Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Divine grace’


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels – for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor – that he by the grace of God should taste death for everyone. – Hebrews 2:9

– But by the grace of God, I am what I am. – 1 Corinthians 15:10

Grace is unmerited favor.  It is giving a person something they don’t deserve.  It can’t be earned by being good – or by doing good works (Ephesians 2:9).  It’s simply given.  A worldly example would be the government giving a grace period to file taxes without paying late penalties for monies owed – although an established deadline had already passed.

We can love grace when it’s extended to us – but perhaps grumble when someone we don’t think really deserves any merit; receives grace.  Regardless, grace is not usually looked at as something being really bad – such as someone being sentenced to die. How could that be grace?  How could that be giving a person something they didn’t deserve?

But, God gave us all unmerited favor – by giving Jesus something undeserved; death.  Our Father’s grace led Christ to the Cross to take our place.  Some aptly call this a substitute death.  A man who did no sin (1 Peter 1:19) – with no guile found in his mouth, was led as a perfect lamb without blemish (1 Peter 2:22) to lay down his life for us (John 10:15).

By the grace of God we will be saved through faith; and not of ourselves.  This is only if we remain steadfast in our faith until the very end (Ephesians 2:8, Hebrews 3:14, 1 Peter 1:9).  For His grace will not be brought to us until He sends Jesus back with salvation – when the devil is cast down (1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).

Until that great day, we all wake up each morning because of God’s abundant mercies – which He delights in (Lamentations 3:22-23, Micah 7:18). Mercy is unmerited favor, too – but on the opposite end of the spectrum from grace.  It keeps us from something we do deserve for the wages of our sinful nature from birth (Ezra 9:13, Romans 6:23).

By the grace of God doesn’t mean we can buy His gift of the Holy Ghost with money – it’s unmerited (Acts 8:20).  We’re given it when God knows we feel guilty enough about our sins to repent unto salvation – not just because we’re afraid of going to hell.  Otherwise, we will only be sorry about our sin for a season (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).

The ultimate price has already been paid for us – the ultimate sacrifice was already made at Calvary (1 Corinthians 6:20, Ephesians 5:2).  By the grace of God, Jesus tasted death for everyone (lead verse). Delivering us from our fear of death, which we are subject to the bondage of all our lives (Hebrews 2:15).

This is why Christ is the answer.  Not to get worldly things; but in response to the question of how do we get out of this world when we die?  How do we escape the great sentence of death in us from birth, because of the sin which Scripture has concluded we’re all under (2 Corinthians 1:9, Galatians 3:22)?

There is only one way to eternal life and immortality brought to light through the gospel – through God’s Son (John 14:6, 2 Timothy 1:10).  Our corruption must put on incorruption.  Our mortality must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).  Doing these things can only be done through the Cross and Christ – and by the grace of God.

Read Full Post »


(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass; seeing God has punished us less than we deserve – and has given us such great deliverance as this. – Ezra 9:13

– “Does he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded?  I think not.  So likewise you, when you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say ‘We are unprofitable servants – we have done that which is our duty to do’.” – Luke 17:9-10

The word “deserve” is  found just twice in the KJV; once above in Ezra – and once in Job 11:6, where we find God exacts less of us than our iniquities deserve. Neither verse has anything to do with anyone getting good things from God.  Instead, they involve Him withholding forms of discipline or correction we do deserve; and should receive for sinning – even as believers (1 John 1:8-10).

However, if God did punish us each time we transgressed against Him – imagine how painful our lives could really be.  If our every act of disobedience received a just recompense of reward, we might not love Him as much as we may proclaim.  Who among us would be able to stand before Him until salvation – if He caused grief every time we sin (Ezra 9:15, Hebrews 2:2-3)?

Doing something worthy of reward or punishment – or showing such qualities – is said to be deserving. We may deserve a raise in our careers for the work we do – or we might receive a sentence to die if we ever intentionally killed someone.  It would be deserved based on the evidence.  Regardless, we can spend our lives deciding what we deserve and don’t (usually good, not bad) – while someone else decides otherwise; including God.

Receiving worldly things in our favor can be called merit.  We labored hard and did good deeds – and we deserved them, right?  However, if we receive bothersome or burdensome trials we think are undeserved, we can call them mistakes.  But – God would never cause such troubles to us as His chosen, would He (Jeremiah 2:35, Jeremiah 5:12, Jeremiah 8:6, Colossians 3:5-6)?

