Monday, April 20, 2009

...the joy and struggle of growing each day in Jesus

For by grace you have been saved through faith. 
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.

-Ephesians 2:8-10

It is hard to live by grace. 

Grace robs us of our own glory and our desire to take credit for things only God can do. It steals from us the longing for control of our own destinies and lives and therefore strips us of casting unbiblical, unwarranted, hasty judgments against others. Grace fosters humility, creates unquestioned dependency, and grants us assurance and hope.

Grace causes us to have unfettered worship in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthens us each day in our service and endeavors for Him. It produces love for the brethren - ALL the brethren - not just those in our own theological/doctrinal camp. Grace produces patience, gentleness, forbearance, forgiveness and makes manifest in our lives the fruit of the Spirit and the law of Christ.

It causes us to love God and hate sin; to love our enemies, our neighbors, our church, our co-workers, our families, and the One Triune God. It is our daily teacher in the school of holiness and ultimately will see its instruction complete when we are home with Jesus in glorification.

IOW, grace... works. 

It is not passive - it is active. It is not a silent bystander, but the unmistakable voice of the Savior. It is not a one time remembrance in salvation, but our daily companion in sanctification. This is not cheap grace - it is costly, paid with the currency of heaven that only flows from our Lord's veins. Grace marks the intimacy and life with our spouses; it is the fuel of our prayers; and the source of all ministry. It as the Apostle Paul states, "we stand in grace."

The Disposition of Grace
"A Christian should not be sour, crabbed, and irritable in his temper for nothing almost tends so much to injure the cause of religion as a temper always chafed; a brow morose and stern; an eye that is severe and unkind, and a disposition to find fault with everything. And yet it is to be regretted that there are many persons, who make no pretensions to piety, who far surpass many professors of religion in the virtue here commended. A sour and crabbed temper in a professor of religion will undo all the good that he attempts to do." -Albert Barnes, NT Commentary, Phil. 4:8
A prayer for grace:
"Lord, teach us to live by grace, to love by grace, to confront by grace, to endure trials by grace, to not repay evil with evil by grace, to risk the rough waters someone else is going through to see them made whole by grace, to challenge by grace, to restore by grace, to walk by grace, to talk by grace, to worship by grace, to serve others by grace, to blog by grace, and govern all ministry by grace. And may all this be done according to Your Word, to Your glory, and in the power of Your Spirit. For Jesus' sake... Amen."


Susan said...


Rick Frueh said...

Unmerited favor. So incomplete and shallow when compared with God's grace. If there are not times where we feel as though we are compromising in our interaction with other brothers in Christ, even if we are not, we just may not be operating in grace.

SJ Camp said...

Well said brother. It's not enough just to confront; all confrontation done in grace and His agape love seeks to cover a multitude of sins. IOW, restoration, repentance and reconciliation.

Grace in justification: just as though we never sinned; just as though we always obeyed.


SJ Camp said...

Thank you. His grace is truly incredible.

Michele Rayburn said...

Grace...It is not a one time remembrance in salvation, but our daily companion in sanctification.Because grace didn't end with salvation...

In the words of the Apostle Paul, "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus." (1 Cor.1:4)

Walking in grace has its joys, but it also has its challenges. But the result produces fruit if we don't give up on it, or on each other.

Steve, your posts on walking in grace truly feed the sheep.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you 4 your thoughts here and for your encouraging words.

To Gid be the glory. May He make us all a people of grace.

Doug R said...

Excellent post! It reminds me of my favorite song titled “He Covers Me”; I think Steve is familiar with this one :). I weep tears of thanksgiving nearly every time I hear it.

Titus 2:11-14 (NIV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Debbie Blair said...

What a beautiful grace filled post that directs our eyes to the giver of such amazing grace, Jesus Christ. May He cause us to extend this grace to others as we live our lives for Him.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 4:15