GRACE WITH LABOUR
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10.
Grace doesn’t cancel the effect of work and labor in Christian life, ministry or in our personal life, but rather it enhance more labor and work. The more grace we have, the more laborious and hardworking we are to become. What is grace? Grace is God’s enablement, empowerment to do something extra-ordinary in our Christian living, in our ministry and in our personal living.
When we receive grace from God and we fail to add our own part of work, then the grace will be in vain – becomes useless. Apostle Pail said he became fruitful and so effective in the Lord because he made use of the grace of God in his life by working hard to make the grace fruitful. .. and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly. 1 Corinthians 15:10.
Here is what the word of God says, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” 1 Corinthians 6:1.
When you have the grace to give your life to Jesus, but refuses and think you will always have the grace, then the grace will be in vain and you will be lost forever. After you give your life to Jesus, God gives you grace to grow, but if you do not make use of it; the grace will be in vain. When God gives you grace to preach to somebody somewhere, but you refuse and thinking another time will come, you have allowed the grace to be in vain. When you have the grace to do restitution but delay it, then the grace has been in vain. Grace of God without our own working to make use of it goes in vain. 1 Corinthians 6:1.
GRACE + WORK = FRUITFULNESS
In Christian Life
The effect of grace in Christian life is not a license to live a careless Christian life or falling and rising in sin, thinking the grace of God is always available. What the grace of God does in our Christian life is to empower and enable us to overcome sin and temptation, to work righteousness, self-denying, godly life, and also to be fruitful in the work of God. Titus 2:11, 12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”
Purpose of Grace
Some erroneous pastors and misled Christians believe that grace is meant to enjoy with a careless living, that, “we are in the era of grace so you can live as you like, dress as you like and the grace of God covers you” They say, “As long you have confessed Jesus as your Savior, you have unlimited grace to continue in sin, that your work of righteousness is like a filthy rag, so no need of stressing yourself to work righteousness, all you need is grace and grace alone.” Such a teaching like this is not only erroneous but a self-destructive. In the first instance, if you believe in grace, what is the purpose of grace? If you know the need for something but you don’t know the purpose of it, then it will become in vain for you or even cause you problem. And that is what is happening to many Christians today, receiving the grace of God in vain, because grace alone is useless, grace without working to make use of it is in vain.
The purpose of grace is to make use of it to do above human power, by the grace of God. The grace of God helps us to overcome temptation, to overcome sin, that is to discontinue in sin, not to continue in sin, because grace does not work in sin but work against sin, and we cannot continue in both together. We can either, continue in sin and perish or receive the grace, make use of it by adding watchfulness, vigilance, prayerfulness and meditation in God’s word to live above sin. We cannot not continue in sin, when we knowing fully well we are sinning against God, and expect the grace of God to abound in our lives. We have got to choose one – grace to discontinue living in sin or living in sin to discontinue grace, but both cannot continue together, says the Bible. Romans 6:1, 2, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!”
We must make use of the grace of God now by surrendering our lives to Him, confessing and forsaking our sins, and in our Christian lives by living to overcome sin and temptation by the grace of God and also being fruitful in the work of God, in evangelism and edification. May the grace of God never be in vain in our lives in Jesus name.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28.
This message continues tomorrow on GRACE WITH LABOUR 2 in ministry and personal life of our academy, career and business.
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