Revealing the SIMPLICITY that’s in Christ

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Descriptions of the grace of God, the first part


Let’s start this week by looking at a very familiar passage in John 10:10 — “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” First of all about this verse, notice the little conjunction that Jesus used, “except”. The word “except” shows the purpose in coming — to steal, to kill, and to destroy. The comparison here is in this verse is between “the thief” and his purpose against your life (for he’s a poacher) and Jesus and His purpose for your life (for He’s a restorer)! In the light of this verse, John also said in 1 John 3:8 — For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Therefore from this, let’s conclude that the thief’s purpose (that would be the devil) is completely opposite of Jesus’ purpose for your life — for Jesus’ purpose is to destroy the works of the devil (that is to steal, kill and destroy)!


Having said that, look at the 2 primary results of Jesus’ purpose for your life seen in His Redemptive work: to have Life and then, to have it more abundantly. This is like saying about a sports team, “They look good on PAPER, but how will they do on the FIELD.” See on paper (in the New Testament), we’re told that we are God’s workmanship and have His life inside of us — so it looks great on paper. But when it comes to being on the field of play (in our daily lives), it doesn’t always come together like it should. Because many believers don’t experience that inner life more abundantly. Why is this and what’s the link for what looks great on paper (in the New Testament) to come together for us on the daily-life-field-of-play?


It’s called grace, God’s power perfect in weakness!


However, when it comes to grace, what it is and how it works, many believers are confused (It’s because we normally think in images and if we don’t have a clear image of what grace is, then we won’t be able to “put our finger on it”, muchless, be able to let it go to work in our lives). Never feel bad about this, because even Paul in the New Testament, didn’t know what grace exactly was, which caused him to be “barking up the wrong tree”, see his explanation of this in 2 Cor 12:1-10). This is why I’ve come up with this simple lesson on grace. I want to give you some descriptions of it, so that, hopefully, you’ll get a better image of what it is and will be able to put your finger on it and let it go to work in your life. Before I get into the “meat” of the lesson, I want to share these encouraging words with you:


“I am the Lord who always helps you make reliable decisions — for I have given you My mind, to be counselled directly by Me. Never think that you’ll be in a dilemma where you won’t know what to do. Therefore, set your face in a confident direction by looking unto Me and you’ll always see that I will not let you fail you — yes, not even in the slightest!”


— Hallelujah!



4 categories in perceiving grace

As I have alluded to already, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “What exactly is God’s grace?” So to kickstart in answering this question, look at this wonderful verse in John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Probably all of us can quote this verse, for there are even nonbelievers who can quote this verse by memory. But hidden in this verse is probably one of the simplest definitions of what grace is. Simply put, grace is seen in the word “GAVE”“God… gave”. The main Greek word for “grace” is “charis”, which means “to give”. A great picture of the English word “grace” is the word “favor”.


If I do someone a favor, I don’t want them involved. If they’re involved in me doing them a favor, it’s no longer a favor, it’s something else.


This is how it is with God’s grace — He’s either the one doing us a favor and providing what is needed to get the job done, or we’ll be the ones trying to get the things done by our efforts. When we are the ones who are doing the “heavy lifting” (or at least, trying to do it), it’s called “WORKS”. And eventually, we’ll find ourselves exhausted and frustrated, confused and bewildered, because things just aren’t working. But when He’s the one doing the “heavy lifting”, it’s called GRACE. And we’ll experience a spiritual avalanche of joy and peace, and an overwhelming sense of confidence in life (This is the meaning of the words “fill you with all joy and peace” in Rom 15:13).


God’s grace, His favor, can be seen in 4 different categories:


1) His willingness — God’s completely willing to help you at all times! His willingness to help you in every situation isn’t based on your “good” behavior, just your believing, see Eph 1:19!

2) His ability — God’s ability belongs to you continually and because He’s the Almighty, His ability can’t be topped by any other thing formed against you!

3) His provision — God’s provision covers every area of your life! There’s not a situation that you face in life where God will say to you, “My child, I don’t have a provision for that one.”

4) His faithfulness — I don’t know if you realize it or not, but our entire life depends on His faithfulness to His promises to our lives, see 2 Cor 1:20-22! I love how Paul put this in 1 Thess 5:24 - “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” There’s no doubt about it, you can completely depend on His faithfulness to ALWAYS come through for you!



outstanding descriptions of grace


So God’s grace is vividly seen in His willingness; His ability; His provision; His faithfulness!


Please understand that His grace — the grace that’s seen in the New Testament — is completely opposite from the law of works that’s seen in the Old Testament. As the instructions from the Old Testament were ORDERS for them to follow by their efforts, the instructions of the New Testament are OCCURRENCES of what takes place as we live from the inside out by grace!


