Edification: Strengthened in Christ
The sovereignty of God allows challenging issues to invade our lives often stressing us beyond our ability to cope. Yet we may rest assured that prior to any trial washing upon our shores it first must sail across the sea of God’s moral attributes. Therefore Paul asserts,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.Rom. 8:28–29 NIV
All that we encounter may be used by Christ to strengthen us for the ultimate purpose of evidencing His grace and enabling us to live for His glory. Strong’s concordance describes edification as “the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.” 1
Identity: We are the recipients of God’s grace.
We are truly the graceful—filled with God’s life-giving Spirit and resurrecting power. Remarkably the divine influence at work in our edification process is also the very authority which raised Jesus from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.Eph. 1:17–21 NIV
Grace simply defined is God’s power to live that enables us to fulfill His will and be complete. Transforming us into the image of Jesus, grace edifies the believer by enabling us to live in accord with the Spirit of God. The redemptive work of His Spirit develops our spiritual nature while achieving maturity and encourages us to die to our sinful desires.
Desperate Dependency reminds us that
As surrendered followers of Jesus Christ who live in desperate dependency upon Him, we are empowered by God to live beyond ourselves. The power to live Christ’s life on earth cannot be manufactured by our own efforts. We are not even capable of conceptualizing the process. Human beings on a quest for their own best interest usually resort toward self-indulgence or self-promotion, thinking self-empowerment is somehow the solution to their powerless condition.J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis
- In my life I recognized God’s power to live when . . .
- I exercise my God-given gifts when . . .
1James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2001).
(excerpts from Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
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