I’ve learned that a HUGE part of experiencing grace in the workplace is understanding how God’s Grace impacts me. It begins with “who” we are in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God chose His Children of Grace before the creation of the world. He knew you and chose you before He said His first “Let there be.” Before God said, “Let there be light,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind,” He had already chosen you. Before God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,” He had already chosen you. Now that’s special! We were not a mistake or an afterthought. God chose us in Christ “before the creation of the world.”
God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” “Holy and without blame” is a fascinating concept. We are “holy and without blame” in Christ because of His Holy Sacrifice. Paul told the Ephesian believers they were fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household – “in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (2:21) Paul wrote that Jesus Christ “also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (5:25-27) Paul called the Colossian believers “saints” and “faithful in Christ Jesus.” (1:2) He wrote the Colossians that they once were alienated from God and were enemies in their minds because of their evil behavior – “yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—” (1:22) Paul told them they were God’s chosen people, “holy and beloved.” (3:12)
That is our position in Jesus Christ. We are “holy and beloved.” The combination of being holy and beloved means we have everything we need to do the work God has prepared for us. We have no “marks” against us. We have no reason to “feel” guilty about anything since we aren’t guilty for anything. Jesus made us “holy” through His death on the Cross. God forgave all our sins: past, present and future. Paul told the Roman believers they had “died to sin” and that “he who has died has been freed from sin.” (6:2,7) That is our position in Christ: “dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (6:11) Christians have been set free from sin and become “slaves of righteousness.” (6:18)
Does our position in Christ mean we never sin again? Hardly. We are still human. Paul told the Romans he put the issue of dealing with sin in human terms “because of the weakness of your flesh.” (6:19) We live with our flesh every minute of every day we’re on earth. Christians have a capacity to sin. In fact, we can experience a strong physical pull toward sin. Christians are “holy and without blame” in God’s sight, but they can and do sin. That’s a dilemma we all face. We are spiritual and physical at the same time. The spiritual wants what God wants. The physical wants what the flesh wants.
Paul used his own life as an example of the battle with sin.
“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:21-25
Every Christian has to deal with sin from a very personal position. Something that causes me to sin won’t necessarily cause you to sin. Things you struggle with in your life may not be the same things I struggle with. We have to grow in Christ, depend on His Strength and learn how to control the cravings of our sinful nature through dependence on Him. That’s what will unleash the Power God has stored in each of us through His Holy Spirit. The Spirit understands our individual battles with sin and is prepared and equipped to help us through each one.
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14
Consider for a moment what happens when Christians offer themselves to God and parts of their bodies to Him as instruments of righteousness? That means God can do whatever He deems best with our brains, mouths, eyes, ears, hands, arms, feet, legs, and hearts. Think about how much Power results when God’s Grace is our Master. It leads to Holiness in every aspect of a Christian’s life.
“I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:19-23
In the next part of our study we’ll look at where our “workplace ministry” begins.
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.”