Sustaining Grace: Our Salvation from the Power of Sin



    Have your ever noticed the way that Paul starts off almost every epistle he sent?

     “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

     Why did the Apostle Paul impart a blessing of grace to those who are already believers? True, Paul wanted to convey saving grace to those who were not saved, but why would he wish grace to the churches, if those who are in the churches were already saved.

     It is because there is more to grace than salvation from the penalty of sin. Within the vastness, the limitlessness, the infinite grace of God, grace also means our deliverance from the power of sin. We are sustained by grace and we are the recipients of God’s sustaining GRACE.

     Where in the Bible do we see God’s sustaining grace? Virtually on every page we see God’s favor upon His people who are saved but need Gods sustaining grace. For this study, let’s look at a few passages.

     In Acts 14:26, we see this gem of a verse: “From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.” It wasn’t salvational grace that was commended to Paul and the missionaries, but His sustaining grace, His presence and sustaining power which enabled them to do the work.

     Let’s look somewhere else for God’s sustaining grace. 1 Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

     Salvation is not just to save you from the penalty of sin, grace is also freely given so that we can be delivered from the very power of sin. Paul said if others saw anything good in him, it is not I who do it but it is God’s grace which makes me who I am. His grace wasn’t a one-time shot, nor was it in vain but his grace compels me to labor all the harder, all the more abundantly for God has not only saved me, He is sustaining me. 

     But even more than that, I was reminded recently that God not only sustains us in His power, but also in our weakness. There was a time when the Apostle Paul was unable to do what he knew God had been given the power to do. He felt weak, powerless, and beaten up by Satan. He pleaded in prayer repeatedly to no avail, losing to this prickling power of the carnal, sinful world. At long last, Jesus spoke to Pauls heart, saying, My grace is enough for you. Your failure is not My failure, in fact your powerlessness perfects My powerfulness in you.

     From that moment on, Paul no longer was discouraged by his perceived powerlessness. In fact, he boasted in his infirmities, in his reproaches, in his needs, in his persecutions, in his distresses. In every weakness, Paul looked to Christs power and said, “When I am weak, then I am strong. 

    Did that last line sound familiar? Not only is it found in 2 Cor. 12:10, it is also sung in a children’s song: 

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.

     Dont be discouraged by sins power. We have been delivered from the penalty of sin and we are being saved from the power of sin. But one day, we shall be delivered from the presence of sin! 

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