The Much More Increase (2)

  • So the problem is that people do not step out and receive the seed God gives them believing a harvest will result. It’s too much of a risk. That’s the mindset. Let me tell you that Jesus took the biggest risk of all when He left the glory of His Father’s Kingdom to become fully man. He came and lived, died, and rose from the grave. During His ministry He put it all on the line and did that which was not popular in that day. Healing on the Sabbath. Eating and drinking with sinners. Sitting down with adulterers and prostitutes. Cleansing lepers. Touching caskets and turning funerals into parades.

    Why did He do all these things? Well if you remember, it was Jesus who said I can do nothing of myself, but what He sees the Father doing. This begins in John 5:19 and continues for many verses through this chapter. It’s the Father’s doing, but it’s our willingness to partner with Him in it.

    Paul understood this so vividly that he talked about not just increase, but the “much more” increase. He spoke about all that God did and how He always caused increase or much more to be given.

    The books of Romans through Philemon are filled with the “much mores” of Paul. As we look at these, it’s important to note that it is God who gives the “much more increase”. I’m not going to use them all, but study them for yourself to get the full impact of God’s nature in the area of increase.

    Romans 5:10 – We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life!

    At one time we were God’s enemies, but look what He did, not what we did. He MADE us His friends through His Son’s death. So, since increase is God’s nature, He didn’t stop there. He gave us the much more of being saved by “Christ’s life.

    Did you get that? Saved by “Christ’s life”. Not by our works. Not by performance. Not by keeping religious rules and edicts. Not even by His death or His burial. But by His life. That’s why we always talk about the finished work of the cross and the resurrection unto life. Without the resurrection and continued life of Christ, there is no power.

    Of all the god’s that are worshipped in all the various religions of the world, Christianity is the only religion that has a Living God. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the grave. Ascended into heaven where He ever liveth to make intercession for us. Don’t forget that HE IS COMING AGAIN. That’s why it’s important to understand the power of your conversion. “Until you fully understand the finality of the cross, you will never experience the power of the resurrection”.

    Romans 5:17 in “The Voice” translation reads “If one man’s sin brought a reign of death—that’s Adam’s legacy—how much more will those who receive grace in abundance and the free gift of redeeming justice reign in life by means of one other man—Jesus the Anointed”.

    This is a favorite verse of mine because it succinctly spells out our part. “Those who receive…” Receive what? The abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. I don’t see anything in that verse that would lead me to believe I have to strive and work my hardest to get God’s acceptance. It’s all Him giving the increase through our receiving.

    2 Corinthians 3:7-11. I love this set of scriptures, because it totally destroys the foundation for any form of legalism and religious structure. It’s Paul telling the Corinthians that the law is of no use and only leads to death. Even calling it the ministry of death and condemnation.

    When a religious person is arguing that you “have to” do this or “need to” do that or “cannot (read shall not)” do this, tell them those things he/she is saying is the ministry of death and condemnation. Watch their reaction. The thing is, I didn’t make this up. God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write this. So it is God calling it that. Here’s the scriptures in the NASB.

    But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,

    how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?

    You should have been picked up on the fact that in verse 7, Paul is talking about the law. I mean, it was engraved on stones.

    For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.

    Here Paul calls it the ministry of condemnation. In verse 7 it was the ministry of death. Here it’s the ministry of condemnation. Neither one is good. Agree? But he goes on to make a comparison about how much more the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory. That’s good.

    10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it.

    11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

    Taking verses 10 and 11 together, we realize that the law HAD glory, but no longer has glory, because of that which surpasses it. Paul nails the lid shut by saying that which fades away WAS (past tense) with glory, but now “much more that which remains IS in glory. Paul makes it a point to say the law WAS, but grace now IS.

    But Mark. It didn’t say grace. Yes it did. Just look at verses 8 and 9. The ministry of the Spirit and the ministry of righteousness is the ministry of the gospel of grace.

    I want you to notice how important it is for the Spirit to get this truth to us. In 5 verses the Spirit makes the same point by repeating the Truth three times. How can anyone miss it. The law is gone. Grace is here. The law had glory, but it no longer exists. Grace has much more glory and does remain. The law WAS, but now Grace IS. It’s that simple. Receive it.

    Romans 5:8,9.

    But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

    “But God” changes everything. Another one of those “big buts” in the bible. I’ll let you go and research in the verses prior to verse 8 what the “But God” is there for. Verses 6 and 7 will set that stage for you.

    As you continue through this verse 8 you see that it WAS WHILE WE WERE still sinners. That’s a past tense statement. It means we are no longer sinners. We were sinners and during that time, Jesus died for us. Go on to verse 9.

    By his blood we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger!

    Don’t miss the powerful little words in the bible. They mean a ton. It’s the word “now”. It is by His blood that we are now PUT right with God. When? NOW. How? PUT. Not later after we perform well enough or obey a set of standards created my man or a church, but right NOW. Put means He made us or imputed to us His righteousness. We didn’t have to earn it, because Jesus paid for it and gave it freely. With what? With His blood. It is the blood that saves us and sets men free today.

    So not only are we right now put or made righteous, but we have no future fear of God’s anger or wrath. Don’t let religious legalists scare you about God’s wrath falling on you. He has no more wrath to pour out on you, because it all fell on Jesus at the cross. He took it and satisfied the righteous demands of God.

    I’ve used this illustration before, but it is perfect right here at this moment. It’s a contrast between Elijah and Jesus. Old Testament vs New Testament. Law verses grace.

    Elijah declared a drought as God directed. For 3.5 years there was no rain or dew. Rain equals the Spirit. Dew equals the favor of God. So, for 3.5 years, there was no Spirit and no favor. Then on Mt. Carmel the judgment and wrath of God came down. God’s judgment and wrath consumed the sacrifice that was placed on the altar.

    Jesus’ ministry lasted 3.5 years. During that time He was full of the Spirit and favor from God. When He went to the cross, and declared “it is finished,” the judgment and wrath of God screamed down out of heaven directly on Jesus. However, this time the sacrifice consumed the judgment and wrath of God forever.

    So with Elijah, the judgment and wrath consumed the sacrifice, but with Jesus, the sacrifice consumed the judgment and wrath forever.

    Let me end this with Romans 5:20,21.

    20 Law (ministry of death and condemnation) was introduced in order to increase wrongdoing; but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more.

    21 So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    God’s grace is the much more and it rules by means of righteousness leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rest in that assurance. Receive the much more increase and favor from God today because much more that which remains is in glory.

    Grace and Peace.