The Fruit of Grace – My Daily Bread!
May your heart ponder God’s great mercy as you reflect on His Word at Ephesians 2: 8-10, NIV, which says:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
This passage calls our hearts to the marvelous truth that we can do nothing to earn salvation; that it is a gift from God. We are saved because of God’s grace and mercy. It reminds us that we cannot be saved by works, and that our faith is also part of His gift to us. So because of God’s “indescribable gift” of his Son on Calvary we are able to be saved – if we believe! Jesus understood the role that God had given him in salvation when he told his followers “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV) Jesus is also spoken of as the Gift in contrast to the trespass (Adam’s sin) in Romans 5: 15-17, NIV, which tells us: “But the Gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace (undeserved favor) and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ overflow to the many!”
Since we have no part in earning salvation, what has God assigned us to do? The first thing we must do is to believe in Jesus Christ: “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10: 9-10, NIV) Others can hear and experience your confession of faith, but no one knows if you believe in your heart, that is a matter between you and God! However, if you do believe in your heart, God takes over and with the power of the Holy Spirit begins to change you to be useful for His purposes.
The other aspect of what our part entails is included in the second part of the key passage above; which clearly states we were created to ‘do good works’. These good works do not result in salvation but are evidence of it in the life of the Christian. For Paul when speaking of Jesus said “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14, NIV) Jesus expounded on this when He compared our works to fruit and said “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit –fruit that will last.” (John 15:16, NIV) “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matt 7:20, NIV)
Saints of the Most High, are you bearing any fruit in your life for Christ? Does your fruit bear witness that you belong to Him? And most important, does Christ know you as His own? For He says “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14, NIV)
Copyright© 2011 – 2012 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.