“If we look at Jesus as only a source of forgiveness, then we no longer see Him as the model for using God’s grace in everyday life.”
We know Jesus as our Savior and sacrifice. Ray Hollenbach says we shouldn’t forget that Jesus is also our example for daily living. He points out that God’s grace not only saves us, but empowers us.
If we accept Jesus’ death on our behalf and try to live the rest of our life in our own strength, we’ll set ourselves up for failure. We must live in grace. As the late Dallas Willard put it,
“Saints consume more grace than sinners.”
Ray goes on to say,
“A holy life consumes grace the way a jet airliner consumes fuel on takeoff. There is only one way to get heaven-born and that’s to actually consume grace.”
The gospel of John describes Jesus as “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). How then can we follow Him and learn from His grace-filled life?
“We can imitate how He leaned on God’s Word. Jesus likely grew up learning large portions of the Old Testament. He meditated on the words of Scripture, and when tempted by Satan, quoted Scripture to defend Himself.”
“We can imitate how He interacted with others. He grew up with brothers, with sisters. He engaged in the workplace; He was a carpenter. Don’t you think there were times when Jesus had to draw on the grace of God to extend understanding and patience and mercy – and yes, forgiveness – to other people?”
“We can imitate how He walked in obedience to His Father, only doing what God the Father told Him to do, in His perfect timing.
We need to hold these two truths in tension – that Jesus showed us how to die, and that Jesus showed us how to live.
“I sure don’t want to diminish the cross. He paid a price that only He could pay. But I also want to see Him as my example for living. If I see Jesus as only the dispenser of forgiveness, I’m no longer able to see Him as my example of grace-filled living.”
Ray Hollenbach is a husband, a father, a writer, a (former) pastor, a businessman, and a student of Jesus. Ray has written about faith and culture for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, ChurchLeaders.com, SermonCentral.com, Relevant Magazine, and Collide Magazine. He is the author of Deeper Grace.
Key Scriptures: Titus 2:11-12
Featured Songs: Wonderful by Christy Nockels; You Never Let Go by Matt Redman; God and God Alone by Chris Tomlin