Question: To be saved and to live by grace

I received this question via email from Anita
“What do you think it is to live and be saved by grace in comparison with saved by grace? What does it/doesn’t it look like?”

That is a really good question. It’s a question that the Galatians would have done well asking themselves before Paul wrote them a friendly letter asking them the same thing. He asked them, “if you were saved by grace, and healed by grace and saw miracles by grace why exactly do you live day-to-day by works?” (Gal 3:1-5 heavily paraphrased)

Almost all of us in the church today believe in being saved by grace however if we are to honestly assess the church we’d be shocked by how few live by grace. Many of the church are working to be perfect, working to attain a more Christ-like nature. We are striving and straining to become more than what we believe happened when we were saved.

We don’t believe we are a new creation, we believe we are still the old creation with a second chance. We believe in a God who needs us to help him make us perfect. We believe in a Christ who abolished the law and has established a new law.

It’s His job

The truth is that to live by grace we must rely on Him to do the work… look at the Armor of God what is it? All items He has given us!

Or how about we look at the following qualities…

Love. Joy. Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control…

How many of us are trying to cultivate those characteristics and work harder to be more loving, peaceful, joyful, kind, self-controlled etc?

Well that is a prime example of going back to works and stepping away from living by grace. What does the bible say? It says that these are fruits of the Spirit, not fruits of you! You don’t get to work these out or build up these amazing qualities… you get to just have them entirely based on He who is in you!

It’s why the gospel is really good news! It’s NO WORK! You just receive it.

Just as you believed in God’s ability to wipe your slate clean we must believe that it is no longer us that lives but Christ in us! That is what it is to walk in grace.

Thanks for the question Anita :)

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  1. Hi Phil,

    Agreed that these things are given by God in grace, that they aren’t ours to attain. Our work to please God is worthless. Good. Absolutely beautiful.
    But I struggle with knowing what to do with my old nature. Do you think we have to make conscious decisions regarding putting the old self to death? Such as decide not to send that email tearing someone to shreds, or whatever other inane example you want to choose! Is a decision like that resorting to works rather than grace? I guess my question is, what do we do about the crap in our lives? It’s still there. I am a new creation, but I still sin. A lot. Should I be expecting a process of transformation? Or should I be resting easy in being loved and forgiven, regardless of what my life looks like?
    I feel in good company asking this question, given that the Apostle Paul seemed to wrestle with similar questions in Romans 7. Sorry if this is just a bit of a ramble of thoughts!!

    • Hey Iain,

      Love your heart bro!

      It’s one of the biggest stuggles in the body of Christ today – people reject the full reality of the finished works message because they still struggle with the old sin nature so I’m passionate about seeing truth on this matter (at least as I see it) it taught healthily in a way that equips and empowers people and inspires.

      I’m actually in the middle of a crazy day but let me share some of my views on that in the next day or two in a blog post – does that sound good? Keep an eye out! :)

      Good to hear from you bro!

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