Bigger Grace: In Christ Jesus

“I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

Paul is writing these words to Christians. God gives his grace to those who are in Christ Jesus – and that does not include everyone. God’s grace is the free gift that includes becoming his family and living forever with him – and not apart from him in hell.

grace_350Is that a mean thing to say out loud, that not everyone has God’s saving grace? I don’t think so. In fact, it’s important to say it out loud, and it’s really easy not to. Paul makes clear that God’s grace, the gift of the eternal life we do not deserve because of our sin, is given only “in Christ Jesus.” All who reject faith in Jesus alone to forgive and to save also reject the free grace of God.

And without God’s grace, we will be judged by our works and by our sins – and nobody is good enough to earn eternity with God on that scale.

Think: Does it bother you that God’s saving grace comes only through faith in Jesus or does it make you feel grateful? Is it hard for you to say that you believe that truth to people who don’t? Why or why not?

Pray: If you’re a Christian, thank God for his grace given to you in Christ Jesus.

Do: Write as briefly as possible what it means to be “in Christ Jesus.” How would you describe it to someone in a paragraph or two?