What Is the Foundation of the Christian Life?

Bill Thrasher
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A believer is now said to be “under the reign of grace” (see Romans 5:17, 21) and under grace (Romans 6:14). What does this mean? There are four implications to living under God’s grace.

To Be Accepted by God’s Grace

First, living under grace means to be accepted by God’s grace. Every other religion in the world tells one to obey in order to be accepted. God says our obedience is a response to the truth that we have already been accepted. Listen to how William Newell articulated the truth of being under grace:

  1. The believer is not “on probation.” He has been accepted in Christ.
  2. To believe and to commit to be loved while unworthy is the great secret.
  3. The believer can expect to be blessed, though he realizes more and more his lack of worth.
  4. The believer can testify of God’s goodness at all times.
  5. The believer can rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.[1]

To Live a New Life

Second, living under God’s grace involves the gracious gift of having the authority to live a new life. The reaction to the message of grace is that if you tell others that they can rest in God’s love and acceptance, they may cognitively understand the message of God’s grace but not be changed by this grace. In contrast, those who have truly embraced God’s grace will be changed into new people who can now live a transformed life (Romans 6:1–14).

God loves you with the same intensity as His own Son.

To Be Richly Satisfied

Third, living under God’s grace involves the gift of God’s gracious enablement. This is why most of Paul’s epistles begin with the greeting and prayer that the readers would continue to experience God’s grace. Good deeds done in the flesh will lose their ability to stimulate you and will leave you feeling very empty. However, when we do these deeds with the aid of God’s gracious provision of the Spirit, we can be both stimulated and richly satisfied.

To Be Continually Cleansed

Fourth, living under grace also involves using the gracious provision of the blood of Christ to continually cleanse us as we walk in the light (1 John 1:7–9). God does not desire us to sin, but He has graciously provided a way that we can be restored and walk in fellowship with Him as we confess our transgressions to Him.[2]

Continue in the Grace of God

The message of the apostles was for Christians to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43). To “fall from grace” is to revert back to a works and law mentality (Galatians 5:4). Paul, for example, called believers who tried to live for Christ only through personal effort “foolish,” writing, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3).

Paul credited the grace of God for motivating and empowering all of his labor: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

For this reason Paul urged Timothy to be strong in grace (2 Timothy 2:1). This is not a theoretical theological concept. It is rather the gracious motivating and enabling work of God that makes it possible for one to do his work not only because one has to but because one wants to (1 Peter 5:2)! Lasting motivation must come from within (Philemon 14).

[1] William R. Newell, Romans (Chicago: Moody, 1938, 1976), 246–47. Newell included five additional truths about being under grace, as shown in the sidebar “And Grace Was Free” in this chapter.

[2] For more information on these four truths, see Bill Thrasher, How to Be a Soul Physician (Seattle: CreateSpace, 2010); available at www.victorious praying.com.

For Further Reading:

God as He Wants You to Know Him

by Bill Thrasher

Every believer has a need for an understanding of systematic theology, but very few theology books present material in a personal, devotional...

book cover for God as He Wants You to Know Him