Grace, Love, Jesus (2)

  • By definition, the word grace means unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. Therefore, the good news is, grace has nothing to do with you. Grace existed before you ever came to be. Another way of saying it is, grace is God’s part.

    Faith is defined as being a positive response to what God has already provided by grace. In other words, faith is your positive response to God’s grace, or faith only appropriates what God has already provided for you. Therefore, faith is your part. Faith is not simply believing, but acting to receive. Faith is an action word.

    It’s like salvation. We are saved by grace through faith. It says we are saved by grace through faith, not one or the other. Think of it this way – grace is what God does; faith is what we do. It takes both working together to receive salvation.

    Salvation is not dependent on grace alone. If it were, everyone would be saved and going to heaven, for God’s grace is the same toward everyone (Titus 2:11). He has already brought the gift of salvation to everyone through Jesus. It is by faith that a person receives what was done 2,000 years ago.

    This is difficult for many people because most believe that in order to be saved, we need to ask God to forgive us of our sins over and over. But that isn’t what the scripture teaches. In 1 John 2:2, it states that Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Jesus didn’t just die for those He knew would accept Him; He died for every sinner who has ever lived on this earth. And He died before you or I ever committed a single sin. Jesus did something that works for everyone. The problem is not everyone will receive what Jesus has provided.

    The Lord isn’t waiting for us to ask Him to forgive us of our sins. The sins of the entire world – past, present, and future – have already been forgiven. Even a man like Adolf Hitler had grace extended to him! Jesus loved Hitler and paid for his sins just as He did for you and me. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). God has already done His part. It is now up to you to receive the truth by faith and make it a reality in your life.

    The message that much of the church is preaching causes us to become conscious of sin instead of conscious of righteousness (Romans 3:19-20). It also causes us to link our performance to all the other blessings of God.

    God’s grace has provided not only for salvation but also for every need of your life. That provision is not based on whether you are reading the Bible enough, praying enough, going to church, or even paying your tithes.

    Before you ever had a financial need, God created the provision. Before you were sick, God, through grace, provided your healing (1 Peter 2:24). Before you ever became discouraged, God blessed you with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). God anticipated every need you could ever have and has met those needs through Jesus before you existed. That’s grace.

    How is that possible? How could God make all those promises and know what it is I would need before I was ever born? Because, whenever the Lord gives you a promise, it’s only because He went into your future and saw where you would be and He came back with the Word that was necessary to get you there. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

    I like this statement by Andrew Womack. “Jesus hasn’t saved, healed, delivered, or prospered a single person in the last 2,000 years. What God has provided by grace 2,000 years ago now becomes a reality when mixed with faith. Faith appropriates what God has already provided. Faith doesn’t move God; He isn’t the one who is stuck. Faith doesn’t make God do anything. Grace and faith work together, and our part is to accept what God has already done. Grace must be balanced with faith.”

    Many Christians believe that God moves sovereignly as He wills when He wills. That is because religion teaches that God controls everything, and nothing can happen without His permission. I’ve said this in previous teachings. God is not in control of everything, but He is in charge.

    That is a good place to end Part 2 of this teaching. Graham Cooke says – “If you really knew God, you would know the last thing He wants to be is in control. He is in charge, but He is not in control. Why? Because if God was in control of your life, you wouldn’t have any freedom, you’d be controlled. The Bible says it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. So God doesn’t want to control our lives, He wants to teach us how to be mature.”

    Don’t miss part 3 of this teaching. It just keeps getting better and better. Grace and Peace.