Revealing the hidden mysteries in Christ

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"Abounding in grace — part 2"

Think of that for a minute — you have perfect peace through a perfect reconciliation! I want to look at this reality of grace, because once someone gets an understanding of this dynamic aspect of grace, he’ll abound in it by the power of the Spirit! As an introduction to this, look at this amazing prophecy from Habakkuk 2:13-14) - “(13) Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts That the peoples labor to feed the fire (to add fuel to the Lord), And nations weary themselves in vain? (14) For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.“ Notice that again, because the question in v.13 must be answered correctly if one is to abound in grace — “behold, is it not of the Lord… that the peoples labor to add fuel to the fire?” The answer to this question is a big fat no! it’s not the Lord that leads one to keep on laboring to get His blessings. It’s the Lord that that leads one to rest in what Jesus has already done for you, because he’s already blessed! This is the reason why peoples are wearing themselves in vain.

In confirming this, the Lord said through Habakkuk, “for the earth will be fill with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea”! Question. How much water covers the sea? Funny question right? Because the answer is - ALL OF IT! The water is the sea and the sea is the water.

Question. Is this earth filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, like the Lord said through Habakkuk?

Answer. Yes it is!

Question. So then where is it?

Answer. The good news is that this knowledge of the glory of the Lord is inside every believer!

This is the reason why we have the New Testament. So we can know exactly what that knowledge is! So let’s discover this outstanding aspect of grace — having perfect peace from a perfect reconciliation!

Look what we read in Rom 5:1 - “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Notice that again, “having been justified” — that’s past tense! As the words, “we have peace with God” is present tense! As the subject here is justification. That means that there was a perfect work that God did through Christ to make you justified and that perfect work Paul calls, “reconciliation”.

The word “justification” is a legal term that means that you were PROVEN innocent by the work of Jesus, JUDGED innocent by the work of Jesus, DECLARED innocent by the work of Jesus and MADE innocent by the work of Jesus! And if you were proven, judged, declared and made innocent by God because of the work of Jesus, then you have perfect peace with God!

This may be a lot for you to spiritual swallow and digest, so in this week’s lesson, I’ll break this work of reconciliation down for you.

what is reconciliation?

Look at what Paul said in Rom 5:10-11 about this - “(10) For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (11) Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Let’s look at the words in these 2 verses again and see how Paul describes what reconciliation is:

* “we were reconciled” to God while we were still His enemies (John 3:16).

* “having been reconciled” shall we be delivered by His life no matter what we’re facing (John 10:10).

* “we have now received reconciliation”, so we have a continual rejoicing in what God has done through Christ (1 Thess 5:18).

Sounds to me like reconciliation is a powerful aspect of grace, but what is it really? Reconciliation is more than just the restoration of your relationship between God and you, but it’s the restoration of you being compatible with God!

The word “reconciliation” describes the Redemptive work that Jesus has done for you — thus restoring relationship between God and you — and reconciliation also describes the Redemptive work that Jesus wrought inside you — thus making you completely compatible with God as His beloved child!

God’s work in Christ — a perfect reconciliation

So now you can see even clearer how you have perfect peace with Him! Let’s look at another outstanding teaching that Paul did on reconciliation in 2 Cor 5:17-21. Look at what he said in v.17 - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to understand what Paul is saying here, but it does take a spiritual mind to understand it. Because this reality is impossible for the natural mind to grasp.

Paul’s saying that a believer whose in Christ — that’s you! — is an entirely NEW CREATION!

The KJV uses the word CREATURE and that really describes the meaning that Paul’s trying to get you to understand. A creature describes anything that’s been created — hence, “creation” — and the little word NEW in front of it, means that it’s an entirely new creation that didn’t exist before it was created. So although you existed in this world before you came to Christ, on the inside — your spirit — you were an OLD CREATURE — someone who was completely different!

