Who is Jesus and Why Does it Matter? The Sanity of Grace

One of the very key components to unlocking the nearly too good to be true new of he gospel is grace. Stop! Do not turn off because you believe grace is just some elementary element of Christianity and simply means that when you screw up you are still entitled and justified in your behavior just because you are so special within yourself. Once we loose the true meaning and force behind grace every hope will evaporate from our mists and we will become unable to grasp it. The theologian I.J. Packer advised that the role of the modern evangelist is the recovery of the gospel. Even Christian’s today are proclaiming a grace mixed with law. This is nullifying the meaning and effects of both. Why is this so important? Every problem or behavior steams from a wrong believing and it is only right believing that will bring worth real, genuine, and last change in all areas of life even though is may seems slower that regulations. In order to really understand these concepts we must understand how very extensive and insurmountable the law is and just how inadequate, incapable, and spiritually blind our discernment as become do to a sinful nature. Only then can we understand, value, and hold dear the goodness, mercy, unmerited favor God as initiated to us by the person and work of Christ. In essence, grace sees things through God’s character, provision, and Spirit and not our own flesh, feeling thoughts, emotions, and sense. This is what propels us out of our own patterns, stagnation and addictions and into an entirely new realm of being that impact every area of our existence. You see nothing can offer or duplicated grace. It is a counter to out culture and it want makes Christianity radically different. The reformer Marin Luther stated that he had to elaborate grace to someone every day least he himself forget. We are bombarded with contradictory messages from all forms of media as well as form every other form of religion. All of which convey a sin conscious works mentality where you are good person or get good things by doing good and bad by doing bad. Friends this is only the fruit or by product of the root. So let us stop putting the cart before he horse or majoring in the minor, and unleash a gospel revolution that will fee us from the bonds of all that opposes Christ. Our behavior stems from what we believe. When we receive the revelation that our identity is in Christ and his righteousness we will begin to live right.
God is a good God who loves us, and has come to give life more abundantly (John 10:9-11). He wants to express this, but we must only realize, believe(Eph 3:20) and accept Christ and all that he has provided through his finished work at the cross. The law is all about man, grace is all about God. Grace and truth came through Jesus(John 1:17) Notice the use of the word came, indicating that God sees grace(which is unmerited favor and is the term for everything Christ has for humans) and truth as one is the same and that both came by way of Christ. When the disciples asked Jesus what they would have to do to do the works of God, Jesus disclosed the work of God the be believing in him who God as sent(John 6:28-29). We are all sinners because through Adam sin entered the world, but Jesus took our place becoming our sin so we could become his perfect righteousness. For we have a righteousness that is not from the law but from faith in Christ, a righteousness that comes from God(Phil 3:9). He has qualified us. Stop condemning yourself and learn of and depend on and be confident in him(I John 3:21). Stop being infatuated with yourself and your actions and see his. We need only believe in the work of Christ, that we are not condemned, and allow God to write on our hearts. Those who are forgiveness conscious are love conscious. Jesus came to forgive of all sin. Recall and rest in this and we will see change from the inside out. Christianity is spelled done not do. By trusting in Jesus we are made righteous(right standing with God) because of his great mercy and love. We have peace with God and by faith we have access into grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope in the glory of God(Rom 5:1-2). Instead we seek to know Christ and his righteousness, the hope of his calling and the exceeded greatness of his power that works in us through Christ(Eph 1:18-23). The Holy Sprit convicts of one sin, not believing in Jesus, the one who sets the captives free(Luke 