We cannot understand God‘s grace unless and until we understand what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross at Calvary. The cross is the issue!
Because Jesus became a propitiation for our sin, we have the ability to choose to follow God or to reject Him. Our choice binds us, so we either become a bondservant of Jesus or a slave to sin. We can serve God willingly as heirs, or unwillingly as the condemned.
“Sin is a dethroned monarch; so you must no longer give it an opportunity to rule over your life, controlling how you live and compelling you to obey its desires and cravings. So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose. Remember this: sin will not conquer you, for God already has! You are not governed by law but governed by the reign of the grace of God.
“What are we to do, then? Should we sin to our hearts’ content since there’s no law to condemn us anymore? What a terrible thought! Don’t you realize that grace frees you to choose your own master? But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, he will lead you into perfect righteousness” (TPT).
“For they are a nation devoid of counsel;
there is no understanding in them.
Would that they were wise,
so that they understood this,
so that they would comprehend their future!
How should one chase a thousand,
and two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and the LORD had given them up?
For their rock is not as our Rock;
even our enemies themselves concede this.
For their vine is from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter.
Their wine is the poison of dragons
and the deadly venom of cobras” (MEV).
“Then Jesus said, ‘Once there was a father with two sons. The younger son came to his father and said, “Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?” So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance. Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. He journeyed to a far-off land where he soon wasted all he was given in a binge of extravagant and reckless living.
“‘With everything spent and nothing left, he grew hungry, for there was a severe famine in that land. So he begged a farmer in that country to hire him. The farmer hired him and sent him out to feed the pigs. The son was so famished, he was willing to even eat the slop given to the pigs, because no one would feed him a thing.
“‘Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing and he thought, “There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.”
‘“So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.
“‘Then the son said, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—”
“‘The father interrupted and said, “Son, you’re home now!”
“‘Turning to his servants, the father said, "Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!" And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy‘" (TPT).
- Are you a son or daughter, or a slave? It‘s a binary choice; there‘s nothing in between. A slave is left with the law, which he or she cannot meet. A son or daughter is left with God‘s grace, provided for with Jesus‘s death on the cross at Calvary.
- The unfortunate thing about God‘s grace is that some within the Church haven‘t left it alone. Some have either added man-made rules to it, which is legalism. Others have re-interpreted grace as a notion that "anything goes," which is license. Neither is what God intended. A proper understanding of Scripture holds that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are both subject to God‘s law and beneficiaries of God‘s grace.
- An apt illustration can be found in the parable of the prodigal son. The prodigal used his father‘s provision for himself. But he actually became a slave to his own passions long before he left his father‘s house. He ended up worse than the hogs he tended, because at least the hogs were fulfilling their purpose. And yet, when the prodigal came to himself and repented of his sin, his father welcomed him back openly and extended grace.
- Our understanding of the law and grace must be based in a knowledge of what Jesus‘s crucifixion meant. His death makes our eternal life with God possible. In the natural, death is certain for all of us.
- The Greeks had an expression, Momento mori, which literally translated means "Remember death." We seek to avoid death, but it comes searching for us.
- We too must remember death, and live differently because we do.
Thank You for Your gift of grace! Cause me to always remember that grace cost Your Son, Jesus Christ, His life on this earth so that I may live eternally with you as Your child and Your heir.
Thank You for loving me when I get things right and even more when I get them wrong! Order my steps that I may live in Your grace, and extend it to others, in my circles of influence in the days and weeks and months to come. Show me in this season those in my path who are in particular need of Your grace and lead me to offer it to them, in Your name.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – Jehovah Joshua Messiah – I pray. Amen!
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