Have you ever had a hard time receiving a gift from someone? God's gift of salvation is one gift you will want to say yes to! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, 9 not of works, so that no one should boast."
We are saved by the grace of God through our faith in Him; our faith does not buy our salvation—it merely receives it. As Ephesians 2:8 says, salvation "is the gift of God." It is impossible to buy a free gift, and this can be hard for us to understand. Our flesh wants to earn and deserve this free gift and take credit for being worthy of it.
But salvation is given to us freely by God's grace, and the same way we receive Christ's salvation is the same way we have to live—by grace. God gives us His forgiveness and grace daily; we just have to believe and receive it.
In Christ, You Are Sin-Free in God's Eyes
When God forgives your sins, it means all of your sins: past, present and future. You do not have to be afraid of sin because God has taken care of the problem. This is why the gospel is such good news!
Some may worry that if we don't fear sin, we will keep sinning on purpose, but that's not true. If you are truly born again and really have a relationship with God, there is a new nature inside of you.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new"
Now, no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes sometimes. But if the Holy Spirit is living in your spirit through salvation, you won't be comfortable with those mistakes because God's nature is at work in you. The devil would love for us to feel as though God is mad at us for our mistakes, but the truth is: God is love, and we need to humbly accept His love and grace.
Changed by Grace
In John 15:5, Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing." I love this Scripture because it reminds me that God doesn't expect me to change on my own. He is the power source and gives us the grace and strength we need to do what's right and make changes in our lives.
Here's how we cooperate with Him, doing what we can do to bring about change:
- We hear the truth in God's Word and we're convicted by it. It's the Word that shows us who we are and reveals the sin in our lives. We have to realize what we're doing wrong before we can know what needs to change and how.
- Then we repent of our sin. Being repentant means we're sincerely sorry and willing to turn away from it. (1 John 1:9)
- The next step is to study the Word in the area we need change. For example, if I have a problem with anger, I need to study Scriptures about anger and forgiveness. Use the Word like medicine and take it into your heart and mind. James 1:21 says to "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and remaining wickedness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" There is power in God's Word to bring change to our souls!
Receive All God Has for You and Enjoy Your Life
To receive God's blessings and enjoy everyday life, we simply need to make the decision to believe Him and His Word more than our thoughts and feelings. The Bible is our instruction manual on how to grow into the new nature He's given us and become who He wants us to be. So take some time each day to read and meditate on Scriptures that tell you about God's love for you, who you are and what you have in Christ.
Ephesians 3:17 says, "and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love" This Scripture is saying that God loves you; His will is for you to be His child and receive every blessing He has for you—righteousness, peace, joy, provision of your needs, healing and restoration. In Christ, you have a personal relationship with your Father God, you can hear from God and be led by the Holy Spirit, who lives in your spirit. In Christ, you have access to God's grace and strength to do whatever you need to do. Because of God's grace, you are blessed and you can enjoy your life!