GRACE

Author: Pr. kalungi Denis February 23, 2021 741 views 0 comments
Fig: A picture representing GRACE.

UNDERSTANDING GRACE BY PR.KALUNGI DENIS

KIREKA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

Grace is "the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it". It is not a created substance of any kind. "Grace is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

Grace can also be defined as God’s unmerited, undeserved favour. God sacrificed His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary to make grace available to us. Grace is God’s seal of approval and acceptance through the Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

To ministers of God, Grace is the super natural power ordained by God to them to do Godly things. But not worldly things quote me well. We can check this by Zachariah 4:6 not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit

The grace of God is a difference maker, for instance the difference between Apostle Paul and the other apostles was the level of grace he had access to.

No wonder, we are cautioned in 2 Peter 3:18 to grow in grace. This implies that if you desire the result of your fellow brother, all you need to do is to connect to the grace with which he operates in.

I’m sure that people know what grace is “one of the friends asked me what grace meant in heavenly kingdom?” is not Grace only a name of a woman and it doesn’t have anything to do with God, but in reality, it has a lot to do with God, because He is the God of all grace! And He is a gracious God!

What is the origin of grace?

It came through Jesus Christ. Grace came through a person. It’s personal. John 1:17 "For the Law was given by Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Moses gave the Law and Jesus Christ gave grace. Romans 5:15 "The gift came by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ."

What then are the benefits of grace?

Grace is the grease for ease

Grace is a mountain leveler Zechariah 4:7. Where there is grace, there is ease; where grace is lacking, there is trouble. The grace of God covers our errors weaknesses and colours our efforts strengths

Grace is the companion of mercy

Grace is a companion of mercy and it is mercy that keeps you from the danger and judgment that you deserve.

Grace seated us with Jesus

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ {by grace we have been saved}, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus. 

Restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast

I Peter 5:10-11 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

It introduces us to Gods love

Grace introduces us to the love of God we who were unlovely the peace of God given to the restless; gives us the unmerited favor of God

God’s grace enables us to serve 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.1 Peter 4:10

The riches of his grace bought us redemption 

Ephesians 1:7 in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.

Grace enables the humble to accomplish purposes

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Grace enables us in our weaknesses to become victors 

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

Grace brought righteousness 

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord Romans 5:20-21

Grace helps us to overcome temptations

2 Timothy 2:1, "Be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."  He will give you the grace to handle the problems that come into your life.  He'll never put more on you than He puts in you to bear it up. Now, sometimes we put more on ourselves!  You can get out of the will of God and put more on you than you can handle.  But God never allows more on you than He puts in you to bear it up.

1 Corinthians 10:13,"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

It ashier us into apostleship 

Romans 1:5,"Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake."

What are kinds of Grace that was part and partial to Jesus?

FORGIVENESS

First and foremost, there is grace of forgiveness. We all do wrong - the Bible calls it sin - and that leaves us guilty. Guilty people need to be condemned and punished unless there are forgiven and declared guilt-free. Jesus Christ went to the Cross to carry our sin and to bear our punishment so we could experience radical, comprehensive, and complete forgiveness. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven for everything we have ever done in the past. Hebrews 8:12 For He will forgive our wickedness and I will remember your sins no more.

ACCEPTANCE

God not only forgives us through grace, but He welcomes us into relationship with Him. He invites us into His family. He adopts us as His children, and because of that, we now have this Father-child relationship with Him where we can come to Him. And sits us on His lap and bring our needs, concerns, and failures to Him, and He responds as a loving and kind Father. When Jesus died, he was releasing us from our bondage to sin, because that is what sin is. Sin is what separates us from God. Either we take him at his word when he equates sin to death, or we do not believe him at all Ephesians 2:1

PRESENCE

The grace of God's presence means that our Father is not distant. In fact, God is present with us wherever we are, and whatever we are doing.

The Bible tells us in Ephesian 1:6 that God, in His grace, has made us the place where He dwells. It wasn’t enough for God to forgive us - He literally unzipped us and got inside us by His Holy Spirit, and so He is with us all the time. John 16:13

ALLOWS 

Grace reaches us where we are and takes us where God wants us to be. You see, God is not simply content/gratified to give us salvation and then leave us alone until eternity. Rather, He wants us to become more like His Son and work for the furtherance of His Kingdom right here, right now read Philippians 1:12

But remaining sinning leaves us lame, weak and unable. God's grace intercedes to give us power and strength. It gives us the ability to do what we are called to do and what we could never do on our own.

FREEDOM

God’s grace also delivers, sin turns us into addicts and we become slaves to sin, but God’s grace breaks that bondage. Grace gives us the power to say “No!” and turn in a much better direction Galatians 4:7 & Romans 6:6-7

COMPLETION

Finally, God’s grace is the grace of completion. There will be a day when you and I will be fully restored to who we were meant to be. There will be no more sin; there will be no more struggle. Everything will be restored, and we will worship in the presence of this amazing grace read Jeremiah 30:17.

