Friday, November 9, 2012

Captured by Grace

I Am Captured by His Grace
Ephesians 2:3-9
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The power that raises men and women out of darkness and makes them alive in Christ is in the  power of the Gospel (by grace are ye saved.) Salvation brings spiritual life to the dead. Before we can experience the grace of God, we have to see ourselves as the sinners we really are in the sight of a Holy God. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:13-14; “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” Paul knew the ugly scandal of his own past and included in his writings descriptive language expressing whom he was in Christ. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15b.)  In ( 1 Corinthians 15:9) he states, “I am the least of the apostles,” and in (Ephesians 3:8) explains, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

What is this gift of grace Paul so freely writes about? He says, it’s not of yourselves but that it is the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ. No works are involved in God’s gift of grace for good works cannot produce salvation but are the evidence of His great work done in you. In all the world, there are only two religions that can be found. The first is by faith in Christ alone and the other, by works which men have done. You know and Paul made it known that human achievement is designed for failure and leads to a dead end. You might as well build yourself a ladder to heaven if you think that you can get there by any other means then by repentance and putting your faith and trust in a righteous God. His free gift of grace is His provision for your life with Him throughout eternity.

Have you been captured by His grace? John Newton, the great song writer and preacher of the gospel, wrote these words in his song, “Amazing Grace”–––“How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.” John Newton was a poor lost sinner, a wretch, as the song describes him, before the Lord captured his heart, on a storm tossed ship. The apostle Paul, who was first known as, “Saul of Tarsus,” was transformed on the road to Damascus when a light from heaven stopped him and he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:3-5.)  Has the Lord of Glory stopped you on your road to destruction? Have you cried out to Him, expressing your guilt of sin, calling upon Him to be merciful to you a sinner? Luke 18:13 ~ And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Can you see the apostle Paul, after all he has gone through in his life, leaning against a cold cell wall and singing to himself, Psalm 89:1? “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”  Paul was captured by God’s wonderful saving grace. Picture John Newton’s experiences at sea, with the treacherous waves and frightening storms singing his–––Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed

                                 by John Newton

Thought: Beloved friend, the story of salvation begins at the foot of the cross, where grace covers all sin. Grace is a powerful force in the world and can save any sinner that will repent and put their faith and trust in Christ. May you begin now to partake of His wonderful grace with your whole heart and from this very moment know the Author of grace, Jesus Christ, the Rescuer of your soul.

I am thankful that I personally have been rescued from the road of destruction and been given life eternal through God’s gift of grace. I too, was lost in sin when Jesus found me, and now I am  no longer blinded by the world’s delights, for I am captured by the ultimate expression of His love, His Amazing Grace.

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