Christians are to make living under grace their orientation for all of life. This means that grace is the lens through which we view ourselves, the church, our relationship with God and our relationship with others. When grace acts as a filter that governs how you see and interact with the world, it is not just a concept but a way of living.
When we practice living under grace, we should begin to view ourselves as God views us-through the lens of grace. Ephesians 1:5-6 tells us that God already views us as accepted and made whole in His sight. We do not have to work for that acceptance by earning grace because our identity in Christ was sealed through His Son, when He paid the price in full (John 19:30). In essence, the Father has accepted us willingly, with approval, with value, with esteem, with delight, not because we have in any way merited His favor, but because we now live under His grace. With this in mind our good deeds are not done in order to earn grace, rather good deeds are a reaction to the grace that is already given to us. The more you understand about grace, the more opportunities you will have to react to it by living a life that displays appreciation for such a gift. Since grace has been so freely given to us (Ephesians 1:6), we must steward it well by living in obedience and loving others graciously.
The context to experience grace is the church. This is the environment where people of all races, cultures and backgrounds can accept, care for, and love one another. While we are not all the same, the church is the place where all have been saved by grace. No one is better than anyone else, so the church should be the most gracious place on earth – filled with people who are giving and receiving grace. We have the opportunity to do this a variety of ways, but particularly through our communication. Believers should seek to build each other up (Ephesians 4:12, 16) with words rather than tearing each other down. This means learning to speak with grace and to seek to be helpful instead of hurtful. Again, the more you understand the grace you’ve been given, the more it affects your self-perception, the environment in which you operate, your relationships, and your communication to others.
1. What points from today’s sermon resonated with you most?
2. As we close the study of grace, what has been your biggest take-a-way?
Let’s Get Personal
1. How has your understanding of grace affected your sense of identity, belonging, and acceptance?
2. What does your response to grace mean in terms of how you speak to others?
Take the Next Step
1. Who do you need to extend grace to in your life? Take some time this week to make amends in your life and apply grace.
2. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the follow passages: Eph 1:1-12; Eph 4:29-32; Eph 4:7; Eph 2:4-8; Col 4:6; Eph 1:22-23
Renew Your Mind
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”