Driven by Grace

Driven by Grace

 

                Salvation is not just a gift that we receive; it is a driving force in our lives. It is a motivation that moves us to action. It causes us to have new motives, new plans and a new focus. It impacts our relationships with others and with God Himself. It changes us. It is not something that we do, but something that has happened to us. We become a new creation. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 ) We therefore no longer are driven by the flesh, the world or the devil, but we are driven by grace.

                Salvation is given freely by the grace of God. It is called “the Gift of God”. ( Ephesians 2:28 ). It cannot be earned, or purchased. It is only received through faith in Christ. (Titus 3:5) No man has ever been saved by the works of the Law. (Romans 3:28)

This free gift creates a change in us. The book of Titus speaks clearly of the change that this gift of God creates in us. (Titus 3:3-5). We can see what our desires and motivations were prior to salvation in verse 3. We were serving divers lusts and pleasures. But then, in verse 4, we see that God looked down upon us in kindness and love, and gave Jesus Christ, His Son, to be a sacrifice for us. He came to Earth, lived a sinless life, and shed His blood on an old rugged cross, to make salvation available to man. He then offered it as a free gift to all who would receive. When we received this free gift, we became heirs of God. (vs 7) Our eternal destination changes. We are no longer bound for Hell, but we are bound for Heaven.

The change in our lives is not an outward, physical change, it is an inward spiritual change. It happens in the heart, in the soul. The change at salvation is not done by us, through our effort, but is done through the work of the Holy Spirit, who indwells us. At salvation, the Holy Spirit took up residence inside of us. (1 Corinthians 4:16). He now works in our lives. He guides us in truth, in the way we should go. (John 16;13). And one day, if we die before Christ comes, we will rise through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:11)

The inward change at salvation, while not a physical change, should cause outward changes in our behavior. This is a gradual change, as we grow to be more like Christ. We call the process sanctification. The word means “to be set apart”. As we grow less like the world, less like our old selves, and grow more like Christ, we become sanctified. 2 Peter 1:5-8 gives us an idea of the actions that we have to have in our lives to become more like Christ. But we are also warned of the consequences of not making these changes in our lives. (vs 9 ). Notice that these are not changes that we make externally, through deeds and actions, but internally.

However, we cannot just have internal changes. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to make us willing to make external changes. We should be different that we were. We should no longer act, think, talk, walk or dress like the world. (Romans 12:2).  We are to be a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). The word peculiar does not mean strange or bizarre, although we may see so to the world, but it implies ownership. We are “God’s” people. We should look and act like God’s people.

Both these internal and external changes should drive us to reach others. How wrong it would be to receive a gift that is available to everyone and then not share that good news with others. Why would we want to hide salvation from those who desperately need it? We should be driven to share the good news with a lost and dying world.