3 Ways to Grow in Grace and Be Transformed
The grace of God is the only thing that has the power to truly transform your life. I’m not just saying this because it sounds good. I’ve lived it in my own life. People spend their entire lives trying to break old habits and become a new person, but willpower and self-effort will never be enough. Only the grace of God has the power to truly change a person.
What Does it Mean to Grow in Grace?
To grow in grace means to grow in your understanding of the grace of God.
We grow in His grace. Like a flower grows in soil, we grow when we are planted in His grace. There is no Christian maturity outside of a revelation of His amazing grace.
Every apostle of the New Testament had an incredible revelation of the grace of God.
As you grow in grace, the grace of Jesus will infiltrate every area of your life until your entire life is saturated with the grace of God.
What is the Grace of God?
Understanding the grace of God changes everything.
The grace of God is the good news that Jesus has accomplished everything needed to cleanse you of sin and make you righteous in the eyes of God. Therefore, all of God’s blessings are now freely given to you.
You will never be condemned or punished by God if you accept what Jesus did on your behalf. Jesus took all the punishment and guilt for sin on the cross.
The Gospel is the grace of God. Paul used these terms interchangeably in his letter to the Galatians.
If someone says they are preaching the Gospel, but it is a message of fear and punishment, then it is NOT the Gospel.
Understanding the grace of God means that we understand that Jesus accomplished everything. The only thing left to do on our part is to believe what He has done. And even our faith that we use to believe is a gift from God (Romans 12:3)!
The way God relates to us now has absolutely nothing to do with our performance. He relates to us based solely on our acceptance of what Jesus did.
The only thing we bring to the table is our sin in exchange for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). After we receive a new spirit, sin can never again be imputed to us (Romans 4:8). That’s amazing grace!!
Once we understand and accept the grace of God, we understand that everything in the Kingdom of God is given to us by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), then we are instructed to grow in this grace.
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV
We don’t start out by grace and then mature in our own strength. We keep growing by grace. We keep receiving revelation of this amazing grace in which we stand (Romans 5:2).
We must be vigilant and remain committed to growing in grace!
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be establishes by grace, Hebrews 13:9 NKJV
Here are 3 Ways to Grow in Grace:
1. Guard Your Ears from Self-Effort Teaching
It’s been many, many, years since the grace of God radically changed my life. Yet I am still actively guarding my ears and heart from slipping into a self-effort, law mentality.
This type of “self- effort, trying to please God” teaching is so prevalent in Christian churches that we have to be vigilant in guarding our hearts.
Guard your ears when you hear messages that preach law and self effort. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).
When we listen to messages that mix law and grace, we become hard-hearted. The joy gets sucked out of our life like air out of a balloon. Before we know it, we are critical of others and self-righteous. Yuk!
Inadvertently, our praise and thankfulness dries up. Our faith weakens. The light dims. What has happened? We stopped focusing on the good news and went back to thinking we had to perform to please God.
We started focusing on what we have to do instead of focusing on the fact that Jesus did everything. We stopped growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18).
Paul said that the law was a ministry of death and condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3:7-10).
You will experience this death and condemnation if you listen to messages that focus on what YOU must do. All the pressure is on you.
The law always brings with it condemnation. When it’s all on you, you can never measure up.
When you listen to a message in Church or online, you should come away from it with your eyes on Jesus and how incredibly magnificent He is. The reality of His finished work should be at the forefront of your mind.
If you walk away focused on yourself – everything you need to do or change, you have not listened to the true Gospel.
The grace of God makes you feel light, free, and overflowing with thanksgiving. You want to obey the Lord out of immense gratitude for what Jesus has done, not a sense of obligation.
There’s no trying to please God, He’s already pleased with you because of what Jesus has done on your behalf. It’s total freedom!
It’s really, really hard to find churches that truly understand the grace of God. They are out there though!
Paul said in his letter to the Galatians that if anyone, even an angel, preached to them another message other than what he was teaching, to let them be accursed! Then he repeated the curse again on anyone who teaches a message different from the grace of God.
It’s so crucial that we guard our hearts from going back under a law mentality.
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 NLT
2. See Jesus in the Scriptures
I am absolutely in love with the written Word of God because it reveals Jesus. Every time I open the Bible, I encounter Him. I encounter the One who is absolutely in love with me. The One who is the answer for my every problem. The One who gave His life for me.
The whole purpose of the Bible is to reveal the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
The purpose of our Bible Study should be to see Jesus.
Jesus told the Pharisees that although they searched the Scriptures looking for eternal life, they wouldn’t come to Him to receive the life they were looking for. Let that never be the case for us!
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-20 NKJV
Everything in the Bible points to Jesus. It’s all about knowing Him! We are always growing in our knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18).
When you start reading the Bible with the purpose of encountering Jesus, you can’t get enough of it. Reading the Bible becomes your absolute favorite thing to do. It becomes your daily bread, your life-giving energy!
When we read Proverbs, we see Jesus personified. We read the book of Joshua, we see our great victorious Leader who destroyed our enemies and brought us into the promised land.
When we read the Gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus as our wonderful King, the promised Messiah. When we read Mark, we see the incredibly humility of how Jesus came to serve.
In Luke we see the humanity of Jesus- He is the Son of Man. When we read John, we see Jesus as the Son of God, part of the Trinity.
The whole Bible is about Him. As we read the written Word of God, we fall more in love with Him.
3. Filter Everything Through the New Covenant
In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Bible states that we must rightly divide the word of truth. This means that we must filter everything through the New Covenant that we now live under.
Jesus’s shed blood was the blood of the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28). This New Covenant is not based on the Old Covenant (Hebrews 8:8-9). It is a brand new covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
Things have changed! The death and resurrection of Jesus changed everything about how we relate to God.
So much of what you hear in Christian churches is unfortunately taught from an Old Covenant perspective. Many people don’t understand the glorious New Covenant.
The cross changed everything. We’re no longer asking God to bless us, He already has (Ephesians 1:3). We’re not asking God to come be with us; He said He’d never leave us.
How many prayers have you heard asking God to come be with us? Do we not believe that He’s in us?
Everything has been accomplished. Jesus finished the work. We’re not begging God to heal us or forgive us. He already has (1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 43:25).
We’re not trying to become righteous, we already are (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We’re not begging God for prosperity, He’s already made us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
We’re not trying to get delivered from darkness, we already are (Colossians 1:13).
The rest of our Christian life is about renewing our minds to everything that was accomplished on that cross and who we are now because of it.
Everything you could possibly need has already been provided (2 Peter 1:3). Jesus said “It is finished’ (John 19:30).
When we live under the New Covenant, we understand that everything is already inside of us. We are not trying to pull God down from the Heavens, He’s right inside us!
His Kingdom is within us. Everything is accomplished and has been given to us. Now we get to live out of this overflowing abundance and keep growing in His grace. Hallelujah!