The natural mind says a BIG “HUH?” to this and the reason why one cannot naturally understand this, like a rocket scientist would understand gravitational force, is because this new creation is not referring to one’s physical body that can be seen, or to his mind which can be naturally studied — but the new creation that you are on the inside has to be revealed.

Your spirit, because you’re in Christ, has been REborn, REgenerated and REcreated. Paul is telling you that you have a spirit inside you that’s entirely different than the spirit that you had when you were born into this world by your mom (or known as “mum”)!

That’s Paul’s meaning of the words of that verse, “old things have passed away”. See the OLD THINGS that PASSED AWAY (just like the words that one uses today in describing the death of someone — they PASSED AWAY) were the old things of sin and death that use to belong to your old created spirit — you know, the spirit you had when you were born into this world by mom. It’s glorious enough for the old things of sin and death to have passed away. But Paul goes on and says, “behold, all things have become new”! Your spirit is an entirely NEW CREATION, that has entirely NEW THINGS inside it, with an entirely NEW DESIGN. What new things? Well if your old spirit had sin and death in it, then your new spirit must have things inside of it that are the complete opposite and from a different source than sin and death. In Rom 8:2, Paul called these things coming from “the spirit of life” that operates in Christ Jesus! Paul says that the new spirit inside of you causes you to experience the perpetual life of Jesus Christ! Now that’s worth shouting about!!!

Then Paul went on and said in the next verse - “Now all (new) things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Paul emphasizes to you exactly what the new things that he was talking about in v.17 and to where they came from  — God! There’s 2 important things about this verse that I’ll mention, but I won’t discuss. Every believer — not just the 5-fold ministry — but every believer has been given the ministry of reconciliation.

Why the ministry of reconciliation? Because that’s the gospel — for the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and the Redemptive work that He did!

Many believers who share with others about the things of scripture, seem not to center their conversations with them on reconciliation, but rather on things that cause debate and confrontation (James addressed this same situation in James 3:14-16). Because the sad truth of this is that one cannot give to someone else what he does not understand himself — hence this lesson on reconciliation. The greatest ministry of reconciliation is sharing your personal testimony of God’s love and grace and how He, by His love, drew you to see Jesus in His fullness, see Philemon 1:6 for glorious insight into this!

Then in v.19, Paul explains even more about reconciliation and the ministry that we’ve been given - “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” What is reconciliation, according to Paul? That God was in Christ, NOT IMPUTING OUR TRESPASSES TO US!

Reconciliation is God’s message of love revealed in Christ! This is the word that we should be ministering and sharing to this world!

In the next verse, as Paul continues his teaching on reconciliation, he says - “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” In Paul’s usage of the personal pronoun “we”, as in “we are ambassadors”, I see that he’s specifically referring to the 5-fold ministry of the Body of Christ, for they are “ambassadors” of God’s kingdom! And the kind of ministry that Kingdom-ambassadors have been given — the message of reconciliation!

Then in the next verse, he describes the work that God did in Christ to bring you reconciliation — “For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us (on the cross), that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (through the new birth).” I believe that most every believer believes (because there are “unbelieving believers”) that Jesus became his sin on the cross. And as sure as He was made to be your sin on the cross, you were made God’s Righteousness when received what Jesus did and was born of Him! So here’s “the whole shebang” of this week’s lesson:

God’s work in Christ — your perfect reconciliation

God’s result from a perfect reconciliation — your perfect peace

you have unconditional peace

Now we return to the verse that we started from in Rom 5:1 - “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. I’ll say it again, because of a perfect reconciliation, you have a perfect peace with God. And as the reconciliation is a finished work, so is your peace finished — so if your peace is a finished thing, it means that your peace is unconditional (it’s doesn’t have to be maintained by your performance)!

This unconditional peace that you have with God increases as you grow up in Christ in every way!

This is how we abound in grace! Next week, I’ll show you another aspect for abounding in grace. Please stay tuned for more simplicity that’s seen in Christ!     -    13120 Three Rivers Road Apt 3004  Gulfport, MS 39503 - 678-922-9306  


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