4:18,19). The one who overcomes the world is the one who believes upon Jesus Christ(I John 5:4). God wants you to reign in all areas of life and this becomes possible when we believe and receive the spiritual truths of who Jesus is and all has accomplished at the cross(Acts 13:39). Grace is not a doctrine; it is person, Jesus Christ. It is cross centered and is the full and proper honoring of Christ, truly glorifying his finished work, which all right theology must do. Many today, even without really realizing it are preaching grace with a mixture of the law(10 commandments, doing good for righteousness) which is actually self righteousness and works to negate real grace in the lives of countless Christians(Gal 2:21). Contrary to popular belief, we fall from grace not when we sin but when we leave grace and go back to basing our receiving or standing upon law or our own merits(Gal 5:4). When putting new wine into old skins you lose both(Mat 9:16-17). This is causing a frustrating experience for many and is opposite of how Paul preached. You lose the convicting purpose of the law to bring you to Jesus as well as the redeeming power of unmerited grace. It is like saying “you must stop preaching water, water and tell people how to get wet”. Everything grace touches becomes beautiful. Touching grace is touching God’s holiness/righteousness. We must see Jesus and his holiness as our holiness. An abundance of grace equals an abundance of Jesus and no one is the same after knowing Christ. It is base on his work, not ours. Grace can only be one sided and unmarried favor or it is not grace(Rom 11:6). If sin reigned because of Adam how much more shall those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through Christ(Rom 5:15-20). Christ’s work and its result is certainly not inferior to Adam’s, it is far superior. We are not sinners because we sin, but because of Adam(sin first entered the world), just as we are now righteous because of believing and trusting in Jesus and what he did for us. Actions don’t change a sinner, he/she is still a sinner, so to action will not change our righteousness in Christ. Obviously we must realize we have violated God’s law to see our need for a Savior(sickness to remedy-receive/believe on Christ) but the miracle of salvation comes by faith(as do the rest). Don’t look to yourself or be sin conscious, look to God’s provision through Christ. Your part is to focus on/be attentive to Jesus and his obedience and his love, not yours. This is new covenant(after the cross) theology which is far better and more complete than the old(Heb 1:1-2). God has made us sufficient ministers of the new covenant(2 Cor 3:5-11).
Realizing that Jesus has forgiven us of all sin(Col 2:13) past, present, and future, and has perfected us forever causing us to have no consciousness of sin(Heb 10:1-18), frees us to meet life with joyful mastery and freedom as we begin to walk out what we now know we are. Again, not based on our acts, thoughts or obedience, but on Christ’s acts, thoughts and obedience(2 Cor 10:4-5). While the prostitute was washing Jesus’ feet, Jesus told the Pharisee, who gave Him no water, that he did love Him much because he did not believe that he was forgiven much(Luke 7:36-50). Like the Pharisee, we often rely on something of our own doing or work as opposed to God’s Spirit and love transforming us from the inside out, flowing in our hearts. Many are walking around uptight and upset because they feel only past or little sins are already forgiven. They afraid of the freedom that total forgives would bring. Our faith becomes effectual when we realize what we already have been given after accepting Christ(Phil 1:6). Christ even made us sit down with Him to show the exceeding riches of God’s grace and kindness toward us(Eph 2:4-7). We do not labor to be blessed but are empowered to labor because of the blessing. When you sit under grace your want to’s will change. God is interested in inner heart transformation, not just outer behavior modification and it is he who works in you to do good(Phil 2:13). Have we failed to unveil the loveliness of Jesus and the perfection of his work. Self control is not a work but a fruit of knowing and reveling in how much you have been forgiven. In Luke, the man who was forgiven a large debt could not forgive someone who owed him a small debt because he still had the mentality that if had more time he could pay and not of really enjoying that he was so freely forgiven.
