Grace truly does transform!
As I read the Bible, I am constantly amazed at the things God throws before me. Today through the passionate preaching of Kanishka Raffel I was reminded of the incredible grace of God. He spoke from Ephesians 2 and highlighted the transforming power of grace. The chapter takes us on a journey from a picture of humanity in our fallenness to humanity in salvation. The chapter starts with
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
The bleak state of humanity is clear in the word dead. But by the end of the chapter we read this
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
So what is the source of this transformation? Jesus.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)
Coming to grips with God’s grace and love that are shown in his action of drawing us near through Jesus is overwhelming. He sent his Son to death to resurrect the dead that we might walk with him.
That sounds pretty awesome but what does this transforming grace look like in the wild?
It is like Ben Kwashi, a man I met today.
When he was a minister, opponents of Christianity burned down his house.
When he became a Bishop they burned down Bishopscourt.
Twice (in Feb 2006 & July 2007), he has been the victim of attempts on his own life.
His wife Gloria was badly beaten in one of those attempts.
Ben loves Jesus and is thankful for his grace towards him and for all people.
It is also like Ignatius and Beatrice Kattey, a couple I met today.
In September he was kidnapped and held hostage for nine days in Nigeria by anti-Christian forces. Just when all hope was gone, he was released and it is said he was “hale and hearty”.
I can tell you he is full of joy for the grace of God shown to Him in Jesus Christ.
There are many stories like this at GAFCON but there is only ONE cross, ONE Saviour, ONE hope and ONE Jesus. These men know the transforming power of grace in their lives and speak of it to those they meet. Their lives are hard but grace and hope flow without resentment or the bearing of grudges.
It just puts our #firstworldproblems in a bit of perspective.
I fear it also shines a bright light on our comfortable risk-averse faith.
Has grace really transformed the dead bodies of the West?