Re: Takeing Action on What you Believe.
“Grace is more than nature, more than free will, more than even the forgiveness of sins and the gift of God’s commandments; it is the divinely given power to avoid and conquer sin.” – Jarislov Pelikan (tense mine)
Grace is prevenient or preceding in that he chose us before the foundation of the world. It was not our merit but His good pleasure. When we receive that grace through faith that gift is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit manifested in perfect love (see Rom. 5:5). It is then that we are able to delight in his word and it is grace that will cause us to live a life unto Jesus. It is certainly by free will that we choose Him because this is a necessity for love to be expressed. And by that same token man has the ability to choose death.
I love this quote: “All men are of the same nature, able to hold fast to what is good, and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it.” – Irenaeus
Jesus is both the physician and the medicine. Receive him daily and you will live. It is like when Paul spoke about He is crucified with Christ and that what he does is no longer him (paul) but Christ who lives in him. It isn’t that Christ has now taken over and controls Paul like a robot and Paul doesn’t exist. It is more like Paul has accepted that divine power of grace that will kill the deeds of his fleshly nature because of the love that is shed abroad in His heart through the Holy Spirit. Do we have points of weakness and defeat? Yes. Does the mercy of God cover that? I believe so. And when we cry out to him from a broken heart because we can’t properly express the love that we have for Jesus, His grace is sufficient and gives us the victory where we were once defeated. Now there is a curve or gray area to that but I believe as we pursue the heart of our God that sin in our life gets dealt with and we become more like Him.