Throughout his preaching Jesus showed us the full measure of the law and what it required, full obedience. This causes us to come to an end of ourselves and to depend totally on grace. If you are righteous and good, then there is no need for a savior. Your shortcomings qualify you for the thrown of grace. Right believing brings a right lifestyle. Walking in the Spirit leads to freedom from the flesh(Gal 5:16). How often do we hear don’t walk in the flesh, then you will walk in the Spirit. The 7th chapter of Romans depicts trying to live life in the flesh(5 senses or anything that opposes the spirit). Jesus first gave the prostitute caught in adultery the gift of no condemnation before she could go and sin no more(John 8:10-11). God is more interested in relationship rather than rules. We are all for obedience but the issue is how do you get there from here. There is an obedience of faith(Rom 1:5) not law. Under law, when you obeyed in every detail all blessing came to you(Deut 28:3-4,12). But now these things are ours because to Christ’s obedience for the law is not of faith(Gal 3:12). It wouldn’t take much faith to believe one is righteous because they have no sin. The law was not made for the righteous(believers) but for the ungodly(Gal 3:19-31). Those who still put themselves under(make apart of/believe by) the works of the law are cursed(Gal 3:9-10). Christ became the curse of the law for us. Abraham believed God and was accounted righteous, but those who think they obtain righteous by way of being good or good deeds alone are in lack(Rom 4:2-5). In the Old Testament, Boas has to be of the same people to redeem Ruth-just as Jesus had to become man to redeem us. Realize his unfailing, unchanging goodness and let it draw your attention and fall in love with him. We are free to walk with him, not the burden and slavery of the law, as for freedom Christ has set us free(Gal 5:1). We sin not when we awake to righteousness(1 Cor 15:34), and we are the righteousness of God in Christ. The Bible says that our hearts may be encouraged by attaining the riches from the full assurance of understanding Christ in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge(Col 2:2-3). The Prince of Preachers Charles Spurgeon said that “No doctrine is calculated to preserve man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it a licentious doctrine did not know anything at all about it.”
Radical grace radically transforms lives and is the truth that will set us free(John 8:32). Being under grace does not give people the power to sin, but being under the law does(1 Cor 15:56). That is why sin shall have no dominion over believers because we are not under the law but under grace(Rom 6:14). If you are living in sin then you are not under grace and enjoying its freedom, favor, and victory. Many well meaning critics of grace exalt sin making it equal, or even greater, to the blood of Christ, yet make light of sin as they believe sin can be over come by efforts or deciding to stop. This is destine to fail. It is not that sin means nothing, but the full measure of judgment was poured out on Jesus for us, which increases our love for God. We need to realize and depend on what God has given us. The word salvation is translated as sozo, meaning salvation in all areas and peace that is shalom, meaning complete peace in all areas. His peace, completeness, and soundness is our inheritance. Jesus said to his disciples “My peace I give you” and “let not your hearts be troubled(John 14:27). God will not be angry with us or rebuke us(Isa 54:9). Our view of God should not match that of the terrorist believe that God is judging America(even in the OT Sodom could not be destroyed until Lot left) because our God is not theirs. Christianity is different from all other religions. It is not do and do, but done and done. Many Christians are failing to understand that when Christ stated “it is finished,” it(his work) was. Jesus came to reconcile us to God. Do we think he only did a partial job, or would make it so we would go in and out of right standing because of sin which includes all we do wrong and all that we don’t do as right as we should? Is that really a gift? When you feel like you are far from God you start try to do what the Bible calls dead works to get right with God again, but it is not grace that is elementary, dead works are, and we are to leave them for faith toward God(Heb 6:1). We need to stop living as thought the cross made little to no difference. The law was the enemy’s weapon against us but Christ as nailed it to the cross triumphing over it and thus taking away anyone’s ability to use it against us(Col 2:14-15). He has blotted it out and redeemed us by becoming sin and the curse for us so that we might have the blessings of Abraham and by faith receive the promise of the Spirit(Gal 3:13-14). The promise to Abraham and his descendants that they would be heirs of the world came through the righteousness of faith and not the law(Rom 4:13-14). Teachings that claim blessing only come when we are obedient are not only arrogant but is putting the weapon of the law back into the hands of the enemy and frustrating the grace of God by focusing on their own qualifications. The law is good within its purpose in showing us our need for Christ but has no power toward holiness(Gal 3:22). The inheritance either came by way of the law or by way of the promise(Gal 3:18). When we say I did this or did that, we neglect the fact that He has blessed us(Eph 1:3). Through Jesus God is freed to be the God he really is(Matt 7:7-11).
