What words could we use to describe God’s grace toward sinners like us? Amazing? Yes. Extravagant? For sure. Astonishing? Absolutely!
The apostle Paul was a man who never got over the grace of God…and neither should we. As the Holy Spirit guided him along, he edified the believers at Ephesus by expounding on “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7). I want to do the same in today’s post.
Recently, I spent some time thinking about all that God accomplishes in an instant, at the moment of conversion, and what He continues to work to its ultimate completion in the day we see Him in glory (Phil 1:6). The result was a list of 75 amazing works of God. With a list that long, and interconnected, categorizing them into smaller chunks was quite a challenge. But I finally had to decide on a manner of grouping, inadequate as it may be.
Take time to meditate on these astonishing realities, personally, or in your small group. I hope this meditation on the riches of God’s grace and kindness in Christ will stir our hearts toward worship and will encourage our spiritual growth.
DIVINE WORKS & GIFTS
- We are born again by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (John 3:1-8; 1 Peter 1:23).
- We receive the ability to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord (2 Tim 2:25; Rom 10:9-10).
- We are saved by grace, which was given before time began (2 Tim 1:9; 2 Thess 2:13).
- We receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Rom 6:23; 1 John 5:11-13).
- We enter the abundant life found only in Jesus (John 10:10).
- We receive the gift of Christ’s righteousness by faith (Rom 3:21-22; 5:17; 10:10; 2 Cor 5:21).
- We receive the abundance of grace (Rom 5:17).
- We are recipients of the call of the Holy Spirit by means of the gospel (1 Cor 1:9, 24).
- We are forgiven of all of our sins (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 2:13; Rev 1:5).
- We receive the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:12; 12:13).
- We receive the capacity to understand the mind of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures (1 Cor 2:13-16).
- We are baptized—placed into—the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).
- We receive spiritual giftedness to serve and edify others and build up the church (Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:11; 1 Peter 4:10).
- We obtain direct access to God’s throne of grace (Heb 4:15-16).
- We are justified by God through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 5:16).
- We receive the promise of never being forsaken (Heb 13:5).
CHANGES & EXCHANGES
- Our past life, in Adam, passes away (2 Cor. 5:17).
- Our new life, in Christ, begins (2 Cor 5:17).
- We pass from death to life (John 5:24).
- We are made to be at peace with God (Rom 5:1).
- God’s wrath is removed far from us because of Christ who is our propitiation (John 3:36; Rom 3:25; 5:9; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2).
- We are made alive together with Christ (Eph 2:1).
- We are united to Christ (Rom 6:5).
- We are brought out of spiritual darkness by the light of the gospel (Acts 26:18; 2 Cor 4:6).
- We are brought near to God by the blood of Christ who becomes our Peace by abolishing the enmity of the law (Eph 2:14-15).
- We are reconciled to God (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20; Col 1:21).
- We are saved by Christ’s life (Rom 5:10).
- We are freed from the condemnation that comes through the law of sin and death (Rom 8:1-4).
- We are joined to the people of God (1 Peter 2:9).
- We find rest from false, religious systems of works-righteousness (Rom 4:4-5; Titus 3:5).
- We are transferred from the power of darkness and placed into the kingdom of God’s Son (2 Cor 4:3-4; Eph 5:8; Col 1:13-14).
- We are transferred from the family of the devil to the family of God (1 John 3:10).
- We are redeemed, bought back, from the slave market of sin by the precious blood of Christ (Rom 6:17; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Peter 1:19).
- We begin the process of being renewed into the image of Christ (Col 3:10).
- We enter the brotherhood of the saints (1 Peter 2:9; 1 Thess 1:4).
- We are glorified, in position, awaiting full glorification in body (Rom 8:30; 1 John 3:1-2).
- We are connected to Christ, the Vine (John 15:5).
- We are sanctified through the offering of Jesus (Hebrews 10:10).
- We begin the process of being sanctified by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives (2 Cor 3:18; Col 1:22; Heb 2:11).
- Our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20).
- Our conscience is cleansed from the filthiness of our sins (1 John 1:7-9; Heb 9:14; 10:22).
- We are accepted by God (Eph 1:6).
- We are set free from the curse of the law (Rom 3:10-13).
- Our ‘old man’ is crucified (Rom 6:6).
- We become alive unto God (Rom 6:11).
- Christ, who holds us, places us securely into the Father’s hands (John 10:28-29).
- We are raised up with Christ and are no longer dead in our sins (1 Cor 15:17).
- We become the fragrance of Christ to the unsaved and perishing (2 Cor 2:15).
- We begin the life of faith (Gal 2:20).
- We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9; 2 Tim 1:14).
- We are sealed, permanently, by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; 2 Cor 1:22).
- We are adopted by God (Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-6; Eph 1:5).
POSITIONS & IDENTITIES
- Our status changes from slave to son (Gal 4:7).
- Our identity changes from ‘sinner’ to ‘saint,’ a set-apart-one (Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2).
- We become a joint-heir with Jesus Christ (Gal 4:17; Eph 1:14).
- We become a friend of Jesus Christ (John 15:15).
- We become a sibling of Jesus Christ (Heb 2:11).
- We become a priest to God (1 Peter 2:9; Rev 1:6).
- We are seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Eph 2:6).
- We become a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20).
- We become beneficiaries of a new and better covenant (Heb 7:22; 8:26; 1 Cor 11:25).
- We are delivered from the powerful fear of death (Heb 2:15).
- We become stones in God’s spiritual house (1 Cor 3:9; 1 Peter 2:5; 1
- We become fellow workers in God’s field (1 Cor 3:9).
- We become citizens of God’s household (Eph 2:19).
- We become children of light (Eph 5:8-9).
- We become children of the promise (Rom 9:9; Gal 3:7; 4:28).
- We become members of the general assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23).
- We become soldiers in the army of Christ (Rev 19:14).
- We are God’s ‘beloved’ (Rom 1:7; Col 3:12).
- We are the Father’s chosen bride for Christ (Rev 22:17).
- We become ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20).
- We become witnesses of the gospel (Acts 1:8).
- We become bond-slaves of Christ (Eph 6:6; 1 Peter 2:16).
- We become more than conquerors (Rom 8:37).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
RELATED POST: What Is Conversion?
[To learn more about the doctrine of conversion and how it relates to discipleship, read the book Counseling One Another: A Theology of Inter-Personal Discipleship from Shepherd Press.]
*This article was first posted September 5, 2013.