Graceful Changes

ritw_logo_WP“What a difference you’ve made in my life, what a change you have made in my heart!”  These are more than just words of a Ronnie Milsap hit song; they are the sentiments that fit the mindset of one who has experienced the grace of God.  A proper understanding of God’s grace will be demonstrated in a changed life both before and after the dispensing of that grace!  Let’s take a moment or two examining the changes that occur because of grace.

As the process of extending grace begins the first thing that occurs is a change in knowledge.  This knowledge must have the purpose of directing one toward faith and Paul tells us this faith can only come from the words of Christ (Romans 10:17).  Clearly, time in the word changes faith by increasing it!  Let’s now consider a change in will.  Will is the power or capacity of free, conscious choice.  A change in our will is defined in other words as repentance, a precondition to the receipt of grace according to Peter in Acts 2:38.  Knowledge of sin and its results surely affect change in our will!  Another change we undergo is in allegiance.  Allegiance is the conscious decision for loyalty or commitment to something or someone.  When we hear the gospel message of Christ an appropriate response would be to turn Christ as God’s Son.  This is exactly what we see in the eunuch’s statement prior to his baptism in Acts 8:37.  In contrast, we see a number of ‘believers’ in John chapter 12, refusing to confess Jesus for fear of being cast out of the synagogue.  In their decision to seek approval of men rather than God, it seems clear where their allegiance lay. Now, a change in state is inevitable.  We are the same, but changed.  If that is confusing, think about water in its various states, liquid, solid or gas (vapor).  Each is different state of the same thing.  In spiritual terms we have a similar change of states, except that we have but two.  We are either in a lost or saved state and a change from one to the other occurs when we are baptized. (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, and 1 Peter 3:21)

Friends, grace is not the irreversible process many have been convinced it is.  If it were so how do we explain Galatians 1:6, 5:4; Hebrews 10:38-39; 2 Peter 2:20-22, 3:17-18, and Revelation 2:5.  These passages refer to those who have found salvation only to see themselves ‘carried away by error’ or ‘again entangled’ and ‘shrink back’.  Examine these passages and don’t be found guilty of them!

Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter — Derived from “Sufficient Grace, Jim O’Connor”

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