“But 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 Cor. 15:10, NASB
Looking at old photographs with my mom, I gazed at the black and white picture of my mother’s parents. “I look like her,” I reluctantly thought as my eyes focused on my maternal grandmother. The facial features, the stance … indisputably I resemble her. My mind continued, “But I don’t want to look like her…”
Though I never knew this grandmother personally, the little I’ve heard isn’t flattering. Yet I now realize she likely lived an extremely broken life that contributed to her behavior. Her lack of salvation by faith in Christ genuinely sorrows me and increases my gratefulness for all God has done for me.
If left in my sin, who would I be? The possibilities frighten me. Sin blinds. Sin enslaves, destroys. Sin haunts. Yet by God’s marvelous grace, I’m free! The Lord Jesus Christ paid for my sin in its entirety, and I rejoice in living for Him.
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” Rom. 6:22
I’m not saved because I’m good.
I’m not saved because I deserve to be.
I’m saved by grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
Obviously genetics play a role in our personalities, our behaviors, our appearances, our preferences, and so on. But God’s work within us trumps that. By placing our faith in the Person and work of Christ, we become a new creature (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Graciously, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).
I’ve been “redeemed … with precious blood … the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
I am “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6, KJV).
And what I am is who God is making me to be…
By His grace.