In today’s reading, Paul says, “By grace you have been saved” (vs. 5 & 8). God’s gift of grace is freely given. There is nothing that you can do, no set of instructions, no step-by-step process, no certain words to say that will bring grace upon you. The grace of God is an absolute free gift. It is initiated by God, not us. Grace is something that happens beyond our control. We don’t plan for it. We can’t purchase it. It is God’s way of intervening and loving us unconditionally.
According to Paul, grace is both an outpouring of God’s unconditional love and free. Paul also said that grace is “sufficient for all our needs”(2 Corinthians 12:9).There is nothing else we need. It is enough, it meets all our needs. Grace is all God’s doing. Faith enters in when grace is received. In other words God wants us to be open to grace, even though we have no idea how things will turn out. We cannot initiate grace, but we can open the door for grace to come in.
Paul says that we are Christians exclusively and only as the result of God’s grace. The main point of the teaching today and also all through the New Testament, is that we have no right whatsoever to boast of our salvation. We deserved nothing but God with His loving grace has saved us. However, most importantly, as we receive grace, God also wants us to be givers of grace as it states in verse 10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” IL-WOONG.
The Dawn of Christianity. By Robert Hutchinson. ‘The Dawn of Christianity answers that question with an intriguing combination of compelling narrative and up-to-the-minute scholarship. Focusing on the climatic events of Jesus’ ministry and the twenty exciting years that followed. Robert Hutchinson weaves together New Testament accounts into a seamless narrative and then supplements the story with the latest in archaeological, linguistic, and historical research. In the process he corrects long-held misconceptions and assumptions, sheds new light on how and where biblical events may have happened, and deepens our understanding of the ways those decisive years still inpact our lives today.
One People, One Destiny – a Christian History of Australia by Mike Spencer. The purpose of this book is to show the Christian influences at work within the context of a general history of Australia. My purpose has been to give balance to the study of Australia’s history, by presenting the evidence that reveals the way in which Christian influences have been a positive and pervasive factor in the shaping of the Australia that exists today.