Everyone loves stories. Stories they can relate to, learn from and enjoy too.
And it’s about time I told my “Grace story”.
“How Grace Was Revealed To Me.”
Lately, I changed one of my blog categories from faith to grace revolution. It’s the section I write about everything centered on the Christian walk. And since I’ve seen grace, it would be rational for me to switch to writing about grace, what I’ve learned grace is all about.
First, grace isn’t a topic or subject. It’s the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. So grace has been there from the beginning of creation. But I didn’t see it.
My Grace Story
Last year was my turning point from struggling to be a holy, good Christian to living the victorious life which Jesus has already made available for me on the cross.
From not being sure of how God feels about me in my inadequacy to how He sees me now, even with the flaws. And what He’s already done about them through Jesus.
The issues and fears I had around my walk with God made me come to the conclusion that Christianity is hard. Yeah, if you are still struggling with sin as a Christian, you’ll know how tiresome and bad it makes you feel.
I was taught, for every sin, I commit, I must confess all if I want God to keep been happy with me and if I want to make heaven. With that teaching, I was always afraid of not confessing my sins and even to the ones I committed unconsciously. Since sin will land me in hell, I need to confess them because I never know if I was going to die while sleeping. For then, I’ll wake up to find myself in hell.
I attend church service and bible study. But no one taught me what Jesus has already done for me. I was only taught what I need to do to be in God’s good book.
I had fears of disappointing God. I couldn’t keep His commands. Trying to remain obedient was unattainable.
And the struggle continued.
Each time I go to church, I end up being miserable because of the sermon from the pulpit.
“Be holy, for God is holy.”
“No sinner will go to heaven.”
“God is perfect, you have to be perfect too.”
I got exhausted of hearing the sermon, as it wasn’t making me holy.
And deep down, I wanted to be holy. I just needed to be done with sin.
How God Came Through For Me
I took up my desire to be holy as a prayer request to God. It became a request I made whenever I prayed each day.
I remembered praying from Colossians 1:10. There it says, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
God is forever faithful. He came through for me. He said to ask and we shall receive. (Matthew7:7) Call upon Him and He will answer and show us great and unsearchable things we don’t know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
God started to reveal grace to me. First He showed me 2 Corinthians 12:9
“But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”
I read it but nothing sprang up. I couldn’t perceive what God was trying to reveal to me through that scripture. Yet while on that verse, another scripture came to my mind: “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God…” Then I recalled a book I was reading, by Benny Hinn;’Good morning Holy spirit’. There, he had explained grace to be the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Ok, Jesus was the grace. But how would it stop me from being done with sin, I wondered?
So this verse 2 Corinthians 12:9, became a verse I started to see everywhere I went. And I knew God was still speaking to me through it. Only that I couldn’t understand what He wanted me to see.
Then it happened
A day came, I went to one of the social forums I belonged to.Nairaland.And while browsing through the topics posted there, I saw a topic that jumped out from nowhere. Staring at me there. It was titled “If we are holy, why does God call us to be holy?”
The article was written by Paul Ellis, grace preacher at escape to reality But was posted by a friend and member there.
I clicked on the headline right away and I was brought into the reality of what God has been trying to make me understand. And after reading the article, it was as if a burden had been taken off my shoulder. I felt light. And free too.
So true about the words of Jesus in Matthew 11: 30
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
There was joy in my spirit that found its expression outside. I couldn’t believe what I read there.
I was already holy! Holy Jane! In Christ!
Man, how was this hidden from me? And all this while I’ve been striving and struggling for what has already been given to me by Jesus.
Yes, Jesus gave me His righteousness.Free.There wasn’t any need to struggle to get it.
Trying to be holy on my own was a dead end street. For if I could be holy by my own effort, then Jesus came and died for nothing.
In that article, Paul Ellis gave an answer to the topic from an illustration made by Billy Graham, where he compared Christians to oak trees.
Thus, “As an oak sapling grows, it doesn’t get “oakier”.Oak is oak. It simply matures into what it is, a full grown oak tree.”
Paul Ellis went further to say, “You don’t become an oak tree by acting like an oak tree, nor do you become holy by acting holy. Jesus makes you holy. Your part is to mature into what He has already made you.”
“God is calling us to be who we truly are, in Christ. Be who the death and resurrection of Christ have made us be.”
Be holy. And not ‘do’ holy. Not going about to do it by your own effort, but to accept and to become who Christ has made you be.
How grace was revealed to me.
In the scripture God showed me, 2 Corinthians 12:9; God was trying to make me understand that Jesus has already made me holy and that Jesus’ death and resurrection are sufficient. There was no need struggling to be holy when I’ve been made holy. I only needed to accept the righteousness of God in Christ.
My desire to be done with sin completely was impossible. The flesh can never be holy. Paul said in Romans 7:18,”I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” And neither does it have the capacity to obey God. Always working against the spirit. (See Romans 8:7)
Becoming holy and righteous is only through the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s accepting His FREE gift of righteousness because our flesh can never attain it. God knew it already and that was why He sent Jesus.
What about now?
And today, does it mean I no longer sin or fail?
I do. But I quickly confess I’m the righteousness of God in Christ.
Yeah.Not my own righteousness.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Christ’s obedience at the cross already made me righteous.
And again, the grace of God teaches and empowers me to say no to sin and worldly passion; and to live a self-controlled, upright and godly life.
The grace of God and being conscious of my righteousness in Christ takes away the desire to sin.
Growing to become who Christ has made me be is a process. The more I behold Jesus every day, the more I become like Him. Knowing that I play no part in saving and keeping myself, I’m simply resting in God and watching as He works in me to will and to act according to His good plans and purposes.
Take this from me: Grace is beautiful.
If you are yet to see grace, keep looking and keep asking God. He will come through for you too.
And now, I commit you to God and the word of His grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among those that have been sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
Now over to you. Are you on grace grounds?
What are your thoughts? Use the comment box and tell us.
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