Example of applied Grace

This can be plainly seen through Noah and the Flood.  God’s grace was present and active to save Noah and his family.  After God’s verdict/decision to destroy exceedingly the wicked world, the text says “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” Genesis 6:5-8. 

Note that this favor is “grace” which was evidently bestowed/given particularly to Noah because he “was a righteous man, blameless in his time, Noah walked with God,” Genesis 6:9.  However, Noah was not saved from floods because of the things, instead and undoubtedly because of his previous penchant/desire for walking with God.

God’s grace was extended to Noah in two forms: 

1, A warning about the upcoming destruction of the world, Genesis 6:13, 17; 

2. Instructions on how to avoid this destruction, Genesis 6:14-16, 18 But the application of God’s grace in the saving of Noah was dependent upon Noah precisely following God’s specific instructions- which Noah obviously did, Genesis 6:22.

Now, nothing has changed.  God’s grace is still extended in the form of instructions to avoid the coming destruction. 

Note, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age, Titus 2:11-12.  God has warned those willing to listen about the coming destruction of the world see 2Peter 3:8-10, and through His grace provided instructions by which we can be saved- if we obey them. 

Noah was saved by grace because he heeded/followed God’s warning and in faith obeyed the instructions, then we can understand that we are saved by God’s grace AND our faith working in concert, Ephesians 2:8-9.  Here is the point:  We cannot attempt to apply the benefits of God’s saving grace where and how He has not. 

Those unwilling to listen and heed/follow the warning of grace, and then follow its instructions in obedient preparation, are NOT promised its saving power.

Another example is Lot.

We notice God’s grace being applied to Lot 2Peter 2:7. The grace of God delivered Lot from that destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Grace of God saved him and some of his family member from the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. It provided for him and constantly protected him from doing wrong. 

God applied his Grace to Lot even before Sodom and Gomorrah, we read Genesis 12:1-5,” The Lord, said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. Lot was not in the equation but we see in Genesis 12:4 Abram, going along with Lot yet the instruction was to leave his country, his people and parents. By God’s Grace, He realized that Lot wanted a friend like Abram who would draw him close to God.

And God allowed Lot to hang around Abraham so that Lot could learn to trust God like Abraham was! That is grace – God puts Christians around lost people so that they can learn how to get saved! Indeed Lot become righteous read 2peter 2:7

By God’s Grace the two Lot and Abram were blessed abundantly see how Abraham was blessed in Genesis 13:13-18, God blessed Lot too read genesis 13:5-6 these people had Left Ur their home country with nothing, but over time they became very wealthy

God did not hinder or stop Lot from looking at and loving Sodom Gen 13:8-13 Grace does not CONTROL you it lets you choose your own way! Sometimes we wonder what God is doing when He lets us sin! well, He is having grace with us! The LAW would arrest you. Grace lets you do what you wants!

God gave Lot a family – a wife and precious children Gen 19:1-8, 14, 26, Lot experienced the great grace of God as God gave him a wife, and at least 4 daughters, with at least two of them getting marriedA wife is a good thing Prove 18:22, and James 1:17 says every good thing came from God, Children are God’s gift God in His grace gave Lot, undeserving as he was! God warned Lot to flee Sodom Gen 19:12-15

How do we abuse God’s Grace?

By refusing to acknowledge where He has applied it.  Obviously, we don’t actually apply God’s grace for Him- ever.  He does so for Himself where, when, and how He chooses, Romans 9:14-16.  But if we refuse to acknowledge His application as specified in His word, we will find ourselves out of agreement and fellowship with God. 

How do we do this? Usually, we do so by refusing to forgive and fellowship with those whom God, by His grace, has forgiven and accepted.  Initially, Jewish Christians had a problem accepting Gentile Christians, Acts 15:1.  Some churches apparently excluded those whom God has accepted to fellowship with them, 3John 9-10.  We are not the arbiters/mediator of God’s grace.  When anyone meets the requirements of God’s saving grace by faith and obedience, who are we to hold grudges or refuse to forgive and accept them.

As Christians, when we sin we are supposed to confess our sin to God and others who are affected by it, and pray for forgiveness, Acts 8:12-13, 18-24. But however, this gracious provision of forgiveness we often abuse it by refusing to repent and turn from the sin. Instead, we continue to sin, thinking we can just plead for pardon again as we need.

This is what, “Paul addressed, read Romans 6:1-23. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with him, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Paul said in {Romans 5:20, “Where sin flourish, grace abounded/flourished much more.” But that radical concept opens a theological/religious floodgate. The biblical writer Jude warned, it is possible to “change the grace of our God into a license for immorality” Jude 4 NIV. Why be good if you know you will be forgiven? Not even an emphasis on repentance erases this danger completely.

In Romans 6, Paul spoke directly to the point. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” He gave a short explosive answer: “Certainly not!” Romans6.1-2 and used an analogy/a comparison that starkly/frankly contrasts death and life. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”Romans6.1-2. No Christian resurrected to new life should be pining for sin.