Believers should be conscious of forgiveness, our righteousness, and enjoying unbroken fellowship with God. The gospel’s power lies in living every moment with the awareness of God’s perfect love that cast out every fear(I John 4:18) and with the confidence that all our sins are completely forgiven, leaving nothing to prove because of insecurity. Our conscious understands good and evil and expects punishment for sin. However, we now live by the Spirit knowledge of Christ not by our fleshly conscious knowledge of good and evil. Jesus took it all and God’s justice will not punish the same sin twice. For in our hearts we know sin brings condemnation/judgment but there is now zero condemnation and we are set free by the Spirit of Christ(Rom 8:1) many translations added later “to those who walk according to…” as if they could believe there is no condemnation period) and our heart cleansed by the blood(Heb 10:22). Condemnation is the deepest root that brings fear and stress in our lives. The Holy Spirit convicts of one sin, not trusting in Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of unbelief and convicts believers of their new righteousness, and thus reminding us that the enemy has been judged(John 16:8-11). Grace is not basic or an add on, it is a constant string in the Christian life. Even when we think we know, there is more that we don’t know. The revelation of grace and the cross can only come by way of Holy Spirit convicting us of this truth, as it is “unnatural”. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which brought consciousness of sin and then self-righteousness(covering with fig leaves), represents a system like all other religious, while the tree of life represents new life and relationship with Christ. If the continual sacrifices of the old convent would have sufficed than there would be no consciousness of sin(Heb 10:1-2). We are freed from the law and have no response to it(Rom 6:11).We now have a new guardian or supervisor in the Spirit of Christ and are sons and heirs of God(Gal 3:23-25, 4:1-7). When we are struggling with something what we usually hear is more law, “thou shall not”, “thou shall not” but that only makes one more sin conscious and never deals with his/her feeling of “I can’t help it.” When we are conscious of the continuous flowing grace and forgiveness of God we grow in love and are empowered to live a life that honors Him. The Bible says we are cleansed because of Christ’s blood and God’s mercy not by what we do or don’t do.
The tabernacle had a mercy seat where scarifies took place. This covered the contents of the tabernacle, which is where the law was, the 2 tablets of stone. Now, Christ is our sacrifice. We should not lift the mercy seat that the blood of Christ has covered and try to look once again at the law. The word ark in this case actually translates to a coffin, a coffin for the law. This is not being anti-law but pro-Christ. The good has been replaced by something much better. Who would continue to pay attention to a shadow after turning the corner and seeing the very one who cast it? Although it is important and beneficial to gather together, some Christians are afraid to use the phone on Sunday because of an Old Testament perspective, but it is Christ who is our Sabbath. Just as Sampson accomplished even more for his people in his death than in his life when he pushed over the two stone pillars, our Lord has set more free in His death by pushing over two stone tables. God doesn’t examine us but our sin offering-Jesus. Because we walk in the light we are cleansed(in Greek as a present/continuous action) by the blood of Jesus, nothing else(1 John 1:7). Most make this verse to say only when we walk according to the light are we cleansed. We walk in the light of Jesus, which we have been translated into, having been qualified by God to share in the inheritance of the saints(Col 1:12-14). Stop thinking you need to give something up before you can have a relationship with God. Learn of Jesus and let him do the cleaning. You have to sit well in the revelation of knowing Christ before you can walk well. To say this encourages sin, with all do respect, is scripturally inconsistent and theologically incoherent. If someone says “yah for grace I can go out and sin” than this person, whom I have yet to see, clearly does not know/love God or desire to honor him and certainly doesn’t know themselves. They haven’t been properly introduce to Jesus and have a lack of understanding(deficiency of knowledge) regarding grace. You can have knowledge of good and evil and be far from God. One is dependent on self efforts and knowledge regarding good and evil, or be dependant on the tree of life and God’s life giving spirit and grace in Jesus. It is very easy to go back to legalistic behavior, but we must lean not on our own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge Him an He shall direct your path(Prov 3:5-6)
