As Christians, we live to honor God. But is this all about trying really hard and exercising will power? Not at all! The Bible teaches that we are dependent upon God from beginning to end. We did not start on our own, and we cannot continue to live honorably on our own either. Everything is by grace, from start to finish.
The Spirit leads us
The Bible teaches that at the moment of salvation we receive the Holy Spirit, God Himself living in us. This is significant. One of the roles of the Spirit is to empower us to live a new kind of life. This means that God himself moves us to live for him from the inside – rather than just teaching us the rules from the outside. God said it like this through the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
More than will power
Think about what this means practically. Living to honor God isn’t just up to our own will power. And that’s a good thing, because nobody is perfect and everybody has weakness. Yes, we want to honor God. But pulling it off goes beyond our own strength or will power – it’s actually powered by the Spirit at work in us. We can have confidence to live a new kind of life not because of our own abilities, but because the Holy Spirit is in us, empowering us to live to honor God.
Galatians 5:25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Grace to live for God
Grace simply means gift. It’s not something that we can earn. Foundations Truth 1 teaches that we are saved by grace, not by our own efforts or intentions. But consider how grace fits into Foundations Truth 2. Though living to honor God requires our participation, it also requires God’s grace. His Holy Spirit is the gift that helps us to live a life that honors God. So we are saved by grace and we continue to live by grace. Everything is a gift from God.
Romans 11:36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Read Ephesians 1:13. According to this verse, do you have the Holy Spirit in you? Explain.
- How is obedience from an internal motivation (the Spirit) different than obedience from an external motivation (the rules)? Give an example from your own life.
- Willpower is defined as “control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain one’s own impulses”. How does living the Christian go beyond willpower? Give an example from your own life.
- Grace means “gift”. Describe what it means that we are “saved by grace”. Then describe what it means that we “live by grace”.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.