Read again to Romans 5:20; 6:1, 2; and read Romans 6:14-18 would you agree that Lot was given much grace and kindness and mercy from God, throughout his life? And that Lot constantly took that grace and abused it, misused it, and ignored it? And what had been God’s great HELP, actually became Lot’s ruin? Simply because he never realized what God was saving him FROM, and how GOOD God was being of help to him!

How do we hinder God’s grace? There are three things that will limit and hinder the grace of God in your life:

Hebrew 12:15,”says that one of the things that limits God's grace in our life is bitterness. When you get resentful, when you allow bitterness to build up in your life towards another person that hinders the grace of God in your life. "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."  Bitterness hinders the grace of God in your life.  God warns against it over and over saying, don’t become resentful! 

Pride hinders the grace of God in our life read James 4:6 "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." When you or I get full of pride and think "I can do this on my own.  I don't need God.  I can make it by myself.  I have plenty energy, plenty of time, plenty of ability" then God's grace is frustrated in our lives and it costs us the power and the ability to do God's will.

Relying on our own works frustrates the grace of God, This is what the book of Galatians 3: 1-3 is all about.  They had started by walking in the Spirit and then they continued by trying to earn God's pleasure by their good works. 

Example of a person who abused the grace! Lot

God had Lot literally dragged out of Sodom Gen 19:17-27 If it was me, I would have just left Lot and his family. But GRACE said grab them, and drag them out of the way of the coming judgment of God

1, Lot didn’t want to leave

2. His daughters didn’t want to leave

3. And Lot’s wife certainly didn’t want to leave

But GRACE grabbed them anyway! Do you realize a lot of Christians love this world, and really want to live right along with this world, but the grace of God one day is going to swoop down and catch us all away, just before the judgment of God on this world called the Tribulation!

God is going to rapture some unworthy, backslidden, hardhearted Christians! Because that is what GRACE DOES! Aren’t you glad for GRACE?

God did not stop Lot from disobeying and to even stay in one of the small cities that God had decided to judge and burn to the ground Gen 19:17-27

This is the weirdest/creepiest thing of all about Lot, The fire of God has already started to fall around him and on the five cities of Sodom. And Lot wants to stay in the smallest city Zoar and God LET him. Look at Lot how he abused God’s kindness

Yes, God blessed Lot, abundantly. Yet Lot was never satisfied Gen 13:9, 10 even to the time of Sodom, he only sought treasures here on earth and was willing to go to Sodom to get them. He never had a limit, or moral restraint on how to make his money, or from who!

God in His grace will bless you, but He expects you to have limits on how you make your money and from who!

DON’T ABUSE GRACE BY FIGHTING THE VERY PEOPLE THAT GOD GAVE YOU, Lot even used to fight Abram Gen 13:6-8 this was total abuse of the Grace.

Yes, God saved Lot, forgave him, and made him righteous. Yet Lot never grew spiritually. He was till the day he died, a spiritual baby – a carnal, fleshly, stubborn BABY! He never walked with God, EVER! The only spiritual thing he ever did was hang around Abraham, and he only did it when it benefitted him financially! 

We again see Lot’s wife abusing the Grace read in Genesis 19:25-26 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

This is a lady who tried to test the Grace, friends do not try to test the Grace stick to the instruction and then God’s grace will be sufficient to you

She was given much grace and kindness and mercy from God, throughout? She took that grace and abused it, misused it, and ignored it.

What lessons MUST we learn? And from Lot? 

1, GRACE is not a license, a right, a freedom to do as we are pleased because we are saved.

2. GRACE does not mean that God approves what we are doing, or how we are living simply because He is not now judging us

3. we are more likely to abuse grace than allow it to help us

4. God is usually constantly behind the scenes, taking very good care of us, and we don’t notice, or care!

5. We can humble ourselves and start yielding by faith, to God’s instructions, and end up better off than we will ever deserve!

6. The same grace that SAVES a sinner can always DELIVER believers from all temptations!

Paul recognized this, so he advised: “Reckon/count yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” and “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body” Roman 6.11-12.

What do scriptures say to Christians who take this grace as approval to sin? The bible warns us the bellow. 

Titus 2:11-12, for the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

I like this it teaches us “No”

1, To immorality

2. To adultery

3. To fornication

4. Abortion 

5. Slender 

Hebrews 10: 26,”If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. This message was addressed to already born again but not to those who were not born again. So grace does not give license to:

1, To immorality

2. To adultery

3. To fornication

4. Abortion

5. Slender 

2 Thessalonians 2:12, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Least but not last apostle Paul asked Romans where born again, what shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? What are you suggesting or what will be your reply certainly I believe your answer would be no Romans 6:1

Hebrews 6:4-6, It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. This message was addressed to born again.

Prayer

O Lord, I ask for the release of all the hidden Graces and potentials buried in my life. I promise to use it for your glory, Lord in Jesus name Amen 

…………………GRACE PART ONE……………………

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