Our belief is beyond abstract awareness but one base on love, acceptance, and relationship. To equate anyone who has truly encountered and is under grace as “now being able to do anything we want” is not in line with reality and experience. Many only obtain victory over addictions after really understanding grace. We sing songs about “I need to get holiness” or David crying out to God “renew me, do not leave me” but we seldom hear David’s prophecy speaking of those after the cross that blessed are those who God will not impute their sin(Rom 4:5-8). We can now boldly approach the throne of grace to find mercy in time of need(Eph 3:12). Just as Jesus became sin despite his deeds, which were perfect, so did we be become righteous apart from our performance. The law is about looking at yourself while the new covenant of grace is all about seeing Jesus. Many times Christian’s can’t seem to take their eyes off themselves. Our culture tells us its all about being rewarded for behavior, but we can never seek our righteousness(Rom 10:3-4), we must seek and believe that Jesus became sin and made us his righteousness(2 Cor 5:21). We need to realize we have these things and just receive them and start walking it out. This mixture of grace with the law is not helping even though it sounds noble and righteous. In reality it is self righteous. You have to truly humble yourself to say it is all the Lord and not me. This is why some have called Christianity the easiest and hardest of beliefs. Paul called the Galatians who wanted to return to regulations and the law foolish(Gal 3:1-8), and saw the situation at Corinth(the church was committing all kinds of sin) as a knowledge problem. He asked them “do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ not to these harlots, that Holy Spirit is in you and you have been bought by a price(the blood of Christ).(1 Cor 6:15-20).
Knowing of God causes us to desire to glorify him. Four times Paul dealt with this question of should we now sin so grace may abound, which is interesting because now our churches are so sin focused this question never even comes up. Paul responded to this free pass to sin by saying “how can this be, we are dead to sin and alive to Christ?” If we read scripture carefully, this(accusations/persecution) was Paul’s thorn in the flesh; that others would gossip and attack him and his preaching. People will persecute you for preaching grace. Often they feel upset that they have put so much effort in achieving a sense of self righteousness, yet see others receiving victory and blessing by grace and not works. After the prodigal son returned and was embraced by his father his brother was offended, yet the father told him that he had been to busy trying to earn the things he to could have freely received(Luke 15:18-32). Now the book of James speaks of faith with works is dead, but it is speaking of what will be the natural fruit of salvation and of being justified before man. Likewise the books of Timothy and Titus speak of living holy before men as they will take any opportunities to discredit you and the faith, especially those hold positions(called the Pastoral Letters-but for us all) as we often see today. We are holy because we are sanctified in Christ, called, separated by Him not actions themselves. Note that we are told to stand in grace(2 Tim 2:1) and that it is grace that will teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live righteous and godly lives(Titus 2:11-12). A focus on fruit will not bring fruit, it comes from the root. We know that an abundance of grace is the only thing that conquerors sin and the work of God is to believe in the One who is sent(John 6:28-29). If the blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament were good for one year then how are we saying that the blood oftfffg Jesus isn’t eternal?(Heb 9:12-17) The gospel is translated as nearly too good to be true news but many are not preaching good news. We just have to make certain it is the right gospel-reveals God’s righteous not ours, from grace to grace and faith to faith, not grace or faith to works(Rom 1:16-17). We are not trying to get the forgiveness of sin, we have it(Col 1:14). It came at a great cost, the blood of Jesus. Some preach “ok you are forgiven by grace but you have to careful from now on.” I don’t believe someone who encounters God’s perfect love and forgiveness will desire a life of sin but will instead experience dominion and victory. How can we not win in life with this gospel God has given us? It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance(Rom 2:4). The Bible says we cannot sin because God wants us to know that sin cannot affect our spirit once we are truly in Him(1 John 3:5-6). Let us not allow our hearts to be hardened(Heb 3: 13-14), for how shall we escape if we refuse or neglect this precious promise of rest(Heb 4:11) and only gift of salvation(Heb 2:3). Paul called his apprentice to diligently discern the Word(2 Tim 2:15).
