At Calvary, one of our hopes is that we will grow strong in God's grace. God's grace is the gift of God of salvation in Jesus that saves us completely, provisions us richly, and commissions us as God's agents of redemption. What does it mean to grow strong in God's grace?

It means we are saved completely by God's grace. The Bible says all of us, apart from God's grace, are sinners. By saying we are sinners, the Bible means we love and trust ourselves and mistrust God. Because of this sin, we deserve death and eternal separation from God. But the good news is that God's Son Jesus took the punishment for sin that we deserved by living completely devoted to God (something we could not do) and by dying sacrificially for us. Now, we can have forgiveness and be saved from our sins by trusting in Jesus—accepting His valuation that I am sinful and in need of His salvation, and asking God to apply Jesus' sacrifice to me.

Even after we have trusted in Christ, we still relate to God solely on the basis of God's grace in Jesus. You might think, "Well I need God's grace for salvation, but then I have to maintain that relationship with God by doing my best to obey him" No. We stand in God's grace alone in Christ. When we obey, we do so by God's power in his grace. When we sin (and especially when we sin), we know God loves us—not because he knows we will get better or we will clean up our life. No, He loves us because when He looks at us, He doesn't see our badness, but Christ's goodness. We stand in grace.

God's grace also means we are provisioned richly. We have everything we need in Christ. In fact, the Bible says we are rich: we have an inheritance that will never pass away. We have God's Spirit living in us. We have every spiritual blessing in Christ. We are made a part of the church, the body of Christ; and we encourage and support one another. By God's grace, we are provisioned richly.

Finally, by God's grace, we are commissioned as God's agents of redemption. Because we are perfectly loved by God in Christ, and because we have everything we need in Him, we no longer have to live for ourselves. We are forgiven, accepted, rich people. So we can live for Christ. We can love and serve the people God has put into our lives. For more on this, I'd encourage you to read the article by Bruce Kokko on the transforming love of God in Christ.

This is God's grace: the gift of God of salvation in Jesus that saves us completely, provisions us richly, and commissions us as God's agents of redemption. I encourage you to come and grow strong with us in this grace.

Danny Leavins
Senior Pastor