This is where many believers get their spiritual “wires crossed”, because they attempt to follow instructions that were given under a opposing covenant and also, try to work the words of the New Testament. We also need to understand that both words — grace and works — are exclusive terms. Meaning that you can’t have them both working at the same time — you’re either the one doing it, or you’ve let Him do it.


So let’s investigate this a little further. I want to give you some main descriptions of God’s grace. Hopefully through this little study, you’ll be more equipped to let Him be the one who provides and works what is needed in your life and instead of trying to “Work the Word”, you’ll be letting the Word work for you!


1. God’s grace flows from His never-ending love. We just saw John 3:16 above and in that verse are the words, “God so loved … that He gave”. He didn’t just love, He SO loved!


His grace flows from His boundless, unconditional love for you!


2. God’s grace is His undeserving gift to you. God’s grace can never be earned or deserved and that’s why it flows freely to you from His UNconditional love for you! UNconditional love = His UNconditional grace!


3. God’s grace ALWAYS gives the message of Redemption that’s in Jesus Christ. If you look at Titus 2:11-12, you’ll see that God’s grace has a message that instructs and its instruction is NEVER outside the scope of the Redemptive work of Christ!


4. God’s grace causes one to see that he, as a child of God, is treated by the Father just as Jesus was and is treated by Him. In school, I hated “teacher’s pets”, because I was never one of them! God’s grace shows you clearly that He has no “favorites” in His family — for we are ALL His favorites (It’s impossible for the natural mind to fathom this)!


5. God’s grace causes one to see that he is no longer an enemy of God, but is now, His personal ally. Because we are His personal allies, He will, without fail, give us His continual support. This makes you a great threat to the enemy, the devil.


6. God’s grace is without partiality. God’s grace works the same for every believer all around the world! Moreover, you have the same grace afforded to you, that Jesus had when He was on this earth! See grace is not based upon one’s culture or geographical condition — it’s based completely upon your faith in His ability — for the Kingdom’s economy is constantly unaffected by this world!


7. God’s grace is without hypocrisy. For something to be without hypocrisy means that it’s genuinely true and authentic and when it applies to grace, it means that God’s promises are the surest thing that their is! God doesn’t have “second thoughts”! If you look at 2 Cor 1:20, you’ll see that ALL of His promises are YES and AMEN! That means that everything outside the scope of grace cannot be trusted in — for sooner or later, it will let you down!


8. God’s grace inspires one’s weakness (his effortlessness) by trusting in God’s inner ability. Grace working inside of you inspires your weakness to take your hands off of the situation, so that God’s hands (His power) can be applied, see Gal 2:20-21! Grace causes one to experience “sweatless” victory in his life. Unlike some people who may tell you that your problems never make you stronger, the reality is that it’s how people respond to problems that come their way that makes them stronger (And the correct response is taking your hands off of it, so that God will put His hands on it!


9. God’s grace always points in the direction of Jesus! If it causes you to look to yourself and to your effort, then it’s not grace! Grace is vividly seen in Heb 12:2, in looking unto Jesus and to His Redemptive work!


Grace is your spiritual safeguard in every situation!


That’s why the enemy — the devil — has done his “dirt-level” best to cause confusion and misunderstanding in believer’s understanding grace and what it actually is.



the final words


I’ll pick it up from here next week, but let me show you 2 valedictory speeches from 2 great guys in the New Testament. First we’ll look at Paul’s valedictory speech in Heb 13:9 — “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace”. If you look also at Paul’s valedictory speech to the Ephesus’ leadership in Acts 20:27-32, he basically said the same thing that he said here, but using different words. Paul knew and even warned believers to become established in grace, because he knew that many deceivers would come to turn believer’s eyes away from Jesus and His Redemptive work. He was letting us know that if one’s heart is established by grace, then he won’t be carried about with various and strange teachings — pure and simple (It’s important to note that Paul didn’t say the head, but his heart — to have grace established in it. Your heart is the spiritual “knower” inside of you. A great example of this kind of heart-knowledge is seen in 2 Tim 1:12)!


That was Paul’s, now look at Peter’s valedictory speech in 2 Pet 3:17-18 — “(17) You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand (that deceivers will come), beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; (18) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The 2 and 3 chapters of 2 Peter, centers around deceivers and their deceiving message. But notice, after concluding all of that against the false prophets, what he instructs. He DOES NOT tell them to keep an eye out for them and to harshly confront them when they come to town (Like many believers do on various media outlets). No, he instructs them to GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Because if one is busy at growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus, he won’t have time for anything else!


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