Grace teaches us to exult/value/be preoccupied with Christ and our rightness through his blood alone. Religion teaches us to be preoccupied with ourselves, which will always lead to depression/oppression. We are his righteousness so that we may boast in him(1 Cor 1:30-31). How many preachers are telling people they need more righteousness? Tradition teaches us that it is humble to lament over our sins and to make certain you bow and confess all failures. Does this not insult the spirit of grace(Heb 10:29) and what was done at the cross asserting that the payment was not enough? Paul had the prefect opportunity to tell to the Corinthians that they better confess their sin, but instead he asked them how is it you do you know the Lord and the spirit that is in you(I Cor 6:14). One is either a free son of God’s unmerited promise or a slave of human effort(Gal 4:23-31). These verses combat that belief that grace needs help from the law in to help raise the believer in the Christian life. Many believers today still make there mother the law instead of grace. After Jesus rose from the dead, he walk with two men on the road to Emmaus(Luke 24:25). He did not want show them himself until he showed them himself in the scriptures. We too have the greater relation of faith, believing what the word says about him rather than just seeing him with our senses. This also tells us the purpose of looking at scripture; not to magnify do’s or don’ts, but to see Jesus in both the Old and New Testament. A prefect picture of grace was from the time between the Israelites leaving Egypt and receiving the law. Every time they complained it was met with God’s mercy/grace/provision as they were under the Abrahamic covenant of grace. This changed when they stated all that God has commanded we are able to do(Ex 19:8). This was an arrogant statement of self reliance asking God to deal with them based on their obedience rather than God’s goodness, which began the Sinaic covenant based on law. It was not the act of sin itself, but it was when the commandment came. Believers feel guilty for leaving the law but believers are divorced from the law so we can bear fruit to God(Rom 7:3-11). People are still making the same statement as the Israelites and fighting for what was made obsolete(Heb 8:13). Under law one bad thing makes us guilty, under grace by doing one good thing(believing on Jesus) we are justified in all(Gal 2:16). God provides grace to us to believe and rewards us for using that grace.
We are to seek God’s kingdom and his rightness, not ours and all things are added to us(Mat 6:33). Good things happen to those who know God love them. Be like to disciple John who called himself the disciple that Jesus loved(John 19:26). People seem to be afraid that truth will do what it is design to do, and rather than set people free from uncertainly, guilt, and fear, they believe it will cause people to live any way they want, which is really showing that they never opened themselves to Jesus in the first place. But by faith we are prepositioned in Christ and that is how God has decided to see us. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith(Heb 12:2). For too long we have put our faith and trust in our faith, which can become a barrier to the promise. Rather have faith and trust in Jesus and believe that it is his blood and grace alone(not plus anything else) that saves, delivers, heals, blesses. The more we see and hear of Jesus(Bible) and God’s love and grace the more faith effortlessly springs forth from inside. The women who touched Jesus was not conscious of whether she deserved a miracle or even on her own faith, but she was conscious of Jesus and his grace. She saw his grace and he saw her faith. As you come under grace, faith is not a struggle; you will walk in unconscious faith. Faith is just bringing out what is already there, and what is already true of you. He has qualified us for all blessings purchased through the blood of his son(took all our bad and gave all his good). This is what Martin Luther called the Devine exchange. He who gave his son, will freely give us all things(Rom 8:29-39). It is not some day by day estimation, formula, or reciting. After not reading the Bible we shouldn’t be feeling condemned but we should rather be feeling hungry. It is grace that produces true maturity and sonship(Gal 4:1-7). The Christian life is knowing Jesus more and more. You increase in grace, favor, and peace by an increase in revelation knowledge of Christ(2 Peter 1:1-11).
