Christ’s Grace is Sufficient to Cover Us
- A friend of mine recommended reading a speech by Brad Wilcox, a BYU associate professor, that he gave on July 12, 2011. He said it was a “fantastic speech!” So, I couldn’t pass it up. To see the full speech go here. This post that I am writing are my thoughts and some excerpts (in quotations) from the speech that stood out to me.
- “Jesus Christ is sufficient–sufficient to cover us, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes.”
Pride has been a hindrance in my life, as I assume it is in most people’s lives. I think that I can do everything on my own. I am strong enough. I am smart enough. I can fix things. It is a lie that I have believed for a long, long time, and has lead me to rely on my own strength, which has not produced lasting results. As I work on humbling myself and letting go of pride and admitting that I can’t do things on my own… I can’t fix things… I can’t make things right. I have come to understand that I will never be able to do those things on my own. Only with Christ can I overcome sin, fix the things in my life, and make them right.
Grace is something I know I didn’t really understand all that well growing up in my teens and 20’s. I think it is something that a lot of us don’t really grasp.
He shares a conversation that he had with a student who asked about grace and shared how she was struggling with the concept. She shared the following:
- “I know I need to do my best and then Jesus does the rest, but I can’t even do my best…I know that I have to do my part and then Jesus makes up the difference and fills the gap that stands between my part and perfection. But who fills the gap that stands between where I am now and my part?”
His response is beautiful. “Jesus doesn’t make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us.” He continued, “Seeing that she was still confused, I took a piece of paper and drew two dots—one at the top representing God and one at the bottom representing us. I then said, “Go ahead. Draw the line. How much is our part? How much is Christ’s part?”
She went right to the center of the page and began to draw a line. Then, considering what we had been speaking about, she went to the bottom of the page and drew a line just above the bottom dot.
I said, “Wrong.”
She said, “I knew it was higher. I should have just drawn it, because I knew it.”
I said, “No. The truth is, there is no line. Jesus filled the whole space. He paid our debt in full. He didn’t pay it all except for a few coins. He paid it all. It is finished.”
Grace is not conditional on how much we have done in life so far, how many goals we have scored, how many wins or loses we have on our record,… no, grace is fixed and offered freely to all who come and receive it. We limit and put conditions on grace as to when we are worthy to have it or be offered it, which tends to be when we feel we have met perfection… and I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anybody that sees themselves ever reaching perfection in this life. Again, this is a lie that Satan uses to trick us to think that we have all of our ducks in a row and living the absolute best we know how and are capable of in order to be worthy of Christ’s grace. The only thing required of us is to accept His grace.
How Do We Accept His Grace?
- For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” -2 Nephi 25:23
Grace is activated as we come unto Christ. As we turn to Him. As we humble ourselves and strive to align our will’s with the will of God. We are not required to be perfect, but we are required to turn our hearts to Him. Like Brother Wilcox said, “[we] have plenty to do, but it is not to fill that gap.” What does Christ ask of us? He says “follow me”, and “keep my commandments.” What is the purpose?
- “The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. It’s purpose is change.”
-President Spencer W Kimball
Change is the Purpose
I believe that we are saved by grace, totally and completely. I also believe that faith without works is dead. We do have work to do. But, it is important to understand that we do not earn our way to heaven. Through our works “we are learning heaven. We are preparing for it. We are practicing for it.” Brother Wilcox asks the profound questions, “Have you been changed by grace?” Brett Sanders, a friend of Brother Wilcox, shares that “a life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ’s life.”
As I read this article there is just so much I want to share! It is just full of amazing content and truths. I highly suggest reading through it for yourself. Again, you can find it here.
Christ’s Grace is Sufficient To Transform Us
There is more that Brother Wilcox talks about. Some very important concepts and gives some great stories. I have just shared half of the speech. I just want to finish today’s post off by sharing that I know we can be transformed by Christ’s grace. That is a great purpose of why Christ atoned for us, so that we can be transformed. So that we can change our very natures. I have experienced that transforming power in my life, and I am now seeking it out daily, recognizing that it is only in and through Christ that I can truly change and become a better man, and come closer to fulfilling my purposes for being here.
It is my hope that you take some time to really think about God’s grace and how it relates to you personally and specifically. How have you been changed by grace?
Give yourself to The Captain of Your Soul and receive the blessings that are constantly being offered to you, and see the tender mercies He places in your life each and every day.
-From A loving brother
See full speech here.