Before we accepted salvation from Christ, we were living in darkness, but through Christ were were exposed to the light and were able to see truth and grace given to us through Christ. In Ephesians 5:8 Paul says, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Because of our salvation, we must live as people who can see truth and know hope through the love and promises of Christ through eternity.
So many of us (myself especially) are too quick to give our opinions without completely thinking about the impact our words have on others. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:29, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. If our words do not impact others in a positive way, we should rethink what we have to say. While there is a time to correct and instruct, we should still take great care in what we say and how we say it.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are all part of the family of God. Paul says in Ephesians 2:18, For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. The Jewish people first had access, and now through Christ all have access. We are all part of the same eternal inheritance as co-heirs in Christ.
When we talk about the “church”, we are not talking about a building, we are talking about the body of Christ made up of all believers. Paul talks about the make up of the body of Christ in Ephesians 1:22-23, 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. The intended makeup of our relationship with God was fulfilled when Christ died and God raised Him from the dead. It is because of this miracle and God’s plan which allows each of us to be saved and become members as believers in the body of Christ fulfilled.
As believers and followers of Christ, we have every benefit of knowing God through our relationship with Him. Ephesians 1:3 says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Because of salvation and our intimate relationship with Christ, we can enjoy the benefits of a relationship directly with God. Christ gives us that ability and it is because God loved us so much he gave us this way.
God’s grace is more abundant than we can ever truly grasp and He loves us more than we can comprehend. In Psalm 145:8 David reminds us, The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. No matter how bad things get, God’s grace is what He wants us to experience more than anything else because of His love for us.
At the end of this Psalm, David asks God to search for any wickedness in his life. In Psalm 139:23-24 David says, 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. David is not challenging God to find him perfect, he is challenging God to identify sin and make it known so he can fix it. Too often we justify our sin and make excuses for the choices we make. If we are honest and open our hearts and minds to God, He will help us.
Have you ever thought about what salvation really means? It means forgiveness of our sins and our sinful nature. It is literally God forgetting all the many and creative ways we sin. Psalm 130:3-4 says, 3 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. If God kept a record of our sin, the burden would continue to be overwhelming. But God removes the weight and eternal consequences of sin and frees us to be who He intended us to be. Likewise, God gives us an example of how we are to forgive others. If we cannot release others from their transgressions against us, then we have not truly forgiven them.
We are not slaves to unrighteousness. God has set us free by His grace and love. Psalm 129:4 says, But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Through our freedom found only through God’s perfect plan, we are no longer tied to sin. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but through God’s power and grace we have the tools to be free from the damaging power of sin in our lives. Trusting and relying on God’s strength through the Holy Spirit is all we need to conquer sin.
The anticipation of the Messiah had been present for a long time. The people of God had to look forward to know He was coming and would provide salvation. In Psalm 98:1 it says, Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. When Christ came to earth and died for our sins, He fulfilled the anticipation the world had been waiting for. When we look for peace, love, and grace, we find it in Christ.