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 chapter 6. We looked at verses 12 and 13. Let’s go back to this passage again today.
(Galatians 6:12,13 The Passion Translation)
12 All those who insist that you be circumcised are recruiting you so they can boast in their own works. They are attempting to avoid the persecution that comes with preaching the liberating message of the cross of Messiah!
13 Not even those who are circumcised keep every detail of the written law. Yet they push you to be circumcised so that they can boast that you have become like them.
So what does this mean for you today? I will share a few things as I focus in on this line: “They are attempting to avoid the persecution that comes with preaching the liberating message of the cross of Messiah!”
1. Some fight the message of God’s grace.
Paul talked about the persecution that comes when you preach the liberating message of God’s grace. This sounds awkward. I understand opposition when you are preaching ‘fire and brimstone’. But why would you be persecuted for preaching God’s goodness? What was Paul talking about? The Apostle was not referring to opposition from the world. Many who are lost openly receive the message of God’s grace. It is the goodness of God that causes them to repent (Romans 2:4). The issue is not from sinners. The opposition Paul is talking about comes from religious believers. The religious fought Jesus and ultimately did all they could to have Him killed. Just like they fought Him, they will oppose you tooth-and-nail if you tell them that their works are not earning God’s righteousness. They are so fixated on performance-based religion that they cannot see the reality that Jesus performed FOR us. They are so focused on working for God’s blessing that they can’t accept the fact that God wants to bless us simply because He is good. In short, they reject grace and would rather focus on works.
If you grew up this way, I know the message of God’s grace may be hard to accept. But please, search the scriptures for yourself, spend time (alone) with the Holy Spirit in prayer, and allow God to minister to you. If you do, you will come to the realization that God made plans for you before the world began, that while you were born in sin because of one man (Adam), God made a way for you to be Born-Again because of another man (Jesus), and that once you are Born-Again sin is not your issue. Your sin was nailed to the cross with Jesus. Your only challenge now is accepting God’s goodness, renewing your mind to think and act like God, and embracing the grace to become the man/woman you are called to be.
2. Seemingly too good to be true.
The message of grace sounds almost too good to be true, so people fight it. It’s almost easier to believe in a God who requires you to do everything right, in order to be right with Him, than a God who made you right by grace. Our God is so good that His grace seems too good. But no matter how good it seems, the truth is that God is actually better than you imagine. His goodness towards you cannot be earned, it can only be believed and received. Grace is a gift. You cannot work for a gift. If you work for it, then it is no longer a gift (Romans 11:6). All you can do with a gift is receive it.
3. Grace is liberating.
Paul says that the message of God’s grace is “liberating”. God’s grace truly makes you free. When you fully embrace God’s grace you know you could never be good enough to earn or deserve God’s call. You know His assignment far exceeds your performance. You know His blessing (past, present and future) is not contingent upon your performance. So you are truly free. You are free to open your heart to God’s goodness. You are free to believe what God believes about you. You are free to receive God’s call and to walk in it by faith, not because you are good, but simply because God is.
4. When you are truly FREE you can GLORY in your WEAKNESSES.
Paul was so free that he got the point where he was able to glory in his weaknesses. One of the greatest lessons Paul learned was: “When I am weak, then I am made strong. God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.” (2 Cor 12). Paul knew he was not good enough, but God called him anyway. He knew that where his ability ended, God’s ability could kick-in. Where he got to the end of Himself, God was able to put His “super” on Paul’s natural, so the supernatural could be manifested in his life. It took Paul years to learn this. I pray you learn from Paul. Embrace God’s grace. Glory in your weaknesses. If you ever graduate to this point, the grace and power of God will flow through you in ways that far exceed your power, ability and strength. You will live a life that is beyond YOU. You will live the life God planned. Not because you are good. Not because of your performance. But simply because God is good and because He has chosen to perform THROUGH you. It’s the Father who lives IN you (John 14:10). He gives you the words and He performs the work, when you die to self and allow Him to live through you. At that point, your weaknesses (what you can or cannot do) mean nothing, because the God who can do all things is living through you!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I accept Your grace. I was born in sin and shapen in iniquity because of one man, Adam. But I was Born-Again because of another man, the last Adam, Jesus the Christ, my Lord. I am IN Christ and Christ is IN me. My sin was nailed to the cross. You are not holding my sin against me. Sin has no power over me. I am now free to embrace all You have called me to be and do. I meditate and medicate on Your Word day and night. My mind is renewed to the point where I now believe what You believe about me. I see myself the way You see me. I know You live IN me. You give me the words and You perform the work IN me, WITH me, and THROUGH me every day. I can glory in my weaknesses, because I am not limited by them anymore. There is nothing You can’t do, so there is nothing I can’t do, because You are living through me. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!