Day By Day By Grace
January 26, 2013
The Initial Grace of God
"I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no
more"...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. (Jeremiah 31:34 and Ephesians 2:8-9)
Again, we have the opportunity to compare justifying grace and
sanctifying grace, initial grace and ongoing grace. This is always an
edifying and valuable exercise, since we tend to forget that we are
sanctified through the same means that we are justified.
The initial grace that impacted our lives forever was the justifying,
forgiving grace of God. The prophets of old proclaimed this hope. The
writers of the New Testament related it to us today. "I will forgive
their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34;
also in Hebrews 8:12). When we repented of our sins and called upon the
name of the Lord, we were forgiven and justified, declared not guilty
and righteous in His sight.
This saving work of God on our behalf was all accomplished by the grace
of God. "For by grace you have been saved." The saving grace of God is
applied to lives as they trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and
Savior. "By grace you have been saved through faith."
None of this process originates in man. All of it comes from God. "And
that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." No aspect of salvation
derives from the efforts of man, so no one will ever be able to brag
about their contribution in being saved. "Not of works, lest anyone
should boast." All glory, now and forever, will go to the Lord Himself.
"He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31).
Yes, even faith does not source in man. Jesus is "the author and
finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). When we believed upon the Lord
Jesus, it was in response to an authoring, revealing work that He was
doing on our behalf. Jesus manifested Himself to us through the gospel
as One who was able to save us sinners. The Holy Spirit was convicting
us of our need. We trusted in His saving work for us. Thereby, He
authored faith in us. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive
power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and
blessing" (Revelation 5:12).
As we have seen previously (and will have opportunity to examine again
and again), the grace of God, of which we partook for new birth and
justification, is the same grace that must continually be at work in us
for growth and sanctification.
O Lord God of my salvation, I clearly see the full extent to which my
being saved depended upon Your saving grace! Thank You for this
priceless gift of grace. How glorious it is to stand justified in Your
sight. Now that I might grow daily in a life of sanctification, I look
to You and Your necessary grace, Amen.