Well, God does not operate on a worldly merit and mistake system – but on His Word’s basis of grace and mercy.  These are two forms of unmerited and undeserved favor with opposite meanings.  God’s grace kept Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah‘s total destruction – so His mercy would be magnified in saving Lot’s life … yet Lot hadn’t done a thing to merit either (Genesis 19:19,24).

Grace is free and unmerited favor.  It’s unearned – and gives us something we do not deserve.  It’s how God will save us – but His grace won’t be brought to us until Christ returns (Ephesians 2:8, 1 Peter 1:13). Until then, we get up every day because of God’s long-suffering towards us (2 Peter 3:9).  It’s because of His abundant mercies we are not fully consumed each morning (Lamentations 3:22, 1 Peter 1:3).

Mercy is also free and unmerited favor – but it keeps us from something we do deserve, such as sin’s wages (Romans 6:23).  However, our modern world of merchandise may have many thinking otherwise.   If we keep buying products, flying in planes, or even just try something out – we deserve to get back something extra often touted as free – but which usually comes with a prior price tag.

This type of “rewards for everything” culture seems to exist almost everywhere today in modern society. It was fueled largely at first by the advertising world. It started by telling people – and selling them on the point they deserved something back by spending dollars.  Purchases would earn reward points to redeem later – or what was the point of buying anything?

Christians are not immune from this message of deserving for doing almost anything.  If we invest/spend time, money, or love in the world – a mindset can be that someone should give us back what’s been earned according to prior expectations. Unskilled and unlearned Christians in the Word are susceptible to this.  They can unconditionally equate belief to deserved blessings – often to destruction (Hebrews 5:13-14, 2 Peter 3:16).

Even the learned don’t always learn.  In Micah’s days, priests judged for reward, taught for hire, and prophesied for money (Micah 3:11).  People who professed to love Him with their lips (Psalm 78:36, Matthew 15:8, Titus 1:16) – but only followed Him in their hearts for a love of personal presents.  It was seen as vain to keep His ordinances otherwise (Isaiah 1:23, Malachi 3:14).

God sees it all – nothing is ever new to Him (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Others in Old Testament times saw no profit to themselves by serving Him, praying, even being cleansed from sin (Job 21;15, Job 34:9, Job 35:3).  God also knows those of us today who are faking our faith.  Pretending to love – not fervently and unfeigned – but to receive some sort of benefit from above (1 Peter 1:22).

Our Father warns us several times in the New Testament there will be people today – and in the days to come – just like this.  With covetousness and feigned words, some will make merchandise of us (2 Peter 2:3-4).  Whole houses will be subverted for filthy lucre (Titus 1:10-16).  By those with a ready mind for money (1 Peter 5:2) – charging for God’s free message (2 Corinthians 11:9).

If we file into such churches and buy into their misguided messages, and allow ourselves to be deceived by the vain words of any man or woman; no matter how great and wise a Christian they may seem (Job 32:9) – to their worldly profit, we are lightly esteeming our Savior (Deuteronomy 32:15). We are being very disobedient children (Ephesians 5:6).  Both Jesus and God do not deserve this kind of treatment.

In the most selfless display of love ever, God decided His only Son deserved to die for our sins – a worthy lamb without spot or blemish (John 3:16, 1 Peter 1:19).  Jesus – the one without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), the one with no guile ever found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22), the one who did not deserve to die for anything he ever did – did.  So by God’s grace, Christ would taste death for all (Hebrews 2:9).

Believers or unbelievers, God does not “owe” anyone anything, at anytime – ever.  The Lord has already given us everything He could ever give.  As Christians, we can’t go around counting up all our righteousness acts and wonderful works, then redeem them for worldly blessings from above. We’ve overcome the world – having been redeemed from the grave by God through His Son’s redemptive blood (1 Peter 1:9, 1 John 5:4).

Therefore, any work we do for God is always as unprofitable servants (second lead verse).  Any type of deserving attitude simply reverses servitude and merit back on ourselves.  Christ died in vain if that is ever our mindset.  It’s our duty to do all He commands – especially repentance unto salvation (Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 7:10).  Remission of sins is not a recommendation.

A debt is something owed – such as money, goods, or services.  It is an obligation to repay or render the same in return.  Our Father is never in debt to us. We owe Him everything – including giving our lives if need be (John 15:13) – for what He did for us at Calvary.  This is not reckoned of grace – but out of our debt to Him (Romans 4:4).  We have already received God’s very best.  Our Father deserves our very best to serve Him in return – always.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: