Sunday Service September 11, 2022: “Free Indeed”


Great Grace

 

“So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.”       John 8:36 AMP

 

“For we maintain that an individual is justified by faith distinctly apart from works of the Law [the observance of which has nothing to do with justification, that is, being declared free of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God].”                                                         

Romans 3:28 AMP

“Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 PHILLIPS

 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].”       

II Corinthians 3:17 AMP

“THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.”

Romans 8:1-2 AMPC

 

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13 NIV

 

“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover or pretext for evil, but [use it and live] as bond-servants of God. Show respect for all people [treat them honorably], love the brotherhood [of believers], fear God, honor the king.”  

I Peter2:16 AMP

Over the recent weeks, we’ve looked deeper and teased out a small amount of the vast knowledge that is available regarding the Grace of God. Our little dabble is but a dip of the toe into the subject.

What we have discovered is that God’s Grace is way beyond the scope of our thinking. Sadly, there are even sectors of the church who, through some lack, of their knowledge, evades me, who wish to impose limits upon that Grace and the extent to which it is able to reach. The only situation that I can suggest might create such a deficit is their own personal experience of the Grace of God themselves.

The woman who came into Matthew’s house and fell at the feet of Jesus breaking open a jar of spikenard on his feet and drying them with her hair understood the extent of this Great Grace. As Jesus declared: “she for whom much was Forgiven, has Much Love to Give.”

There are many people who have been born into families that are regular churchgoers. They observe all the holy days, they are always there to help when needed. They come to church as a family well fed, clean, fresh pressed clothes, not a hair out of place. If called upon they can give you chapter and verse on any subject in their bible. They are held up, by others in the congregation, as an example of how a family should be.

But no person can see the heart and what’s on the inside may well be in contrast to what appears on the outside. Some of those who look like they have it all together may well be like the proverbial swan on the lake; everything looks serene and graceful as they glide through the water. But underneath they are going crazy to try and maintain that visible appearance.

We discovered that Grace is the same wherever we are.

Grace: noun; refers to the granting of undeserved, or unearned favour. It is a free gift, granted through an act of Mercy.

It is Un-Deserved Favour.

This definition applies as much to your deal with the insurance company as it does in the throne room of God. The difference being, that God’s Grace is limitless. Yes, I said it, It Is Limitless. How can I justify that, you may ask? The truth is that I don’t have to. God’s word is extremely clear on this subject, if we will “have ears to hear”:

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:39 AMP

We are recipients of the Love of God by the Grace of God; they go hand in hand. If “Nothing can separate us from the Love of God” then it is safe to say that the Grace of God extends that far as well.

Your next statement to me may well be “But, we’re all sinners, saved by Grace! What about when I continue to sin, even after I’ve been Born Again?”

There’s a couple of things in that statement that demonstrate where you are located regarding your place in the Body of Christ.

  1. It is not possible for a person to be both a ‘Sinner’ and ‘Saved by Grace’. They are, quite literally two very different states of being. If you are “Saved by Grace” then you are “the Righteousness of God In Christ Jesus” II Corinthians 5:17.

If you are a person who is still in the kingdom of darkness and regard yourself a sinner, then with that revelation you need to be Born Again. You then will be translated out of the dominion of Darkness and a Subject of the Kingdom of Light. Colossians 1:13

  1. The concept of Sin having control over you, once you’ve been Born Again is alien to the manner in which God regards you. In Romans 6:11 Paul teaches us that if we have been Born Anew, of the Spirit of God, then we need to change the way we think as to the control that sin has had in our lives. We should consider ourselves, the real, new creature on the inside, our Spirit being, dead to the temptation to sin, and alive to righteousness and holiness.

    John deals with this even further in his first epistle. In the first chapter, he tells us that “If we confess our sins God will forgive our sins and cleanse us of anything that would interfere in our fellowship with him. Then. In the second chapter he goes on to state “And IF we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ his Son.” That “IF” is a pretty strong statement that is in line with every statement throughout the New Testament, with regard to the way we are to think about our relationship to sin and the temptation that comes to our flesh.

This fetishization of the subject of Sin and the amount of time and effort that is invested in the preaching and teaching about this act and that behaviour is what has driven so many to turn away from the church in ever-growing numbers. Those who don’t know Christ are subject to being preached AT about how sinful they are and how they must change. And the next time they see the very same people, they’ve been caught doing the very things they were attacking them for.

When the focus is on ‘sin’ there is a problem. But when the focus is on ‘Righteousness’ and renewing the mind to that state of being, the problems fade in importance. What you are focused on will draw your attention and influence your direction. Paul stated it this way: “Awake to Righteousness and Sin Not!” Wake up to what God has done to you by choosing him, set your focus upon that and in turn, it will change the choices you make.

“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” I Corinthians 15:34 NKJV

There are those who will read this and suggest that all I’m doing is excusing a practice of sin. However, they would be way off track. People don’t need a license to sin. They don’t need anyone to grant them permission. They are very well practised in it.

On the other hand, if you teach them about what has happened to them in the New Birth, over time they will develop their faith in that image of who they are. As they begin the practice of walking in the presence of God because they understand that God is happy to walk with them, and won’t ever leave them, even if they should fall, that will have a far more dramatic effect upon both their behaviour and the development of their testimony of what God has done for and through them.

“The fact that you are ignorant of what God has done you” is not only to your shame, but it is even more shameful for those who should have taught you better. But, hey, you can’t give a person something that you don’t have yourself. Practice your Right-Standing with God and you will find your life becoming more in line with what you desire to see; change will only happen on the outside once you have grasped the knowledge regarding the change that has already taken place in the very heart of you; in the REAL You, made in the very image of God!


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