“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:1-10
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:1-6
Grace in its purest form isn’t messy. It’s just beautiful grace. Given by God. Totally undeserved. Unmerited. Unearned. God’s gift to us. His forgiveness of our sins not because we deserve His love. Not because we deserve His mercy. Simply because Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, died on the cross to pay our sin punishment of death, hell, and the lake of fire and was raised from the dead so those who repent and believe in Him as Lord, turning from a lifestyle of sin to God and His ways, are given everlasting life.
Given heaven. Given forever with God almighty. That’s grace in a nutshell. The greatest gift that ever was, ever is, or ever will be. Jesus Christ and forever with Him. Someone and something we can never earn. And never deserve. But are given because of God’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice of His life and taking on the heinous torture of all our sins and our sin penalty including all God’s wrath at us on Himself. For us. That’s pure grace.
So what’s messy grace? Grace when we mess it up with our fleshly lack of understanding. And this we tend to do in two main ways when we mess up grace.
- We try to measure up to God, earn God’s love and forgiveness and mercy and grace, and prove ourselves to Him either before or after we receive God’s forgiveness.
- We receive God’s grace and use it to clean ourselves up and go running back to our sins figuring who cares God will forgive us so we might as well keep living a lifestyle of sin with our backs turned against God.
Friend, we can’t earn God’s grace otherwise it wouldn’t be grace, and God’s grace isn’t so we will continue on sinning but so we get a fresh start and can learn how to live a life pleasing to and honoring of God in Christ.
Grace isn’t just for us, is it? It’s also for God, isn’t it? So we are set free to learn to love and worship and serve and bring joy and pleasure to Him day by day – now and forever, AMEN!