The story so far...
Today we are continuing in our series of looking at difficult Church words that get used a lot, and never explained. Today – Grace.
People sometimes say that grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. His mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. What do we mean by that?
What's the problem?
We started our series with sin. This was to outline the problems of humanity, of all the world, in relation to God. We outlined that the state and nature of people is that we are unrighteous and as such that we will face judgement and punishment from God.
All people are included in this category – people are ultimately deserving of punishment before God because of his sovereignty as the creator of all, and the fact that we don’t know and respect that.
Can we follow God's rules?
How do we make things right with God?
How do we pay back the damage we have done?
A life changed...
If God gives grace, can we carry on living as we want, knowing that God forgives us?
“No!” Paul says. He outlines why by showing us the deep and real way that Christ’s death involves everyone who has faith in Him.
The cross of Calvary was two millennia ago but for the believer in Christ it is a time and a place in which they are involved in a wonderful, spiritual and real way.
Christ died, and rose again. We too (who believe) have died (to the old ways and old self) and been raised up with Him – that is our involvement at Calvary and that is what makes effective the change in a person when they believe.
The normal result of sin is death, so by dying with Christ the old self is no longer ruled by sin and a new life is established that is lived for God because of our relationship to Jesus.
Consider the dual nature of Jesus – He is both man and God. When we put our trust in Him we are joined to God by Him.
Jesus was both God and man – because of what he did we have the Holy Spirit inside us, and become part of the Church. There is a wonderful parallel between the nature of Christ and our new nature – He stepped down, to lift us up. He was united with human nature, with flesh, that humanity might be united to God, made alive spiritually.