Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grace and the Rules that Conquer all


They both have 5 letters.  They both contain the letters R and E.  You cannot get “rules” from “grace” and conversely, you cannot get “grace” from “rules”.

Yet, these two work TOGETHER, not against each other, to provide a stable, balanced walk for a believer of Jesus Christ.

We are SAVED by Grace, but the Bible says to be led by the Spirit, to walk by FAITH and not by sight.  There has been a lot of talk over the years about “grace” versus “law” and even more talk and books written about grace setting us "free" from a great many things, like our own consciousness of sin in some cases.

Let’s be clear about something.  GRACE, Gods wondrous favor is a gift we are given.  However, we are set FREE by Jesus. “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed” John 8:36 and the Son sets us free through TRUTH John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Grace is not a New Testament action, discovery or circumstance that came about with the death and resurrection of our Lord.
GRACE existed and was in operation in the Old Testament:

Genesis 6:8
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Exodus 34:9
Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
Ezra 9:8
And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.

Make no mistake about it, as Paul so aptly pointed out in Romans, GRACE is not an excuse for sin, but a reason to walk in humble obedience!

Romans 6:1-2  What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the SPIRIT.

The grace of God, like the LOVE of God and the mercy of God is extended to us by the Lord according to His will.  It is not an “entity” that stands on its own, nor can it support any of us on its own!

We must guard against falling into the trap of taking what God so freely gives and by the sinful flesh allowing it to be twisted into something it was never meant to be. It is NOT a “right” or a “privilege” of being born again!

The walk of a believing follower of Jesus is a walk of balance.  Though it is true that we are no longer under the law, we are do have structure.  We have the commands of the Lord Jesus which we hopefully will freely choose to obey, to LOVE one another!  God gives us the tools to succeed –
  • the measure of FAITH
  • His GRACE
  • His LOVE
  • The POWER of His Holy Spirit
All these together comprise the balanced, faithful, grace filled life of those SAVED and SANCTIFIED by Christ Jesus the Lord.   We cannot take one tool from the belt of this balanced life of a believer and build an entire religion around it. 

Think about it, meditate on this truth!  You are indeed saved by grace and not of works, it is the GIFT of God!  

Thankfully it is not the only gift our gracious Lord has given.  It is not even the most important gift He has given.  

All Gods gifts are great and powerful and all work together in the life of His obedient child.  He provides a full array of all we need to walk successfully before Him through Christ Jesus our Lord, where our strength resides, and without Whom, we can do NOTHING!

Now may the GRACE of God keep you according to His will, and may the mercy of God deliver you from all temptations, that you may walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called!  (Ephesians 4) 

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