"It is by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:5, NIV).
True revival and reformation focuses on grace. We recognize the grace that God lavishes upon each of us in forgiving our sins, calling us His children, and saving us in His kingdom. Then we respond to such grace by allowing Him to transform us into His likeness.
When we internalize the truth about grace, we will experience a depth of humility that results in becoming grace-filled, grace-giving Christians. We will extend God’s grace to others—all others—recognizing that at the foot of the Cross we are all equal.
Grace informs us that how we treat other people matters, whether they are fellow church members or those outside our faith; whether they are our coworkers, family members, or strangers. Grace demands that we treat everyone with respect and dignity.
With members of our family we are called to be especially kind, gentle, and patient (Eph. 5:21–6:4). Grace leaves no room for a person to display a caring public persona and be an overbearing tyrant in the family. Abuse of any kind— verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, financial—will not be practiced by the person who truly understands that he or she has been saved by grace. There is no place for controlling behavior. After all, Jesus, our Example in all things, never used brute force or demeaning language to punish or control anyone. Instead, He drew people with love, compassion, and respect.
Transformation in the way we treat others comprises a visible evidence of revival and reformation in the heart.
—Carla Baker serves as Women’s Ministries director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.