Ch. 2 - Salvation is a Gift...a work of Grace!
7 ....I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me (Ephesians 3:7,8)
Grace "TO" Us...
In Ephesians chapter two and again here in chapter three, Paul references God's grace to us .... God's gift to us by believing.
Grace Through God's Spirit "IN" Us...
God's Spirit working in our lives gives us grace ...the power to do the right thing !!! The energizing power needed to live the entire Christian life is called in Scripture, "the grace of God"
- 11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11,12)
- 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect (1 Cor 15:10)
*God gives a certain amount of this grace to every person, ...but the proud resist the grace they get and lose God's power. How do we get more grace?
Whole volumes have been written about God's grace. It is one of the most significant topics that we will only touch on here in light of the references to grace in Chapter three. As God demonstrates his love for us through how gracious he is to us, we become aware that he wants us to be gracious, or full of His grace.
The success of our lives is entirely related to how much grace God gives us.
"13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Phillipians 2:13)
*How do we receive this grace? There is only one way - by being humbled.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud
but shows favour to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Nothing is more humbling than experiencing conflicts we cannot solve, especially when others know about our problems. But it is this very experience that God uses to break our pride and give us grace. God allowed all his servants in Scripture to experience conflicts, and it is this very reason that we go through them as well.
When you are in conflict, when someone has offended you, when someone sees the situation different than you do...be careful of your response....be gracious, instead of lashing out in retalliation... humble yourself ....God promises to give you more grace. This I believe is a secret of successful christian life!
Next: Ch. 4 - So How Are Your Relationships?