By Mary Stout
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NLT)
After becoming a Christian, we begin learning how to become more like Jesus. This is called sanctifying grace. It is the grace we receive as we grow in knowing Christ Jesus. It is with us every step in our walk. I am pretty sure you have felt it when you worship or study the bible and learn how Jesus lived. It works on us slowly. Each time we have an epiphany or something we heard in a sermon or in life resonates within us we experience sanctifying grace. The Holy Spirit helps us grow into our life with God through sanctifying grace.
I experienced it while driving home at 2 AM when the sky was clear and the stars were bright. I looked up and the brilliance of the heavens made me realize God made me with the same dust he made the stars. I knew at that moment I was connected to him in my spirit. It’s amazing how God created everything and I was one of his! The veil surely was torn that night and I caught a glimpse of God if only for a moment. I bet you have moments like that as well.
Nicodemus must have thought long and hard about what Jesus told him. I think he must have decided to be a Jesus follower. It was Nicodemus along with Joseph of Arimathea that took Jesus down from the cross and prepared him for burial. That took courage and strength and it took faith in Jesus. While we don’t know for sure when Nicodemus made his decision, we know he risked everything he believed in to give Jesus a proper burial. Sanctifying grace worked in Nicodemus’ life too.
God’s sanctifying grace helps us as we strive towards Christian perfection. I will talk about Christian perfection tomorrow — what it is and the ways and means we use to reach our goal of becoming more like Jesus.
Prayer: Father thank you for your love and grace. Help us as we draw closer to you each day. May our walk become a light to others that they may experience your love and grace too. In Jesus name; amen.