|Thursday, July 5, 2018|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
t is with great joy and delight that I welcome you to the month of July, our month of walking in grace! Anytime the word grace is mentioned it elicits some joy deep in my heart. It soothes my heart, my soul is thrilled, it is like me wearing an expensive garment that someone has just given to me! I believe that is why one of the most popular songs in Christendom is "Amazing grace" by John Newton. It is indeed "a sweet sound that saves a wretch like me, I guess like you". " For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" Titus 2:11. Jesus the progenitor of grace gives us reason for procuring grace for us, it is to bring salvation to humanity. The issue today is are you walking in that grace? Or are you walking in something less than grace? This month God is leading us to walk in his grace in the liberty that God gives to us. Unfortunately we have turned grace to gracelessness and revel in meddlesomeness. "And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14. My prayer is that you will understand grace afresh , but more importantly walk in grace and enrich yourself with the blessing and benefits of grace.
What is Grace? Grace is a well used but not a well-known or understood word. Grace is divine help and strength that we receive through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through grace, we are saved from sin and death. The word "grace" in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God's activity toward man or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man. Yes, Grace is God in his majesty, finding a new path for humanity their depraved nature to ensure we reign on earth and in heaven Rom 5:17. Grace is grounded in a person not in a performance. Jesus Christ is grace personified. A picture of grace is revealed in the life of Paul. Paul deserved the severest judgement for what he had done! He had persecuted the church. Instead Paul was allowed to live and became a spokesman and leader in the church "by the grace of God." God exhibited His Grace! I guess you are not thinking it is only Paul, but you! Yes you. You will not be reading this article as a Christian if not for the grace that wiped away your ugly, sinful, terrible past.
What is the purpose of Grace? Many of us know what grace is but what we don't know is the purpose of grace. When the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable. Maybe that is why grace is being abused in our time. So, why Grace? The purpose of grace is simple, to save us from sins in the simplest way as the law route was complex, unproductive and ineffective. Why save us from sin, because sins separated us from God. Why must we be connected to God? Because God is our Maker, we cannot live without him in this world or thereafter. The hidden most important purpose of grace is to secure a future for us after this world! You heard me! Grace is not much of this world, grace is more about life after death. Hear what Paul says: But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Cor 15:13:17-19. The purpose of grace is to prepare us for eternity! That is why you are not born into any religion. That you are born into a Christian home does not make you a Christian. Born into Hindu home does not make you Hindu. Just as plain as if you are born by a Lawyer parent does not make you a lawyer. That is why you are a free agent, free to make choices. I don't want to go to complex issues of doctrine of election. The coming to this world of Jesus and his death on the cross is the instrumentality of grace to save from sin. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. That is the simplest way humanity can make heaven, that is why law and commandments route cannot help because it is about dos and don'ts, but grace is about acceptance of Christ who came from heaven to take you to heaven!. (John 6:38< Lk 19:10, Jn 14:6)The purpose of grace is to give you a highway to heaven, if you make the mistake of ignoring grace, it will be at your peril. That is why John 3:16 says whoever rejects him will perish and Mk 16:25 says such people are damned!
What is walking in his grace? Christianity doesn't revolve around certain religious practices, but to the contrary, focuses on a personal relationship to Christ. The essence of grace is that Christ has given His life for us so that He could give His life to us, then live His life through us. Jesus didn't come bearing a list of rules for you, but a life of rest! To walk in grace means that we simply appropriate by faith that in Him we lack nothing. Do you need peace? Acknowledge that He is your peace. Do you feel powerless? Christ is your power. "In Jesus Christ dwells the fullness of God and you are complete in Him!" (Colossians 2:9-10) Walking in grace simply means that we trust Christ to be who He is in us and through us. Empty religion makes it hard, but Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" Our culture builds worth on talent, education, achievement and wealth. We teach people to look deep inside and find something of value and then they can be accepted. We operate on rules, conditional love, beauty, performance, material possessions and we place these things as worthwhile. Walking in grace is not to walk in your human capacity and strength but in what God has accomplished for you on the cross and appropriating that by faith. God's value of us is on the basis of Grace, not any of these other conditions.
Facts about grace.
According to Dake's Annotated Reference bible there are 30 things grace can do and 30 Things Grace cannot do. These I classified as 30 ways you can walk in grace and 30 ways you cannot walk in grace.
