May 03, 2007

Saved by Grace

Ephesians 2:1-10

By grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ... Ephesians 2:8


One Sunday morning after I had preached on "God's Amazing Grace," an elderly visitor came up to me, shook my hand, and whispered, "That is the story of my life: God's amazing grace."

Of course! God's grace is the central theme in the personal story of every Christian. God's grace is the story of generations past and present. Our lives in Christ begin and end with grace. That's why Philip Yancey calls God's grace "the last best word." Says Paul, "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."

Grace calls us to gratitude. When we remember God's goodness, we cannot help thanking God for his amazing grace. When we look back and reflect on God's grace through every generation, we cannot help celebrating. God's grace also calls us to humility: "Nothing in my hand I bring."

Grace gives us the confidence of knowing that because God can save us, his grace can reach anyone anywhere. And because God refuses to let us go, we are eternally held.

Once we have understood what it means to be saved by grace, we are ready to become reflectors of God's grace in our personal lives and in our churches.

Dear God, thank you for your amazing grace. Please help us to become reflectors of your grace in this world, showing your love to everyone, including our enemies. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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