For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. | Titus 2:11-14
Do you ever reach a point in your life where you realize that you are becoming more and more forgetful? Once while I was washing my hair a while ago, I couldn’t remember if I had already put shampoo or not. It was something I had to have done about 30 seconds ago, but I was being so absent-minded that I really couldn’t remember. I chose to put shampoo in my hair just in case I didn’t a minute ago. Bottom line, it was a sad moment in my adult life.
The same thing happens in our spiritual life. God’s Word is FULL of incredible truths, and it baffles me to no end how easily I forget something once I read or study it. Even things I got down pat when I was a teenager, I now struggle to recall as an adult. One particular truth (it’s a BIG one) is salvation through faith by God’s grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. | Ephesians 2:8-9
It’s pretty straightforward. You can’t save yourself. It is impossible. God had to send His Son in order to save us. He gave us the gift of having a personal relationship with God for eternity that we never deserved. This is grace.
What we fail to realize many times is that this holds true even after conversion. When we get saved, we are outwardly clothed with Christ’s righteousness. However, we are going through a daily process of sanctification, so that our inner being truly reflects Jesus as well. You’re essentially a tattered book with a brand new binding, but your content is still the same. Your content needs to change.
This is where people get flustered. You CANNOT change yourself. You couldn’t even save yourself, so how can you change from the inside out? It’s a supernatural thing. You are changed by the Holy Spirit! This is actually a continuance of that grace you experienced at conversion. Trying to overcome your addiction with your own power will not work. How can you pick yourself up?
Jesus is the one who picks you up. He’s the one who showers you with grace with every breath you take. As He comes to your aid, He also gradually changes your heart and your entire mindset. You will begin to see through His eyes. You will recognize what He despises and what He cherishes.
Here is the kicker: You have to believe that He will do what He says He will do in your life. GRACE through FAITH. If you truly believe that there is no way to overcome your sin or addiction, then you are choosing not to believe in the power of salvation in your life. You are literally calling Jesus a liar. Sounds harsh? No, it’s reprehensible to think that you do not believe in the FINISHED work of Christ.
Jesus claimed victory over sin and death. It’s time you remember that.