Walking By Grace

“Amazing grace, shall always be my song of praise,
For it was grace that bought my liberty;
I do not know just why He came to love me so,
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.”[1]

The words of that song gratefully acknowledge the wonderful blessing of God’s grace in the lives of His people. Let’s focus on Colossians 2:6, noting in particular God’s grace in the life of discipleship:

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”

The only way to become a son or daughter of God is to receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior (John 1:12). This entrance into the family of God is accomplished by God’s grace through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).

We could never boast about earning eternal life, because it is solely based upon God’s undeserved kindness toward us–His grace. Good works are a fruit of new life, but are not part of the root: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

Does that seem too easy, too simple? Our natural bias toward trying to merit acceptance resists the purity of God’s grace. Yet the Scriptures are clear: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom 4:5). “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace…” (Rom 11:6). No wonder John Newton’s hymn, Amazing Grace, has such meaning to the people of God!

“As you… received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk (daily live) in Him.” What is the role of God’s grace in living abundantly in Christ? It is vital to the Christ-life.

  • Grace is vital to receiving and using spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10);
  • grace is vital to giving generously (2 Co.r 8:6,7);
  • grace is vital to ministering fruitfully (Gal. 2:9; Eph 3:8);
  • and grace is vital to suffering productively (2 Cor. 12:9).

Just as some folks misconstrue the grace of God in salvation, some misunderstand the importance of grace in the Christian life. This grace is never an excuse for, or a license to sin (Jude 4), which would bring God’s chastisement (Heb. 12:6). Nor is it an excuse for passivity.

Paul demonstrated the balance of grace and zealous cooperation with God in ministry: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 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 Cor. 15:9,10).

Charles G. Trumbull expounded on the sufficiency of God’s grace for the believer in the past, the future, and the present. After noting that we were justified in the past by grace, and will be glorified in the future by grace (Rom. 3:24; 8:25,29,30), he wrote,

“Grace does not mean that God stands off and smilingly looks in our direction. Grace means His tremendous, omnipotent activity; the dynamite of Heaven accomplishing things in our behalf, wholly independent of what we are and of what we do.” [Then Trumbull asks about the role of God’s grace for Christian living.] “Is there no no hope, has grace no message for us in the meantime, right now, between the wonderful beginning and the wonderful ending? … Yes, thank God, there is! There is just as much hope for this middle time as for the ending and as for the beginning; and it is just as truly God’s grace … ‘For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.’ (Rom. 6:14). You are not under law, which says ‘Do,’ but you are under grace, which says, ‘Done‘; for grace excludes works from having anything to do with this freedom from the dominion of sin … It will be a glorious time between our justification and our glorification, if we but take it on the same terms that we take the beginning and the end. Grace! Simple faith! “[2]

Peter also admonishes us to “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). God’s grace is available to us in infinite supply! “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8).

How can we “walk” in this grace of God? Among another guidelines, we must fully trust in Christ as our life (Gal 2:20) by humbling ourselves before our Heavenly Father: “He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble’ ” (James 4:6).

“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
to multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”[3]

Our Father, we rejoice in Your amazing grace which gave us new life through faith in Christ.
We love You and depend fully on Your gracious enablement to obey the directives of Your Word.
For Christ’s sake, amen.


[1] Lyrics by Dottie Rambo

[2] Victory in Christ, pp.56,.62-64. emphasis added

[3] He Giveth More Grace, by Annie Johnson Flint

Copyright 1999 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint for non-commercial use if credit is given to the author and GraceNotebook.com. (Biblical quotations are from the NKJV.)

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Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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