In our last installment, we recognized the fact that God’s grace is like the two sides of the same coin. We need to see that Scriptural grace is not only God’s unmerited love, but it is also His unlimited power. To truly understand God’s grace (and how it impacts our lives) we must see, and embrace, both sides of grace.
In grace we see that God is motivated by love which causes Him to act in His unlimited power. As we study the Scriptures, we see that both sides of grace have ample support and application. We also see that both sides have the same manner of being administered to our lives and our life situations. This manner of application is found in God’s grace applied: 1) to us; 2) in us; and 3) through us.*
God pours out His immense love to us, as a prime example, in both His provision and application of salvation. His love is poured out in us by how He ministers to our needs and how He leads, comforts, and guides us with His Presence and His peace. His love is poured out through us in how He motivates us to minister to the needs of others around us. We are drawn by love, saved because of love, nurtured and healed because of love, and, by love, we reach out to others who are in need of His love. God is both the Source and Supply of the love that is needed – His love applied to us, in us, and through us is His grace.
God also pours out His immeasurable power to us in His provision to encourage us, strengthen us, and to compel us within His calling upon our individual lives. We also see the power of His grace to us in the impartation, and implementation, of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. He pours out His power in us to provide for endurance of hardship or persecution, and in revealing His wisdom and knowledge into our spirits. He pours out His power through us by the investment of His authority into our callings and in our times of prayer. Once again, we see that He is the Source and Supply of whatever we need to live as He desires us to live – divinely enabling us to live, and act, according to His will and His purposes. His power applied to us, in us, and through us is also His grace.
If we really think about it, what all human beings really need is love and power. In a world dominated by selfishness, fear, abuse, and pride, a true love is the perfect remedy. And in a world that is overrun by weakness, sin, frustration and failure, power is essential to strength, purity, hope and victory. This world is in desperate need of God’s love. This world is also in eminent need of God’s power. Both are necessary to address the issues of the people of this world. God supplies both His love and His power to us, in us, and through us by His infinite and awesome grace.
All we need to know about grace, we discover as we look at the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. Everywhere He went He loved people – and every need He encountered He was led to address those needs by God’s power. Jesus was our Model of grace – to love people, backed by the authority and power to initiate God’s changes in their hearts and lives. Our Lord was so connected with grace, that the apostle John was inspired to tell us that “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) In being full of grace, and in ministering that grace to others, Jesus provided a living, breathing revelation of the One True God. The love of God became real. The power of God became personal. Through the grace of Jesus, God emerged from the fog of religious mystery and human opinion and became a real and personal Being. This encapsulates one of the great purposes of The Christ – and of true Christianity. The One True God reveals Himself to, in, and through His faithful servants by means of His limitless grace. Grace, in its unconditional love and its unlimited power, is absolutely foundational for our understanding of Who God is and how He chooses to interact with us and reveal Himself to us, in us, and through us. Grace, indeed, is nothing short of amazing!
It becomes apparent that it is essential for us to embrace the fullness of our salvation. Scripture declares: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” (Ephesians 2:8) Clearly, being “saved” is the result of God’s grace. It is the story of a loving God doing everything in His power that needed to be done, to make His people whole and holy. A one-sided grace, emphasizing only God’s love, affirms only a part of God’s work on our behalf. If we only bear testimony of how God loves us and forgives us, we neglect a tremendous portion of the gospel. We must always remember that to be “saved” literally refers to rescue, redemption, deliverance, restoration, and wholeness. God does not just rescue us from His wrath only to leave us in a powerless condition that continues to leave us open to sin and judgment. His every intention, so powerfully provided through Jesus’ death and resurrection, was to fully liberate His people from the bonds of sin and death and the devastation and brokenness so rampant in this sin-filled world. The almighty and loving King’s plan has been fulfilled by His Son, through God’s Own love and power, and His intention implemented completely. This is the profound message of the gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus has purchased our pardon. He has also secured our liberation for all of time. Grace is the story of God’s love. But it is also the story of His power to enable us to overcome this world and live life as the citizens of a new world. This is the gospel in its fullness. Our task and privilege is to live in the fullness of both sides of grace, bearing testimony with our lives, of the love and power of God residing within us and coursing through us. This is true Christianity.
Next… The Two Sides of Grace in Scripture.