Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. A few days ago, we got to chapter 6. Today we will look at 6:14 in four translations.
(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.
(Galatians 6:14 The Passion Translation)
My only boast is in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, our Messiah. In him I have been crucified to this natural realm; and the natural realm is dead to me and no longer dominates my life.
(Galatians 6:14 Easy to Read Version)
I hope I will never boast about things like that. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for boasting. Through Jesus’ death on the cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world.
(Galatians 6:14 Message Bible)
For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.
(Galatians 6:14 Contemporary English Version)
But I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned.
So what does this mean for you today? In this verse, the Apostle Paul drives home two major points. I will deal with both today.
1. The only thing I have to boast about is Jesus and what He has done for me.
— In this series, we have been studying the differences between the Old and New Covenants with the hope of understanding God’s grace and our faith. I have told you many times that under the Old Covenant, the spotlight was on man. The emphasis was on what man could do for God. This led to religious practices, and it was performance-based. Under the New Covenant, the spotlight is on God. The emphasis is on what God has already done for us. This actually frees us from religious activity and from the pressure to perform.
— When you make your life about Jesus and your only boast is in Him and what He has done for you, you no longer live like the world. In the world, people are trying to draw attention to themselves. They are doing all they can to shine. When you are hidden in Christ, and your life is all about Him, Jesus will make you shine. He can illuminate your work. He can cause people to notice you. He can give you favor with men, to the point where they use their power, their ability, their influence, and their money to help you in ways you could never help yourself. The key to this type of success boils down to remembering that Jesus is your only boast.
— When God starts using you for His glory, you don’t ever want to get “the big head” because you are not the one doing it. You have to remind yourself that it is the Father who is living in You. He is giving you the words, and He is performing the work. Therefore, you have nothing to boast about.
— Pride is never an issue for a person who has nothing to boast about. If you are going to boast, you boast in God’s goodness and grace. This attitude keeps you humble, and humility will help you remain under the grace of God!
— If you remain humble, God will EXALT YOU! But if you exalt yourself, God will HUMBLE YOU!
— Jesus said, “I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want.” Reminding yourself of this truth will keep you humble, focused, and confident. Because when you know you are doing God’s will and NOT your own, your confidence will come from God!
— When you do get promoted, when you do get acknowledged, when you do get recognized, you know it is because of God’s favor. So when the spotlight is on you and a ceremony is held to acknowledge your performance, at that moment, you remember that your only boast is in Jesus. Therefore, you are quick to DEFLECT the glory up to HIM!
— Never take God’s glory. He gets the glory! You get the earthly benefits. That arrangement is just fine with me.
— When your life is all about Jesus, and you commit to giving Him the glory for everything He has graced you to do, you will live a life that far exceeds anything you ever imagined because you were created to glorify God. When you are committed to giving Him the glory every time you are elevated or acknowledged, God will keep elevating you and causing you to be acknowledged, so He can be glorified on the earth.
— When you live #TheGraceLife and are committed to glorifying God within your sphere of influence every day, God will expand your sphere of influence far beyond your wildest dreams!
2. I am dead to the world, and the world is dead to me.
The Apostle Paul made it clear in our text (Galatians 6:14) that once we are crucified with Christ, we are supposed to live with this mindset: “I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me.”
— When the world is dead to you, you are not trying to get validation from the world anymore. Your only validation is from God. You are not a man-pleaser. You live your life as a God-pleaser, being led by God’s Spirit every day, in every way.
— When the world is dead to you, you are not bound by the pressure to perform. You are not comparing yourself to anyone. You are free from competitive jealousy. You are free from people’s opinions. You are free from religious activity. You are free from the mistakes of your past. You are even free from the flaws of your present. You work on getting better every day, by God’s grace, but you know you are not limited by your performance.
— When the world is dead to you, you are so free that you can be honest about your weaknesses. When you are weak, God makes you strong. When you can’t, God can in/with/through you. Embracing the grace of God makes you free. If you are not this free this morning, I pray you get free! Because Jesus died to make you free!
— When the world is dead to you, and you are dead to the world, you are free to be led by the Holy Spirit for all things. You trust God as your source. You are not moved by what you see or by what people say. You are moved by God and God alone. You do what He tells you to do. You go where He leads you to go. You say what He tells you to say. Life is simpler when your only goal is to do whatever God tells you to do and then give Him glory for the results! This is #TheGraceLife.
I will share with you something Paul said to the believers in Colossae. I will share it in two translations to drive home this point:
(Col 3:1-4 NIV)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
(Col 3:1-4 ERV)
You were raised from death with Christ. So live for what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think only about what is up there, not what is here on earth. Your old self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.
— As Born-Again believers, the Bible teaches us to SET our minds on the things above, to think about heaven all the time. There are some who think that if we are heavenly-minded, we will be no earthly good. However, if you understand how your thoughts impact your actions, the truth is that if you are not heavenly-minded, you will never be earthly good.
— The Apostle Paul contrasts the things of this world with heaven. His point is that if you think only about the things of this world and only see things from an earthly point of view, you will never experience God’s best. God’s best is not rooted or grounded within the limits of this world, which is why you need to see yourself as dead to this world and see this world as dead to you.
— God will offer you things that make no earthly sense. God will promise you things that seem impossible. If you only look at them from an earthly point of view, you will never open your heart to them. But if you see what God is saying from a heavenly point of view, you will open your heart and believe.
— Please don’t mistake Paul’s statement of being “dead to this world” to mean that you don’t want anything FROM this world or that you don’t have to do anything IN this world. That’s not it at all. God wants you to affect (with effects and influence) the people and the systems of this world. But Paul’s point is that it will never happen (God’s way) until you see yourself as dead to this world.
— In heaven, there are no limits. From God’s perspective, there are no boundaries. There is nothing God can’t do. This is why He wants us to SET our minds on the things above and to see ourselves as DEAD to this world. If we see things from His perspective, we will never see an obstacle we cannot leap over, a challenge we cannot overcome, or a fight we cannot win.
— As mere humans, there are many things we can’t do. But when we embrace the fact that we are no longer mere humans; we are born from above, covered by the Blood of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit, then we know there is NOTHING we can’t do. We can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST, who gives us the ability to do what we could never do without Him (Phil 4:13). Why? Becuase we are dead to this world, and we are alive in Christ!
*** Being dead to this world does not mean you live your life focused on dying and going to heaven someday. It means you are so free from the limits of this world that you are focused on bringing heaven to the earth every day! That’s #TheGraceLife.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I was crucified with Your Son Jesus, the Christ, my Lord. His death was my death. His life is now my life.
I am dead to this world, and this world is dead to me.
I am not a man-pleaser. I am a God-pleaser. I seek to please You, Father, every day, in every way.
I say what You tell me to say. I go where You lead me to go. I do what You tell me to do when I get there.
I walk with You, and You walk with me. As a result, You bless the work of my hands.
When You favor me with men and give me divine success, when all eyes are on me and what I have done, I am quick to DEFLECT that glory right back to You. I let everyone, everywhere, know that I am NOT a self-made man. I am a God-made-man.
I am who I am by Your grace and for Your glory. I live to glorify You. Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.