Dear Christian, is that finishing line regarding your life lived for the Lord in view, as the Apostle Paul reminded us as he “finished my course (and) kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). If it is, let us consider some important questions regarding that Biblical admonition of FINISHING FAITH, for all of us who take the name Christ seriously: Here’s the first, are we on that journey of faith leading to glory? Then, how did we arrive on that road of salvation? Is HE on the road with us, IN US, going before us? What and WHO keeps us there? Are we headed in the right direction? Do we want to be on that path, His Path, and what is the real reason, the motivation? Then, is it His chosen path for us, or just ours? If it is HIS, where are we on that road, any progress? Also, what sustains us on the way that the Lord has ordained? To answer those questions, the Bible uses these words of admonition: “GRACE BE TO YOU” (Ephesians 1:2). Bob Jones Sr. made a simple statement, yet profound: “It seems to me, that if a thing is started right, it should end right.” God starts our born-again relationship in being RIGHT in HIM, all by grace; it is our gift at salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). And it is the same grace that the believer is blessed with in order to go on and to finish the course being RIGHT with HIM, cherishing a Bible belief-life in Him. We all need HIS grace; here’s why, if you are going to walk with Jesus Christ you are going to be opposed by everything that the enemy of your soul throws at you, everything in which the old nature desires to deceive you, clamoring for its satisfaction, and everything that the world offers as a sugar coated substitute for a satisfying, fulfilled life. That’s why we need grace, HIS FINISHING GRACE. So, let’s allow God to grace us as we look to HIM and discovery anew HIS favor for the faith journey set before us. Why? God tells us why, “But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Question, “Who are you, when it comes to the grace that the Lord desires to bestow upon you?
May it be said of every believer that “His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain!” John Wesley, the evangelist, and a leader of a revival movement in 17th century England, espoused “The Four Tenets of Grace.” First, Wesley classifies the grace that is not vainly bestowed upon a true repentant believer to be JUSTIFYING grace, of which is the start of our faith journey. Here’s the verse: “Being justified (declared righteous) freely by his grace, through the redemption that is Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). With being in the family of God, saved by grace, and not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9), we then grow in grace. By growing IN and going ON in God’s favor, we then can make the right choices through what Wesley entitles PREVENIENT grace. The graced believer has the admonition from Scripture to pray, as Jeremiah: “That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do” (42:3). But, how can we do that? It’s all made possible and powerful by SANCTIFYING grace, with the Spirit’s work within, wooing us away from those distractions and personal desires foreign to HIS WAY. Here’s the Word that God gives us to go forward: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly … Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it … The GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ be WITH you” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24, 28), Then, to end well, focusing on HIM standing at the finish line, it’s all about GLORIFYING grace, which is the Lord’s work within us to magnify HIM, living for him (not for self), all by grace: “But the God of all GRACE, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus … to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11). So, there it is: grace for the start, grace for the right choices to be made, grace with the power of His sanctifying Spirit to stay on the right path, and then going on with the grace to glorify HIM; its called FINISHING GRACE.