The gospel of Jesus is one of assurance, peace, confidence, and security, not one of fear and insecurity. When we fix our eyes on that which does not fluxgate, God’s love for us, rather than on our inconsistent love for God, it will result in a stable life(I John 4:17-19). Let me assure you that no true believer can commit what has been called the unpardonable sin(continually reject Jesus). When Jesus spoke of those who had no forgiveness he was speaking to the Pharisees who rejected Jesus as having an unclean spirit(Mark 3:28-30). God’s grace is greater than sin. When you accept Jesus as savior and Lord God is now judging you based on the one(Jesus) who is sitting at his right hand interceding for us, deflecting condemnation(Rom 8:33-34). The corresponding Bible verses(Heb 8:12, Rom 8:1) translate that God will by no means remember our sins and that there shall by no means be any condemnation for the believer. Many times we fail to realize what the context of scripture. Most are so eager to impose their own religious tradition and gravitate toward some kind of legalistic, human or sin based act rather then what to topic, occasion or person is being addressed. Romans 6:14-18 is pertaining to what doctrine you are attentive to being under(original Greek meaning-obey is used), either Adam’s sin to death or under Jesus’ righteousness to life. Paul was addressing if we should sin because we are under grace and responded by conveying that this was not scripturally possible(did not make sense) as we are no longer obedient to or under such a doctrine but have step into a brand new spiritual perspective in Christ. Sin is used as a noun 47 times in Romans(once as a verb). We always think of sin as action rather than a construct that was introduced by the first Adam and the source of all the things that came from it. In the same way we tend to see salvation as a one time action rather than all the things that come from or are included in it. All other religions have no answer for sin.
The one thing that no other belief system can combat, argue, or claim is grace. The law is the strength of sin but grace is the weakness of sin, which can bring it down in our lives. Many people are pushing all kinds of ways to reign in life, but we do so through an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness(Rom 5:17). Sometimes we major in the minor(place the cart before the horse). Certainly we are not against worship, obedience, fasting, ect, but they are a response to an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness and their purpose is to get our focus on Christ not the world. Our responsibility is a response. Hebrews 12:28 says that because are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we can serve God acceptably and reverently. Most churches say grace is good, just not an abundance of grace, but when you receive an abundance of grace you will have to work hard at not reigning in your life. A pastor stated to another that he knows these things are true but he could not tell this to his congregation fearing what they would do. He has more faith in man’s flesh than God’s Spirit. Furthermore, it is in that very place or area where we fall short where we need to receive this grace. Religion says that we can expect good things in other areas but not in that area, which is why many of us are not receiving. Now, obviously when we continuously commit some specific act we know is wrong, our own conscious can dull us and make it harder for us to believe these things because it feels condemned. But look at the words the Bible uses-where sin increased(can be counted) grace super abounds(cannot be counted). We receive that grace so that we can be lifted out of that sin. God is able to make all grace abound to us, having all sufficiency in everything and abundance for every good deed(2 Cor 9:8). A scholar in Britton, Martin Lloyd Jones said that if not one person ever accuses you or misunderstands you in this area than you are probably not really preaching grace. Faith is simply coming to Jesus, but is also has a lot to do with how you see him as well. Now all believers have faith or else we could never have been saved, but Jesus said if you do not doubt in your heart, you can move mountains(Mark 11:22-23). The Greek word translated doubt is the same one used for the word condemn elsewhere. God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save it through Him(John 3:16-18). Not condemning yourself is how you believe and receive what you say and pray. The same faith that caused our salvation is the same faith that we do all things. This faith is from and of God, not of ourselves. It is God who prepared the good works beforehand for us to walk in(Eph 2:8-10) and equipped us with everything good for the doing of his will(Heb 13:20-21). Did you not use a supernatural God faith when you got saved(1 Cor 2:14)? Faith for all things is a faith from God and not us trying to muster it. Faith, or grace for that matter, is not elementary, it is steady and constant. As you receive him so walk in him(Col 2:6, Gal 3:2-5). From this conversion point on we have the exact same Spirit of God and Jesus Christ(Rom 8:11). The rest of the Christian life is drawing on this, renewing our minds(increase in knowledge of Christ), and seeing the manifestation. Just as Jesus is so are we on this earth(I John 4:17). Our spirit is sealed by the Holy Spirit(Eph 1:13) and we are continuously being cleansed of all sin. Either Jesus took care of all sin once and for all and gave us eternal redemption or he didn’t(Heb 10:10). We must realize we are under a water fall of grace. The gospel enables us to receive all other things like healing as well. If the greatest miracle of salvation comes by grace through faith so to do all others(Gal 3:5-6). In the Bible people who heard the gospel, were convinced of his love and provision and were healed. If you don’t realize that Jesus took your curse, you will curse yourself somehow, typically because of condemnation, self introspection, and guilt people become sick, depressed, and live under the circumstance rather than reigning in life though an abundance of unmerited favor and the gift of rightness. In the new covenant the only way to be curse is to believe or come under a different gospel/doctrine. You don’t have to be fearful of generational curses for in Christ you are a new creation all has become new(II Cor 5:17-18). You have not received a spirit slavery to fear again but one of adoption(Rom 8:13-18).
