6). It should produce a
godly boldness in us (Romans 15:15).
It should make us thankful (2 Corinthians 4:15).
It should help us endure suffering (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It should cause us to serve Jesus (Ephesians 3:7).
God's grace, unmerited favour, is meant to be productive, and
therefore, grace is also defined as God's divine ability given to us to
accomplish His will in our lives.
Productive grace can
only be realized in our lives when we enter a co-operative relationship
with Jesus. It is no
different than when we extend grace to an alcoholic that is meant to
help him fight his addiction. If
there is no co-operative relationship, extending grace is unproductive
and wasted, and that should never be.
2 Corinthians 6:1 reads:
co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace
God's grace is meant to
assist us in living a life of godly and productive service for Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:10 reads:
"But by the grace
of God I am what I am, and his grace to me
was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not
I, but the grace of God that was with
recipients of God's grace requires a co-operative relationship with Him
that produces its intended results in our lives.
If there is no co-operative relationship accompanying grace, we
sadly receive His grace in vain and become irresponsible recipients of