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I am what I am

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain – 1 Corinthians 15:10

The Apostle Paul knew perhaps more than anyone the power of grace to change someone’s life and identity.  Grace turned Saul the persecutor of the church into Paul the apostle, church leader and author of Scripture.  And though we may not have a past as violent as his, we too must never forget how vital grace is within our own stories. 

Grace is the unmerited, unearned favour of God.  The Bible says that through our sin, we have made ourselves the enemies of God.  But in love, God then offers us mercy (not getting the punishment we deserve) and grace (then getting the blessing we don’t deserve) – all of these through Jesus who both bore our rightful punishment and then offers us His rightful reward.  This grace as Paul writes now defines who we are.  It becomes our new identity as it wipes the slate clean from all our previous mistakes.  It becomes our new DNA with a greater power to define our future that anything handed down from previous generations. 

And grace is wonderfully liberating because it allows to us to stop our fruitless striving.  It stops us striving to be something or someone else.  It stops us trying to emulate or imitate others to find our purpose or value in life.  It stops us striving to undo the mistakes of the past whether things we have done or things done to us.  And having freed us from fruitless acts, grace then frees us to do things for God – things of substance and eternal significance.  It liberates us to become people of grace in our ungracious world.  In a world of performance – of marriages that last until someone ‘under-performs’, of ‘success’ defined by the amount of money earned and possessions gained, of social networks where the number of friends counts more than anything – we get to shine out grace.  Because we live in grace, we get to live out grace – unmerited, unearned, unconditional acceptance and love towards others.  As recipients of grace, we then get to be distributors of it, so that through our grace, the world is given a glimpse of His grace.  Through our acceptance and love, they may reach out and take hold of His. 

To those who have never experienced the grace of God – please do so because it really is the greatest gift offered to mankind.  To those who already enjoy God’s grace – please live it out.  Don’t let God’s grace go to waste in your life.  Don’t let this amazing and liberating grace be given in vain.  After all, grace completely changed who you are – so now let it completely change what you do. 

If you would like hear more about this powerful verse of scripture, click here to hear our 6th January 2013 sermon.


Ben Martin, 14/03/2013

Atria-Content-Events
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7:30pm Friday 18 January, URC Hall
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10:00am Sunday 20 January, BFC
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Monday 21 January, Various
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7:30pm Friday 25 January, URC Hall