SN 4 June 2022
The last few SN series seem to be drawing towards an interesting conclusion…
…that all the drama of life is just an opportunity for me to be drawn closer to God
For example, last week
… the hard or uncomfortable truth was…
… In order to save my life, I have to lose it,
… I have to be following Jesus, the only Way to the Truth of Life
… I have to be a disciplined & faithful follower
… and it entails sacrificial love >> self denial & carrying my cross, daily … all for the love of God
Essentially Jesus has to be Lord (have ruler-ship, authority) over my life
… in order to lead me into salvation.
… indeed as the God (Lord) of my salvation
… i.e. He takes total control of my salvation process
It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Jesus first and foremost…
… with all my attempts at righteousness as filthy rags… Isaiah 64:6
… but allowing the Lord to be My ALL
– The Great I AM (Jehovah, Yahweh) in my Life
- – My Lord
- – My Saviour
- – My Redeemer
- – My Righteousness
- – My Holiness
- – My Shepherd
- – My ……Whatever He needs to be in my life, He can be!
God has to be personal to me
… An intimate relationship with Him is required for me to know Him
My part is first believing & then following up with acts in (works of) faith
… having pleasing faith
… where I believe in God as God and in His rewards (ability, blessing) when I diligently and faithfully seek Him first and foremost… Hebrews 11:6
… and it is accounted to me as righteousness ( as doing the right thing by Him)
With Jesus Christ
… Truth ( the Word, such as the law) was now accompanied with grace… John 1:17
… where the law was now to lead us to Jesus Christ ( who fulfills the law for us)
… and so that we can be justified by faith.. Galatians 3:24
… For Christ is the end of the law to bring righteousness to everyone who believes … Romans 10:5
The law required obedience to itself, though it increased the awareness of sin… so that grace can be!
… The law holds one captive (to fulfill it all) and has harsh consequences if broken….
… Romans 10:5; Romans 4:15; Galatians 3:10
Where sin abounds, grace super abounds.
Romans 5:20 – 21 (AMP)
- – But the Law came to increase and expand [the awareness of] the trespass [by defining and unmasking sin]. But where sin increased, [God’s remarkable, gracious gift of] grace [His unmerited favor] has surpassed it and increased all the more,
- – so that, as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness which brings eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Therefore with grace, now obedience is required to the one who fulfilled the law (for us)
… with our focus now being in believing first (faith) as opposed to doing (law)
… with our doing now, scheduled after believing,
… and hence is transformed to an act(ion) of pleasing faith
… which is spirit led
… and in keeping with grace so that we don’t fall away from grace
- – Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. [KJV]
- – You have been severed from Christ, if you seek to be justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] through the Law; you have fallen from grace[for you have lost your grasp on God’s unmerited favor and blessing]…. (AMP)
Romans 4:16 (AMP)
- Therefore, [inheriting] the promise depends entirely on faith [that is, confident trust in the unseen God], in order that it may be given as an act of grace [His unmerited favor and mercy], so that the promise will be [legally] guaranteed to all the descendants [of Abraham]—not only for those [Jewish believers] who keep the Law, but also for those [Gentile believers] who share the faith of Abraham, who is the [spiritual] father of us all—
…before Jesus ( Truth with Grace) it was
>> I do because I am required to
… I do and then I believe, because I have done >> self effort or trust in self
… now, with Grace accompanying Truth
>> I do because I believe (have faith) in the one who has done >> God’s effort > Grace
… I believe first, then I do, because I have faith
… never forgetting that grace reigns through righteousness... Romans 5:21
… or that it is faith that activates grace!!
… Grace is received through faith and empowers our righteousness in Christ
- E.g. Salvation is a free gift received by grace through faith
… Righteousness makes grace work better!!
… i.e. I can sustain the grace of God in my life by living a life of righteousness
- E.g. King Saul lost grace to rule when he sinned against God
We are mostly accustomed to
… I need to see (prove, do..) first in order to believe
But now with Grace & Truth
… we are asked to believe first then do
… and that is what faith is
… the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen…Hebrews 11:1
… but now grace here is the enabling factor that should make it all (this believing) possible
… like for Noah, Abraham….
Anything done, but not proceeding from faith is considered sin !!…Romans 14:23
… For pleasing faith requires that I first believe that God is indeed God Almighty
… and that He has rewards (positive outcomes) for all those who diligently seek Him and follow His ways…Hebrews 11:6
>> Therefore when I don’t have faith, I don’t believe that God can be God in that situation
… unconsciously or knowingly considering that the problem is bigger than God!
… and I put my trust in something or someone else other than God first >> sin!
What pleases God is when we always put and consider Him first in all things
… not having any other gods before Him
… the first commandment!!
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
- In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
This is one way of breaking down (humbling) a person..
… fully trusting someone requires (entails) total submission
… and that is what God requires of us
Humility that comes before honor… Proverbs 18:12
… for blessed are the poor in spirit ( without spiritual arrogance…) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Matthew 5:3
… A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor… Proverbs 29:23
… For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted…. Matthew 23:12
… For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble…James 4:6
Therefore, God is ready to lift up those who are humble enough to trust and fully submit to Him (faith)
… For His strength is made perfect (shown better, is more glorious) in weakness (in my humility)
… For our God is a jealous God, not willing to share His Glory with another!!…Isaiah 42:8; Exodus 34:14
… And His salvation is a free gift, received by grace through faith and not by works, so that I may no boast!!…Ephesians 2:8-9
So in all this
.. I have to be confident in the love of God
… for perfect love casts out (all) fear
1 John 4:18 (AMP)
- – There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
To be confident in His Love
… I have to receive & hold on to His Love
… Which is Jesus Christ
… For God so loved the world that He gave me Jesus
… for me to believe in Him and not perish, but have eternal life… John 3:16
May we be given the grace
… to have pleasing faith in the Lord God Almighty
… to receive and hold on to the Love of God
… to develop a deep and intimate relationship with Him
… and grow in sufficient understanding of His love
… through a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him
May we indeed (Proverbs 3:5-8)
… trust the Lord with all our heart
… leaning not on our own understanding
… In all our ways may we acknowledge Him
… and He will make our paths straight
I pray that we would…
… not be wise in our own eyes
… but fear the Lord and turn away from evil
… for this will bring healing to our body
… and refreshment to our bones
>> Indeed.. Hebrews 4:16
… may we now boldly approach the throne of grace
… that we may receive mercy
… and find grace for help in our time of need.
… Now to Him who is able to protect us from stumbling, and to make us stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy,
…To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
>> to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen…1 Timothy 1:17