A gracEmail subscriber asks what responsibilities we might have if we are saved totally by God’s grace.
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Indeed we are saved totally by God’s grace — we do not deserve any part of it. The gospel is the “word of his grace” (Acts 14:3; 20:32). Yet “responsibility” is a good word for our activities, for everything we do is in response to what God has done already. We dare not receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1-2). Nor dare we ever rely on our own performance for right standing with God, which frustrates his grace (Gal. 2:20). Anyone who professes to trust in Christ for salvation, then reverts to depending on his or her own record of obedience instead, has “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4).
Grace does not condone sinful living, but rather calls us to “newness of life” (Rom. 6:1-15). Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously and godly as we anticipate Christ’s glorious return (Titus 2:11-13). Far from an excuse for laziness, the grace of God inspires us to work harder than ever (1 Cor. 15:10). All our talents and abilities are God’s grace to us, and he expects us to use them to benefit others (1 Pet. 4:10-11; Eph. 3:7-8). We urge each other to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43). We can safely commend each other to the grace of God, anticipating the work God will accomplish through every one (Acts 14:26; 15:40).
God’s grace is behind every desire for goodness and every work of faith with power (2 Thess. 1:11-12). It enables us to endure every hardship for Christ (2 Cor. 12:9). It flows through our words and inspires our hearts to sing (Eph. 4:29; Col. 3:16). It makes us strong (2 Tim. 2:1). We must not come short of God’s grace (Heb. 12:15) but rather grow in it (2 Pet. 3:18). And when we have done all that, we say, “To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pet. 3:18.) This is the true grace of God (1 Pet. 5:12).