11 … for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11b-13, ESV)
As I thought about this statement — “Faith Is… Living in the Grace of God” — I could have said “by” or “with”, but I have found that my greatest challenge to being a Christian and living out the convictions and beliefs that I now hold is living IN the grace of God. The idea that I have in mind is that the grace of God is now the atmosphere that we exist in. God’s grace is not something we have, it’s something we are in. We are IN God’s grace. That is why there ought to be comfort and assurance in our relationship with God. Paul says it this way in Colossians:
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3, ESV)
I have read this passage many times and I still can hardly believe that it says what it says. I know that there are some who have asserted that a person’s salvation can be “lost”. I understand the theological and volitional reasons for this way of thinking, but there is a small (and by “small” I really mean insurmountably huge) problem. This verse says that when we have received salvation, the life that we had died and our new life is not really given to us for safe-keeping. No, our salvation is such a precious gift, that God has kept it in as safe a place as he can imagine, in himself. And if that wasn’t enough he has left our salvation in the capable hands of the one who purchased it.
Peter, who among all the disciples understood that if it were up to him he would have been lost and completely cut off from Jesus, shared this understanding of what salvation looks like.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV)
This is why faith is living IN the grace of God. When we are exercising the kind of faith that the Bible is talking about, we are saying to the world that our trust and confidence is not in us, but in God. We are not interested in what is happening around us. We are not trying to do anything other than living in what God has purchased, and is now keeping for us.
That God does not trust me with my own salvation is not an insult to to me. It is a reason for hope, confidence, and rejoicing. We have to stop trying to earn what is already ours. Learn to live in the Grace of God. We are talking about a COMPLETED work of salvation. Just because we have not reached the end of the road, does not mean that God has changed his mind about what he has promised and done in our lives.