When Jesus died on the cross the veil over our eyes was consumed and we can take part in the Lord’s Spirit, being transformed by beholding God’s glory(2 Cor 3:14-18). God forgave us because of his riches of his grace(Eph 1:7). Let us not insert anything else, any other reason or stipulation because of religious presupposed assumptions. Many will say this is true only when we get any new sin back under the blood using I John 1:9, yet the opening of I John would suggest it is speaking to the Gnostics and what they as unbelievers would have to do to receive salvation. Does it not cheapen the grace of God and work of Christ to say that are forgiveness is dependent upon our own confession rather that for his name sake and because Christ is our active and current advocate(I John 2:1-2)? We must read the Bible in its context, who it is speaking to, believers or nonbelievers, before the cross or after. Paul did not covey confessing as vital to forgiveness but said we are because we have Christ. If we are required to confess all sin we would have to do so all the time, for whatsoever is not of faith in sin(Romans 14:23). Frantic confessing only makes us more sin conscious. We confess our sins not to beg for forgiveness, but because we have relationship with God and can go to him openly and feely in time of need and with our failures. Repentance is changing our minds seeing Christ as the only atonement for our sins, not a ritual. We can confess words without realizing where we went wrong-trusting our own efforts, not attentively holding, esteeming, enjoying who God is and all he has done for us. Just as salvation is not dependant on what we do but what Jesus did, so to is forgiveness. Paul constantly reminded believers(even those rebelling in Corinth) of who and who’s they were(1 Cor 6:19). Let us not insult to super sufficient payment Christ has made and embrace like never before relationship with God which is the key to possessing victory. Proclaim and confess who Christ is and what he has done for you(Rom 10:8-10). This grace was not cheap. These blessing and benefits of Christ are so priceless that they can only be given.
Grace is about what Jesus did for us and the corresponding heart relationship, not law’s, do’s or don’ts. Grace is not only forgiveness, but is empowerment to follow God joyfully and with purpose, disesteeming the earthly things. We must learn to operate in the mind of our Spirit, not our five senses(Rom 8:1-11). What has occurred in our Spirits is drawn upon to go into our outer parts(soul and body). This is received from walking in, cooperating with, and cultivating the knowledge of what we already have through Christ(faith in the provided grace). The old nature is not suppressed but is overtaken by our relationship with Christ. We have as much of God as we can believe for, or are willing to spend time on. We must guard to not become sin or performance focused but rather on the unfathomable mercy, grace, merit, person, and work of Christ. The word is a seed and it may take time to see a difference but roots are growing. We can be no longer slaves to sin(the noun-who we were by Adam, not just or only the verb) but slaves to Christ and righteousness. We need only realize God’s great love for us and that the grace (unmerited favor) of God super abounds in that very area of concern or need in our lives. He looks for the minuses to add his plus. Trying to establish control of life by our own merits or willpower is not the gospel. The law (Old Testament) was man centered but grace (New Testament) is Christ centered. Often fear and the need for control start with shame not realizing who we are and what w have in Christ. Praise God that He said He would by no means ever remember our sins anymore and there shall be no condemnation for the believer. When the prostitute was washing Jesus’ feet, Jesus told the Pharisee, who gave Him no water, that he did love Him much because he did not believe that he was forgiven much. Christ was one sacrifice for sin forever. Like the Pharisee, we often rely or focus on our own doing or “goodness” as opposed to magnifying faith in God’s grace and favor through the power of his Spirit that works in us and the knowledge of Christ’s person, work, and provision. An abundance of grace and peace to you and yours.
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