6 Ways God’s Grace Transforms One’s Life

In the past several months, I have been meeting with various members seeking counseling in my office.

Difficulties in the marriage relationship. Conflicts between friends, family, and church members. Trouble and struggles with worldly affairs. Depression after a job loss. Worry and fear of terminal illness and disease over the body. Anxiety and panic attacks in interpersonal difficulties with communication skills. Grief and sorrow over growing old. 

Even Christians can be caught up between the chasm of the fiery darts of the evil one (Eph 6:16). Jesus addresses his people in the gospel accounts and says, “Oh, you of little faith” (Matt 8:26), not NO faith.

I am convinced, being “in Christ” does not mean the battle is done. The life of a follower of Jesus does not mean life will be easy and just grand. Being in Christ does not mean you are exempt from all the difficulties of life. 

Being a Christian today will bring forth more difficulties, being hated, and attacked from every direction of the world. Don’t be surprised by that! Often those who live in Christ are followed along with great suffering and great pain.

However, perhaps the question that we Christians are asking as we desire to see God’s grace to transform the situation is this. How can we withstand the attacks of the enemy for such a time as this? How can we go forward with this as we are being sanctified in the image of Christ? 


1. Daily Scripture Reading. 

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32). 

I am often surprised when I ask the question, “What does your daily quiet time look like?” and find out how a daily Scripture reading is absent from a person’s life. 

Quite frankly, most Christians sadly spend more time in front of their TV screen, smartphones, or in sports magazines, than they do in their Bibles. We wonder why God’s grace does not transform one’s life! They are transformed more from the World rather than by the Word! 

As John Piper famously stated once, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

If we rarely spend time in the Word of God, we won’t have a right view of God. 

Jesus illustrates how he engages God’s Word in difficult situations. In his forty days of fasting in the wilderness following his baptism, he was tempted by the devil (Matt 4:1-11). In each of his enemy’s temptations, Jesus combated them with a quotation from Scripture (v. 4, 7. 10). How much more should believers use the Bible against the assault of the evil one?


2. Prayer & Supplication.  

“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.” (Heb 4:16). 

I think a non-Christian who observed how we live would be most shocked, not at our struggles with sexual sin or how little we know our Bibles, but how little we pray…how little we value prayer.

Do we take our troubles to the Lord in prayer? The author of Hebrew is stirring a call to prayer. We are driven to pray because we have an overwhelming desire for God to fix our problems; the author of Hebrew is driven to pray because he is overwhelmed by the glory of God.

I am convinced of this after reading this passage. A weak view of God leads to weak prayer life. Perhaps we struggle with our prayer lives not because we are bad at habits, but because we struggle with seeing God for who He is.

As D.L. Moody said it well, “He who kneels the most, stands the best.”


3. Intimacy with Christ. 

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17). 

Are you simply going through the motion of the Christian life? Are you broken and desperate saying, “without Jesus, I will be utterly lost?” Are you instead just going through your task and simply talking about it rather than clinging to Christ? 

Being a Christian means imitating Jesus and living a life that reflects Christ (Eph 5:1). The word imitate comes from the word mimeomai, from which we get our word mimic. It means “to act like.”

We are to give ourselves up for God because he gave himself up for us (John 3:16). Practically, then, the outworking of that “giving up of ourselves” becomes a natural rhythm of life by pursuing Jesus with everything we have. 


4. Private Worship & Corporate Worship. 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing each other in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16).  

The latter part of this is crucial. Grace-filled Christians are people whose lives are characterized by singing, thanksgiving, and mutual submission. 

What happens when one is filled with grace? They will naturally flow out with worship. Fill with the fullness of God includes all His perfection, His entire character, and attribute.

People will bring glory to God that He deserves for eternity through private and corporate worship.  

The person filled with anger is dominated by hate. The person filled with wicked desires is dominated by lust. “Filled with the fullness of God” is to be dominated by God and there will be NO SELF in you.


5. Bible Memorization & Meditation. 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing each other in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16). 

Colossian believers are instructed to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. The consequences of this are the same as the consequences here in Ephesians 5 of being filled with the Spirit. That suggests that there is a close correlation in meaning between the two.

What happens? When one dwells or is filled with Bible and Scripture, they have no other room for self. “Filled” in the Greek πληρόω (plēroō) renders domination. In essence to take control of the heart. It speaks of total dominion.  

In Ephesians 5:17 Paul says, “do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery” (v. 17). Paul addresses the idea of drunkenness which is “intoxication” (Acts 13:52; Rom 8:4; Eph 5:18): These two are the same word! The idea is not to let alcohol rule and dominate one’s life. 

But, when one is ruled and dominated by God’s Word, they will hide His Word in their heart so they may not sin against a Holy God (Ps 119:11). 


6. Close-Proximity in Small Group 

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Pet 4:10).

This is a huge missing mark in the Christian life. Satan wants to divide the church and let people be in individual silos apart from one another. Christians grow up together in Christ by His grace. Why? Every member of the body of Christ is called to live in unity with all other members. 

The Holy Spirit enables individuals to contribute to the growth of the whole body. The goal of this growth is Christlikeness not only in the individual participants but in the whole body itself.

As Deitrich Bonhoeffer said well in his book Life Together, “Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more attractive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.”


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