Note: First of all, I want to let you know that this message will be the last message of this Thanksgiving week. I am going to spend time with family. As I take a break, I pray you do as well. May the Lord fill your heart with joy and peace in this season. May you be surrounded by people you love and who love you. And please do not forget to give God THANKS! He has been good to you. Better than you deserve.
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Now let’s get into the message.
Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5. Yesterday we got to Galatians 5:25,25. Let’s go back to this passage again today.
(Galatians 5:24,25 The Passion Translation)
Keep in mind that we who belong to Jesus, the Anointed One, have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self – life was put to death on the cross and crucified with Messiah. We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.
So what does this mean for you today? I will focus in on this line: “We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.”
1. God’s grace makes you FREE!
a) The Apostle Paul tells us that once we are in Christ, our old self-life was put to death on the cross with Jesus. We are dead to whoever we were and whatever we did. Since we cannot be hindered by our past, we are FREE to embrace our future/destiny. We are FREE to fully embrace everything God has called us to be and do.
b) One of the major reasons why the Apostle Paul went to such great lengths to teach AGAINST living by The Law of Moses, is because anyone who lives by RULES will eventually break them. When you break the rules you feel terrible and you are then susceptible to the attacks of satan, where he comes in to tell you that you are not good enough to receive what God promised. Satan tries his best to get you over into guilt, shame and condemnation. If you feel condemned you run AWAY from God. You hide like Adam did. You attempt to cover up what you did (like Adam did with the fig leaves).
But when you get FREE of your past and FREE from the bondage of performance-based religion, you are FREE to fully embrace everything God called you to be and do. At that point you know God is not using you because of your performance (good or bad). God is only using you because of His grace!
c) When you take the focus off of you and what you have done, or what you have failed to do, you are finally in a position to fully embrace God’s grace. At that point God can use you in ways that far exceed your wildest dreams. Because you have finally come to the realization that your life is not about you. Your life is ALL ABOUT HIM!
d) Paul was so free that he was able to glory in his weaknesses (2 Cor 12:10). He was able to do more than any other Apostle and write over half the New Testament. He was only able to do this because he was free of the guilt of his past and free from the pressure to perform. Even though Paul was a terrorist because he came to Christ, he was so FREE that he was able to say, “I have wronged no man.” (2 Cor 7:2). Paul was saying, “I’m good. I am in Christ. All the mistakes I have made were nailed to the cross with Jesus. I am FREE to be the man God called me to be.” This is how we are supposed to live.
2. When you are FREE, you can be led of the Holy Spirit without the hindrances of guilt, shame or condemnation.
a) Paul said, “We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.” You cannot do this to the full extent without embracing the grace of God. Said another way, if you are a religious person (focusing on the rules instead of God’s grace), you will never be able to do what the Holy Spirit leads you to do, because you will never feel worthy of the assignments.
b) If you live your life focused on your performance, you will never feel good enough, because God calls you BEYOND your ability to perform.
c) God’s call is always BEYOND you and your performance. God does this to force you to rely on Him and His grace.
d) If you can do it without God, and if only attempt to do things that are clearly within your human ability, then you don’t need faith, you don’t need God’s power, and your are not relying on God’s grace. If this is you, you may be existing, but you are not truly living yet. You start truly living when you open your heart to the life God planned for you before the world began. This life will be FAR BEYOND anything you can do on your own. This life will require God’s grace. This life will require your faith. This life will require you to be led of the Holy Spirit every second of every day. This life will require you to release guilt, shame and condemnation.
This life will require you to be comfortable with a certain level of discomfort. Because there is a level of mystery to walking with God. When you are led of the Holy Spirit, you won’t have all the answers. You won’t know what you are going to do everyday. You won’t be able to plan out your next 10 years. Because sometimes the Holy Spirit will only reveal the next 10 minutes. But that’s okay, because you are comfortable living the life of faith. You are led of the Holy Spirit and you are FREE from the limits of your humanity!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I am in Christ and Christ is IN me. Everything I am and everything I am not is ALL In You! I am FREE of guilt, shame and condemnation. My past was nailed to the cross with Jesus. Even my current limitations are not an issue for You. I am truly FREE! I have no guilt and no shame. The enemy has no power over me. When he tells me I am not worthy, I tell him that I already got over it. Jesus made me worthy. I am who I am by Your grace. I live for Your glory. I am led of Your Spirit every second of every day. I am FREE to attempt, by faith, everything the Holy Spirit leads me to do. Because I have embraced Your grace. I know Your goodness towards me is not contingent upon my performance towards You. So I am truly FREE now to be the man/woman You called me to be. And I declare that I will! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!