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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-02-2016
What Part of Grace Do I Not Totally Understand? Probably Everything!
John Newton, a master on a slave ship wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. He was rightfully amazed that God would save a wretch such as he. We all have different degrees of wretchedness, but none of us can present ourselves before a holy God depending on our own holiness and righteousness.
Good works and moral living cannot buy our salvation. After conversion our good works are motivated by the Spirit of God who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Php. 2:13).
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The primary application of the above verse applies to our life before conversion. However, the apostle John reminds us that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:8).
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
John also reminds us that if we do sin, we have an advocate, a heavenly lawyer who presents His sacrifice at Calvary as a payment for all our short comings and transgressions.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
We were not saved by our own efforts or goodness, we were saved by the grace of God which has two aspects, Unmerited Favor and Divine Enablement. The only part that we play in our salvation is to believe God and obey Him.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God
Naturally, I would like to show myself as a perfect man but I'm far from it. James said that we could be called a perfect man if we didn't offend anyone in word or in deed. I'm not there yet and I've never met anybody who is.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
The apostle Paul agonized over the sin that remained in his flesh. He was unable to do the things that He wanted to do and did the things that He didn't want to do. He cried out, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?"
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
He gives us the answer further down in the chapter.
Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Each of us has two warring appetites within our being. The one that we feed will be the one that dominates us. If we live for our flesh we will die. If we walk in the Spirit, the life of Jesus will be manifested through us and will produce spiritual fruit works that glorify God.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
One of my favorite bible verses.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The old hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus reminds us.
Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.
We can try and please God by our good deeds, church attendance and offerings, etc. These things are good but they won't earn us a ticket through the pearly gates. When we are covered by the blood of Jesus we have 24/7 access to the throne of grace for all things both small and great. The good deeds that we do will then be directed by the Spirit of God and bring glory to Him.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Grace enables us to face hardships. The apostle Paul sought the Lord three times concerning a thorn in his flesh. The Lord denied His request but reminded Paul that His grace is sufficient for each and every situation.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Like Paul, we can climb every mountain and face every difficulty all because of the enabling grace that freely flows from the throne of God.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Grace came to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ who was full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14,17). Grace called us to repentance ( Ro. 3:24, 5:15) and leads us into the perfection of Christ. Grace enables us to work for the kingdom (1 Pe. 4:10) and gives us a future hope in Christ (Ro. 5:2) The abounding grace of God enables us to stand in the midst of an ever increasing evil world.
SEE: My Favorite Teacher (named Grace) Audio
Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him. To love a holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce our hardened hearts and awaken our moribund souls. - R.C. Sproul
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