Growing in the Grace of God – Part 2

by Larry Browning

Note:  This is the second and final part of this series (if you have not read the first part, click here to read that now).

Legalism desires to add religious performance to grace, thereby appealing to the self-righteous hopes of man. Galatians 3:2-3 says, ”Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” So, Peter is saying that if the law and flesh can’t start you out, it certainly can’t sustain and keep you. 

When we truly live by the grace of God, righteousness results, not ungodliness. As we increasingly learn to draw upon God’s grace for daily living, Christlikeness develops, not worldliness. As we surrender to the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is expressed in and through us for the benefit of others. As grace becomes our resource for life, sin diminishes; it doesn’t increase. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

The temptation of every new believer is to rely on the law of God in order to generate godliness. We understand that we’re saved by grace but then we feel so thankful to God that we want to show Him how grateful we are and we certainly don’t want to disappoint God. We want to show God that He didn’t make a mistake. What we don’t realize however, is that the demand of the law to be holyloving, and perfect becomes a false sense of security to our flesh. We think that by hearing, repeating, or striving to meet the demand of the law, we can eventually accomplish it. Don’t forget what Hebrews 7:18-19 says, “So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness–For the Law never made anything perfect–but instead a better hope is introduced by which we approach God.” God’s grace is the “better hope” that doesn’t fail to bring forth what God desires.

The Lord has ordained for us a life-long involvement with His grace. He wants to work, as John 1:16 says, “grace upon grace,” in us and for us and through us for the rest of our days. Hebrews 10:20 calls this the “new and living way.” Maybe this progressive aspect of grace could all be summarized in another acronym: “Glorious Realities AChrist Empowers.”