An Understanding of Grace
The Grace of God works! It works in the lives of people who have experienced it through faith in Jesus Christ. Christians are “Children of Grace.” They know what it’s like to be dead in trespasses and sins. They know what it’s like to have no choice but to follow the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air. They know what it’s like to conduct themselves in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. They know what it’s like to be by nature children of God’s wrath. They also know what it’s like to have God love them, have mercy on them, forgive them and make them alive spiritually in Christ. They know what it’s like for God to raise them up with Christ and seat them in the heavenly places in Christ. They know what it’s like to be saved by grace through faith–and that not of themselves. They know “it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Christians also know they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand that they should walk in them. They know that the “work” prepared for them to do is important and is be done in His Grace.
The Grace of God “works.” It works in every area of a Christian’s personal relationships, including marriage, family, church, school and the “workplace.” I’ve spent almost 50 years in various “workplaces.” I was unsaved during the early years of my career as a journalist and oblivious of God’s Grace. I’ve spent the last 40 years working as a saved person. What a difference it has been. I’ve talked to hundreds of other Christians who have had similar experiences. The differences are real. They are powerful and important to understand.
Christians who work outside their home spend from 20 to 40 to 60 or more hours a week “on the job.” Many of us spend more waking hours at a workplace with co-workers than we do at home with our family. How should we spend that time? What is our responsibility to God? To our boss? To our co-workers? Our employees?
The Apostle Paul does not make unique distinctions about the way Christians should behave in different settings. He doesn’t say we should be one way at home, another way at school, another way at church, and another way at work. The “number one” complaint I’ve heard about Christians, before and since I was saved, is that they are a bunch of hypocrites. Unsaved people love to throw that in the faces of God’s People (I did before I was saved). They claim Christians act one way at church and another way at home, work and play. God won’t accept that excuse from unsaved people who try to use it as a reason why they didn’t believe in Christ, but it does give witnessing Christians a more difficult time sharing the need to receive Christ as Savior.
Paul taught Christians to live a life of grace in all situations and settings. Living a GraceLife begins with an understanding of God’s Grace and who we are in His Grace.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:3-4
If you are a Christian, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. There are no spiritual blessings we do not not have. Paul enumerates some of those blessings to us.
“… having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:5-14
Spiritual blessings are ours for eternity. Physical blessings last only a short time. Anything that has long-term importance is already ours. That fact should swell our hearts with gratitude and awe. We can’t hope or wish for any spiritual blessing we don’t have because we already have it. That should give every Christian great personal satisfaction and confidence. We don’t lack for anything important.
In the next part of our study we’ll look at the importance of knowing “who” we are in Christ Jesus our Lord and how it impacts our ministry in the workplace.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”