30 Things Grace Can Do.
Save the world.(Gen6:8; Eph 2:8-9) ,2.Give one all good things (Ps 84.11), 3. Bring men to repentance (Zech 12:10), 4. Impart great blessing (Acts 4:33). 5. Bring salvation (Titus 2:11-12;Eph 2), 6.Impart faith (Acts 18:27). 7. Justify (Rom 3:24-5;Tit3:7). 8. Overcome sin (Rom 5:20). 9. Reign in life if permitted ( Rom 5:21). 10. Make one God's elect (Rom 11:5 -6). 11. Give boldness (Rom 15:15). 12. Make partaker of Christ (1 Cor 10:6). 13. Give power (1 Cor 15:10). 14. Inspire liberality (2 Cor 8:1-2),6-9; 9:8). 15. Give endurance (2 Cor 12:9). 16. Call men to the ministry (Gal.1:15). 17. Impart riches (Eph 2:7). 18. Inspire singing (Col 3:16). 19. Give seasoning to speech (Col 4:6). 20. Give strength (2 Tim 2:1). 21. Teach (Tit 2:11-12). 22. Give aid in suffering (Heb 2:9). 23. Help in time of need (Heb 4:16). 24. Give stability (Heb 2:9). 25. Give life (1 Pet 3:7). 26. Help render true services (Heb 12:28). 27. Become abundant. ((1 Tim 1:14). 28. Bring hope (2 Th 2:16). 29. Give ability to preach (Eph 3:8). 30. Change lives (1 Cor15:10)Examples of those who found grace but did not walk in grace in the latter part of their lives.
Noah, Gen 6.8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Grace chose him to preserve the entire human race. But in his later years he planted a vineyard and became drunk and started cursing his son in the process. Gen 10.
Samson was a peculiar child by way of angelic and heavenly choice to lead and judge Israel. Grace chose him but his amorous lifestyle derailed him out of grace and he died a shameful and premature death.
Solomon was a product of grace, an unmerited favour chose him over his siblings despite the adultery and concubinage that brought her mum Bathsheba to the palace and made him to become a king. But he displeased God by marrying 700 wives and 300 concubines, but more importantly, he allowed the women to turn his heart away from God.
Demas, found grace as one of the early disciples in the category of Luke and John Mark who wrote the synoptic gospels but he jettisoned and abandoned grace and followed the ways of the world. This is Paul's report about him: Demas found grace and abused grace. For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;2 Tim 4:10. Demas is a classical case of the argument that once saved is not necessarily saved forever. Grace does not teach once you are born again you cannot backslide.
Examples of those who found grace and remained in Grace.
1. Abraham was an idol worshipper like his parents, but grace chose him to be the father of faith, a progenitor and prototype of the Christian faith family.
Daniel - many Israelites went to exile in Babaylon, but grace chose Daniel to be exceptional.
Paul had this testimony about how grace chose him. "This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst." 1 Tim 1:15.
Peter - In Lk 5, there were at least two ships, Jesus chose that of Peter, and from there, grace chose Peter and he became one of the disciples. At a point he even denied Jesus, but grace through the instrumentality of genuine repentance he made, got him restoration! Story had it that he died as a martyr in Rome with Peter crucified with his head downwards.
How to walk in Grace. To walk in grace is to live like Christ through faith. To have the consciousness that you are crucified with Christ. It is not about legality but living right, holily and in honestly and integrity. To walk in grace means to trust in God. Trust Him with where He is taking you. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart… and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6. To walk in grace is to understand the personality of Christ and be guided in every decision by biblical principles like Enoch walked with God.
The mistake those who are taking grace to ridiculous extreme are making is the lack of understanding that grace is not liberty to do what you like, how you like it and when you like but to do as you ought to do always in all circumstances by the enablement of Holy Spirit. Grace is not liberty to sin but opportunity to serve God that saved the wretched you and I.
Walking in grace does not give you liberty to sin but power to overcome sin. Walking in grace does not give you liberty not to pray or worship or give your substance and talent to God. Walking in grace actually empowers you to do so. Grace does not empower you to walk in unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger towards your neighbour or relations including church members.
Grace makes you to become a pastor, walking in grace does not empower you to embezzle Church fund or sleep with parishioners. Grace makes you a President or Prime minister, legislator, governor, senator, member of house of assembly, of a nation but walking in grace does not permit you to loot the nation dry. Grace makes you brilliant and gives you opportunity to become a professor but walking in grace does not give you licence to seek for sex from students before you can give them what they deserve. Grace puts you in a position to award contracts but walking in grace does not permit you to inflate the price of the contract unjustly and many of the times award the contract to yourself through your fronts. Walking in grace is about obeying the dictates of the Holy Spirit and not the flesh. Using the opportunity grace has given you to benefit your generation.
Conclusion. For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:11-14