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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Godly Grip on Life

I once met a man who was frustrated in seeking a new career. He had gone to dental school to become a dentist, but after spending time and money getting the education, he discovered he lacked the dexterity to be a good dentist. For whatever reason, he lacked the strength and skill in his hands to use the dental instruments.

This problem can affect a person in numerous other endeavors. You can learn all about carpentry but lack the ability to hammer a nail straight. You can learn a sport and not have the ability to perform it well. The coach will tell you, "I cannot put in what God left out; no matter how much you want to play."

Singing, the arts, and a number of other things can be loved and desired, but never attained because certain natural abilities are missing.

The law was given through Moses but the law did not provide the ability to perform the principles it demanded. It left the devotee frustrated and defeated. Paul's frustration with the law is indicated in Romans 7:18 (KJV):

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." [emphasis mine]

Paul wanted to paint the picture of the glories of God's precepts, but he lacked the artistic talent. He wanted to score high in the competition against his base nature, but he was uncoordinated and unskilled. The "how to perform" element was missing.

He lacked a grip on the law of God.

Jesus was also a law-giver, establishing a new covenant. However, distinct from Moses, along with His truth He provided grace. In Christ, truth or law is complemented by grace. In Christ, there is a resource by which truth can be performed. That resource provides the ability to grip truth and to live it out.

If we use the analogy of a sword for truth, then grace provides the grip to wield it effectively. Grace provides the strength and the skill to victoriously use truth in the battles of life. The ministry of the Spirit that Jesus inaugurated enables the truth-seeker and the lover-of-the-law to grip truth for life and living. When we hear the sermon, read the Bible, or read a book with important biblical principles, we can grip the truths that we received and begin living by them. We need not be frustrated by a loose or slippery grip.

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." Hebrews 2:1 (KJV)

For Paul, God's grace was more than something given, idly sitting somewhere; it was something at work within him. He indicates this when he stated,

"... by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV)

It was God's grace that gave him the ability to grip God's calling and purposes, holding onto them and laboring by the grace of God.

Memory may slip and character may be weak, but the grace of God will give you the grip you need on His truth — the truth that sets you free and overcomes the bondage of Satan's lies.

Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Copyright © Michael Cooper. Used by permission.

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