How Can I Unlock the Power of Saving Grace in My Life?

 Being filled with faith and grace has nothing to do with our ambitions or acts of striving.

Contributing Writer
Updated Jun 10, 2024
How Can I Unlock the Power of Saving Grace in My Life?

In the book of Acts, we read multiple examples of people who were filled with God’s grace and who did amazing things. People like Stephen, who “performed great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8, NIV). Filled with faith and grace, he preached to those who wanted to kill him and prayed for the Lord to forgive them as they stoned him to death (Acts 7:2-60).  

The apostles also were filled with grace. As they lived together in unity, sharing what they had so no one would be in need, they continued to tell others about the resurrection of Christ (Acts 4:33). They were able to spread the gospel and live in peace with other believers because of the enablement of the Holy Spirit. 

We might wonder how we can unlock the power of grace in our lives after reading these accounts in Acts. Is such growth and faith only possible for “superior” Christians like the apostles or the first Christian martyr? We might secretly think: “God used them, but He couldn’t use me. I’m too ordinary.”  

That is exactly how others saw those men and women in the early church: ordinary. Christ took everyday fishermen and set them on a mission, giving them the power to speak the gospel boldly and to show signs and wonders to others (Acts 4:8-12, 29-31). He uses what the world says is ordinary to accomplish His extraordinary purposes.   

For being filled with faith and grace has nothing to do with our ambitions or acts of striving. The power of saving grace only comes when we receive it, knowing that we could never do anything to earn such a gift.   

Jesus: The One who gives Grace Upon Grace 

Treasured family recipes have specific instructions to follow, and keepsake boxes have special ways of being opened. We can easily unlock these connections to the past by following the steps prescribed or locating the key. However, salvation does not work this way. There are no secret recipes or keys that will open the door to eternal life. People have tried in the past to pry their way in by following manmade mandates to earn salvation, but such efforts have no salvific power.  

So, how do we receive saving grace? 

Scripture tells us that grace and truth came through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:17). From Jesus, God in the flesh, comes the gift of salvation. As John describes, “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16, ESV). Grace overflows in the lives of Christians.  

This does not mean that believers are more special or lovable than others. Salvation has nothing to do with who we are or what we do. Instead, believers have a new life in Christ because they placed faith in what Jesus did.  

Let us not assume, though, that the saving grace that God gives us is cheap. God gives grace freely and extravagantly, but that gift was costly to Him. We were bought with the precious blood of Christ, who died in our place on the cross, bearing our punishment so we could receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life (1 Peter 1:18-19). Only His sacrificial death could save us because He is the sinless Son of God. However, His death was not the end. At the resurrection, Christ abolished the power of sin and death (2 Timothy 1:9-10). The powerful saving grace we trust in is based on a blood-stained cross and an empty tomb.    

Those who believe have been blessed with the Lord’s saving grace, not because of works or deeds, but because of what Jesus did for us. We do not have to search for a list of steps or a hidden key to unlock this gift. Every believer has the presence of His grace in his or her life.  

Grace and Power: The Empowering Presence of The Holy Spirit 

The Lord’s grace does not stop with salvation. He wants us to walk in holiness and spread the gospel to others like a glowing flame passing from one candle to the next. To accomplish this, He blessed us with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  

In the examples of the early Christians in Acts, the power of grace in their lives was connected to the working of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who gave Peter the boldness to preach the Pentecost sermon and to testify before the rulers and elders about Jesus’ resurrection (see Acts 2:14-41 and 4:8-12). Luke, the author of Acts, also describes how the apostles and other Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit and with grace (Acts 4:31, 33).  

Likewise, Stephen was known as a man of faith, full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). If we read the passage, we notice that the apostles specifically wanted individuals who had evidence of the Holy Spirit working in them (Acts 6:2-4). Stephen was chosen to serve as a deacon because of the fruit that was seen in his life as a result of the Spirit, not because of his temperament or personality. The apostles and Stephen show us what it looks like when God works through the lives of individuals who love and trust Him.  

The Bible tells us that each of us is given grace as Christ apportioned, which many commentators believe corresponds to the gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:7). In these verses, then, the grace given is not a reference to salvation, but to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit who gives us spiritual gifts. He works in and through us to accomplish His purposes. 

All believers receive the Holy Spirit when they place faith in Jesus, and the Spirit’s indwelling is permanent. However, being filled with the Spirit only occurs when we walk in obedience to Him (Galatians 5:16). Scripture tells us not to fill ourselves with wrong things, like alcohol to the point of drunkenness, but to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). A person who does not faithfully follow the Bible will not experience a filling of the Spirit, the grace or enablement of His power in his or her life.  

Let us walk in the Spirit, not the flesh, and experience the grace of being empowered by the Lord to live in godliness and obedience.  

Growing in Grace 

The riches of grace that God gave us at salvation will never dwindle or disappear. In fact, the more we reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ, the more we will appreciate the spiritual wealth our Lord has given us (2 Corinthians 8:9). Instead of decreasing, grace is ever abounding.  

Based on the Bible, we can grow in this grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). God does not intend for us to stay stagnant in the Christian life, remaining an infant in faith, though some do. Our Lord wants us to grow up in the faith and increasingly look more like Him (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We do so by investing in our relationship with Him and reflecting on the grace He has given. 

We are not the ones ultimately responsible for our spiritual growth, as that is the work of God through us (Galatians 5:22-23). Yet, like being filled with the Spirit, we must seek to be faithful in following the Lord to grow in His grace. We abide in Him. In turn, He produces spiritual fruit in our lives (John 15:4). 

What Does This Mean? 

Individuals cannot and do not manufacture the power of grace in their lives through effort or specific steps. We would have nothing of value to offer others if it were not for Jesus. He is the One who saved us, washed us from the dirtiness of sin, and clothed us in righteousness with the newness of life. He graciously gave us His Spirit to indwell us as a Helper, empowering us to work for His glory so many more will hear the gospel and become disciples. 

Placing faith in Christ and growing in our relationship with Him – that is when the power of God’s grace is unleashed in our lives. Like the disciples in the early church, we will find ourselves wanting to follow Him faithfully, serve Him devotedly, and love others sacrificially with hearts overflowing with grace.    

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Delmaine Donson

Sophia BrickerSophia Bricker is a writer. Her mission is to help others grow in their relationship with Jesus through thoughtful articles, devotionals, and stories. She completed a BA and MA in Christian ministry, which included extensive study of the Bible and theology, and an MFA in creative writing. You can follow her blog about her story, faith, and creativity at The Cross, a Pen, and a Page.

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