Friday, December 11, 2015

His Grace, Not Shame, Transforms Us

This revelation is so simple, it really does take a theologian to mess it up.

We are forgiven of all our sins - all of them!

I used to live my life trying to preempt the hurt and upset in my mind.

It was a life of combing every hurt and trying to preempt the pain.

A sense of shame will come at us in our daily walk.

This world is saturated in condemnation, even if people think that they can ignore their conscience and do and say what they please.

This conscience inside of us does not die with neglect or busy work.

It takes the blood of Jesus, the blood which cleanses, and keeps on cleansing.

We are not supposed to feel guilty about. . .anything.

He took away all that guilt and shame for us at the Cross.

Now, as for how we learn how to live. . .

Doesn't that require shame, a sense of wrong-doing, for us to live right?

What does the Bible say?

"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:": (2 Corinthians 5: 14)

His love holds us in place.

The rules of "don't, don't, don't" don't cut it, either:

20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2: 20-23)

If the "No's" don't work, then what does change us? The grace of God!

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who 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)

We understand more about the grace of God, the more that we see Jesus:

"2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord," (2 Peter 1: 2)

Guess what else transforms us? The Holy Spirit, as we see more of Jesus!

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3: 17)

and also

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12: 1-2)

This revelation cannot be stated enough. His grace, not shame, changes us!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Grace Teaches Us to Expect Good Things

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who 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)

The grace of God, brought to us in person through Christ Jesus, does not just teach us to reject sin, or to live godly lives, but teaches us to look forward to good things to come.

God our Father is all about hope for us, and this hope we find in Christ, and all that He is and does for us!

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"  (Colossians 1: 27)

and

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;" (1 Timothy 1: 1)

and

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1: 3)

Notice that these messengers of the Grace of God announced Jesus as their hope.

Let us not think that hope as defined by the Bible is something fantastic or unsure:

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5: 5)

With Christ Jesus, we become prisoners of hope, unable to escape His blessings!

"Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declarethat I will render double unto thee;" (Zechariah 9: 12)

The grace of God teaches us to expect good things from God, because He loves us so much, delivering His Son to us for our sins, and with Him we receive all things (Romans 8: 31-32)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Grace Teaches us to Live Godly Lives

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who 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)

Grace is a teacher, and not one which uses threats and force, since they do not break us free of the flesh:

"Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2: 21-23)

We are not subject to rules on the outside, but His rule from within:

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15:10)

and

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20-21)

and

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Galatians 5: 16)

and also

"12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."  (Philippians 2: 12-13)

The grace of God is a teacher, one which leads us to live godly!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Grace Teaches Us to Reject Sin

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who 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)

There is something all too wonderful about the grace of GOd, and this passage conveys the power of this grace so well.

The grace of God brings -- now and evermore -- grace to all men.

The grace of God is flowing toward everyone on the planet. It's up to everyone of us to believe it.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 29)

Grace is always teaching us -- to deny ungodliness, to reject it, to want no part with it.

The answer is not more "No", but a lot more of the grace of God - that He gives us all things, and freely:

"1What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? " (Romans 8: 31-32)

The grace of God teaches us to reject sin, because what He gives us, what Jesus is for us, is far better!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Justified From All Things

"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13: 38-39)

Paul was not lying or pulling a fast one on the congregrants who heard him that day.

We are justified from ALL things through Christ Jesus.


Every time we sin or fail, not once should we feel condemned or guilty. Despite the arguments of this fallen world, and man's fleshy nature, man is not set free from sin with more shame, condemnation, and remonstrances.

It is the grace of God which teaches us to say NO! to sin and yes to godliness:

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who 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)

There is no condemnation at all in Christ Jesus -- none (Romans 8:1), and there is no qualification to it.

Consider how often the New Testament writers use "All" to inform us that we are justified in every way:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 13-15)

Notice "having forgiven you all trespasses" -- all.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1: 7)

"All sin" - and walking in the light as about where and in whom we walk, identify - and that is Jesus!

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1: 9)

Confession of sins speaks of our sin nature, - and notice that He cleanses us from all -- all! -- unrighteousness.

We are justified from all things through Christ Jesus -- all! No limits, no setbacks, no wondering whether His blood will still cleanse us tomorrow.

All!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

His Caring Does not Depend on Me

God cares about me, not because of me, but because of His Son Jesus:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

With righteousness, comes all other blessings in our walk with God, in Christ.

For the longest time, though, I had believed that my standing before God was still dependent on me.

Whatever I was thinking or feeling, that would affect whether He was for me or against me.

One book I had read gave the impression that God was for me . . .just because.

The Bible is very clear why God is for us:

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 31-32)

God provided a full and final payment for all things through His Son!

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 13-15)

Today, we can rest assured that He is our God not because of anything that we have done mbut because of everything which He has done for us:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8: 10-13)

Today, let us read and meditate on the truth of First Peter:

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

His caring for me does not depend on me. It depends on Jesus, my High Priest forever, and He is not going anywhere!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cannot Serve, Take No Thought, Receive His Life

24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

I always found it interesting that Jesus went from "You cannot serve two master", to "take no thought for your life."

It seemed kind of confusing that Jesus did not then say: "Choose to serve this master or that master."

Clearly, we should not chase after things, materials, the things of this life:

In fact, we need life, we need Him, and this life we receive through His righteousness

"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 12: 28)

and

"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 21: 21)

So, let us then draw a wise revelation from this passage.

How do we serve God? When we take no thought for our life, and receive His life!

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10: 38-43)

Mary served Jesus by receiving from Him!

This new life in turn grants us power to keep His commandments:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13: 34)

and then

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1 John 3: 23)

We cannot serve God in and of ourselves, and we need His life to do anything for him. Stop seekings things, take no thought for anything, and receive His life!