An interesting thing to note about the Christian’s life is the presence of both overwhelming grace with empowerment, and moral responsibility. Quite frankly, you just can’t have one without the other.

How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:2-3 ESV)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with out weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)

I can definitely testify that sometimes we need to be reminded of what is expected of children of God, and sometimes we need to be reminded that we have a Saviour who wants to help us in his grace. If we focus only on moral responsibility, we heap the burdens of earning righteousness before God on our backs; this righteousness we can never earn. On the other end of the spectrum, by focusing on grace and not on moral responsibility, we use God’s infinitely precious sacrifice as an excuse for sin. As Bonhoeffer calls it, this is cheap grace, or Christ without discipleship. (To read more on this, get his book – excellent read.)

And so I find that the only way we can have peace and a clean conscience is this: understand that God says, “. . . be holy, for I am holy,” (Deuteronomy 11:44 ESV) yet also says to you, “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

I’ve spent much of my Christian walk trying to figure out who’s right: the grace advocates or the service advocates. Since realizing they are both correct, I have come to understand my total incapacity of doing anything useful for the Lord – without his help! Therefore, I humble myself before him, admit my weaknesses, and ask for grace that I may walk according to his word. He is always abounding in compassion, and grants me the ability to know, desire, and do his will.

Do you need to humble yourself before God, admit your weakness, and ask for grace?

I’m a new Christian, so I would love to hear from you what you’ve learned about grace/the Spirit’s empowerment, and what you can share about it. So please, feel free to comment! The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.

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