Footsteps in Faith: God’s grace gives us the gift of faith, transforms our lives

| April 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Maj.) Patrick R. Basal
130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Basal

Basal

By now, many of us have seen Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion.” If you have not, I highly encourage you to watch it.

Gibson’s movie depicts the traditional passion play format of Holy Week. The movie follows the footsteps of Christ from the time he entered Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday, through his crucifixion, to the morning of his resurrection.

The Lenten season ended with Christ’s triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, and then we moved into the Easter season, which began with his resurrection, a time of renewing and rebirth.

Now that Easter is over, it becomes apparent that we are provided with the perfect occasion to focus our spiritual walk on the central teachings of our faith — that of justification by grace through faith in Christ alone.

The doctrine of justification by the gift of grace is grounded in the full atonement that Christ won by spilling his blood and dying on a wooden cross.

In Scripture, atonement is referred to in terms of redemption, expiation, reconciliation and the taking away of the stain of sin. Sin then, is an offense to God, a debt we owe, a broken relationship between God and us, a stain that we cannot remove or blot out.

1 Timothy 2:4 states, “But God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

God has done everything necessary to pay for our debt to reconcile, liberate and forgive us, in order to bring us back into fellowship with him. It’s all God’s doing, not ours.

God gives us the gift of grace, not because we deserve it or because we have earned it by doing good things. Grace is entirely his free gift to give, and he does so willingly. It is given by his grace alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith — and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not because of works, least any man should boast.”

The wonderful Gospel is that it is God alone by his grace that gives us the gift of faith and transforms our hearts and lives into something new and beautiful. It is through the heroic endurance of Christ as he forgave his tormentors for the merciless cruelty of being tortured and crucified, which express how much and by what means our transformation was accomplished.

Let us then respond in kind and forgive others for what they have done to us. For it is through the act of repenting and forgiving that we are brought back into fellowship with God.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News

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