How Does God Relate To Me? By Grace Alone – Really!

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Mankind, a group of which I am a proud member, was created to rule over the earth, with their wives as their helpers, as God’s vice-regents (Genesis 1:26-28). 

However, Satan seemingly destroyed God’s plan when Adam, as the federal head of this human race, chose to obey his assistant in that task, his wife. She asked him to follow her in directly and deliberately disobeying God’s specific command to not eat the fruit of only one certain tree in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.. 

Adam, abdicating his place of family leadership, said, “Yes, Dear,” to Eve, rebelled against God’s direct command, and joined her in her tasty snack. As he did so, the whole human race died, just as God had said they would. Spiritually (their relationship with God), that death was immediate, and physically, the death process relentlessly and irrevocably began. On that fateful day we were left “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), God’s eternal plan for man to rule over the earth was seemingly thwarted!  

“BUT GOD” (who can never be thwarted!) who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (spiritually) in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6)

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Epesians 2:7-9).

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

This passage includes the famous Ephesians 2:8, 9, verses that evangelicals memorize to prove that we are “saved by grace, through faith alone, and not by works.” However, a great many sincere, earnest believers are gripped by their addiction to being “good” and not “evil.” They proceed to ignore Colossians 2:6: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord (by grace, through faith alone), so walk in Him (by grace, through faith alone). They promptly proceed to walk by planned, self-initiated, obedience to the law of God, which is nothing more than “living by works.”..

In spite of that, I don’t believe there is a better passage in the Bible to outline how God relates to us than this one in Ephesians 2. It summarizes the condition of mankind after the Fall, and how God (by placing us “in Christ”) took us ALL to the cross to die, raised us ALL up from the dead, in Christ, at the resurrection, and then took us ALL up, in Christ, at the ascension to ALL be seated, in Christ, at God’s right hand! 

We are, right now, definitively seated in Heaven, ruling, in Christ, while still living in these bodies. Paul tells us that God has miraculously reversed the effects of the Fall, and we are now positioned to do what we were created to do, according to Genesis 1:26-28—rule over the earth upon which we live!  

This rule is not based on anything we have ever conceived, any plan we have devised, or any choices we have ever made. No! We are naturally, spontaneously and unconsciously (NSU), like “little children” (Matthew 18:2-5), “ruling over the nations,” as we go about each day just believing, like a little child, that everything Daddy says in His Word is true. That is exactly how we relate to God, right now!

Paul makes it clear in verses 7-10 that we had absolutely nothing to do with any of what has occurred. Our own obedience, discipline, or self-denial, when not completely NSU-produced, are nothing but our own addiction-driven attempts to be “men (or women) of God,” “exemplary Christians.” or “warriors for God.” These sometimes almost frantic efforts fly directly in the face of “by grace through faith alone.” 

In other words, grace alone is not for past sins only, but present and future sins as well! With Jesus’ last words at the cross, “It is finished!”, came the death-knell of living by “good and evil.” I am back to living as did Adam and Eve: simply by what Daddy tells me!

Yes, sin will have consequences here on the earth in my life (late to work every day—lose my job; spend money recklessly—go broke; sexually profligate—destroy my family). But my relationship with God is settled, never to change, no matter my conduct. Because of the cross, He is no longer a God of judgment: now only a God of agape love!. 

How do I, practically, in real life situations, live out this “walking by faith alone?” What does that look like? What if I said, “By doing what I want to do.”?  “Would you really say that, Andrews?” Find out next week!

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