Sunday 19 Nov 2017
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John 6:48

I am the bread of life.

 

Saved by what manner of Grace

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For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift from God not by works- Ephesians 2:8.

The role that grace plays in our salvation as citizens of the kingdom can never be downplayed and the role it continues to play demands closer scrutiny in order to avoid the pitfalls often associated with those who it appears do not really understand the position of grace in their day to day life in the kingdom. The message is clear that we are all saved by grace, by this I mean the rich, abundant, powerful, merciful overflowing grace of God. What is equally true is that the work of grace in the life of every citizen of the kingdom does not end there, the saving aspect was just the beginning of the journey which grace was sent to take us.

For all intent and purpose, grace as has been defined over the years, is the unmerited favour of God, it is a favour that we did not work for and we certainly cannot earn by our own merits since we were never in the position to do so. It is this favour that made God's salvation available to us while delivering us into God's kingdom and this grace it is which continues to make available to us every promise of God.

I don't think anyone disputes this fact about the grace being the unmerited favour of God, but what every citizen need to understand is how they relate and apply this grace in the kingdom. There is the need to get this understanding in the light of how this beautiful disposition of God towards us is being perverted and as a result many are being led astray by those who have perverted it primarily for their own selfish agenda. What is perverted grace you may ask? Well perverted grace is that which gives either overt or covert approval to worldly and sinful lifestyles by comforting those caught up in it, that they need not worry since they are under grace. It is the grace that encourages believers to shun striving for holiness since they were not saved by their own effort in the first place.

For every citizen of the kingdom, this form of perverted grace is not the grace that saved us, it is an invention of the devil who never stops at imitating every act and overture that God makes towards his people, his aim being to destroy them through deception . The aim of this perverted grace is to lull citizens into a false sense of well being, while leading them to hell. What every citizen of the kingdom need to understand is the true position of the grace of God that was revealed to us. To start with we need to know the true identity of that grace as the scripture revealed to us;

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. - Titus 2:11-14

From the verses above we can draw certain attributes that would help us as citizens of the kingdom to recognise the true grace from the perverted version. The following points therefore are the hallmark of the grace that God made available and revealed to all men;

a. We know where the grace of God picked us from, Where did grace pick us from? We will find the answer from the scriptures;

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The genuine grace of God delivered us from place where we were in bondage to sin, we were living in the dark, we were enemies of God, excluded from the kingdom and we had no share in the inheritance of God’s people. It is not the bondage that is the real problem but what kept us in bondage in the first place which is the power of sin in the hands of Satan, which he wielded over our sinful nature. We were slaves in the hands of that power. The grace of God delivered us from that power by breaking the power of sin over us. And for that freedom to be a lasting one, we need to see what grace delivered us into.

b. If we know where grace delivered us from what we seem to forget or fail to comprehend is where and what it delivers us into;

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace. - Ephesians 6:14

The grace of God delivered us into the place where sin no longer has dominion over us, this it must be said is consistent with the nature of the one who made the grace available to us. True grace delivered us into a position where we are declared dead to sin and as a result can no longer continue to live under it's influence no matter it#s power or allure;

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? - Ephesians 6:1-2.

Grace delivers us into a position where zero tolerance to sin is in operation;

Well then, since God's grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! - Romans 6:

But what about the realities of my struggles, what does the grace of God have to say about this? Good question, let us look at the next point.

c. If grace delivered us from bondage to sin into a position where we are declared totally dead to sin, we need to ponder in the light of the struggles that we still have with traces of the old nature, what does grace have in store for us? Does grace leave us to ourselves with no recognition or remedy for these struggles? This is far from the truth and it is only those who see the role of grace as ceasing with our deliverance from the bondage to sin who would subscribe to this. Is grace indifferent to our weaknesses? Well if grace appeared to be indifferent to the realities of our struggles with sin, perhaps we need to ask ourselves what other role or character of grace we have been indifferent to ourselves. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves what areas of our lives we have failed to allow the grace of God to work upon, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we truly know the operation of the grace that God revealed to all men, for the scriptures have this to say about this grace;

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

What did the scripture say about this grace here? Well we are told that under the supervision of grace, we are to be taught how to deny or shun ungodliness and worldly lust, while living a soberly, righteous and godly life in this present world. This is a far cry from what perverted grace teaches isn't it? Perverted grace says don't worry about your sin it is ok, since everything has been taken care of, you can continue as if nothing is happening. True grace on the other hand teaches how to overcome these struggles and gives the power to do so. And where the struggles persists and prove more difficult, this is the position of grace;

God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful grace became more abundant- Romans 5:20

The abundance of God's grace is given not to encourage people to continue with the struggle and resign themselves to it, far from it. Rather it is the teachings of Satan. Grace abounds in order to bring the believers and indeed every citizen of the Kingdom to that place where the freedom from sin is accomplished.

As citizens of the kingdom the grace we live under operates on a certain standard, we must strive for that standard or else we would be living under perverted grace.

 

Home Kingdom Standards Saved by what manner of Grace
Psalm 1:1-2
“[BOOK I Psalms 1?41] Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.”

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