God’s Grace & Our Faith (Part 56): Grace and Peace

by Rick

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 Galatians chapter 6. Yesterday we looked at 6:14.  Today we will look at verses 15 and 16.

(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 6:15,16 Contemporary English Version)

15 It doesn’t matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person.

16 If you follow this rule, you will belong to God’s true people. God will treat you with undeserved kindness and will bless you with peace.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Your works cannot make you right with God.

Paul said, “It doesn’t matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person.” (Galatians 6:15).  

— Several people in the Galatian church, who were Jewish converts to Christianity, were coercing non-Jews (Gentiles) to get circumcised so they could be right with God. The Apostle Paul made it clear, in several of His writings, that you cannot be made right with God by works.  You can only be made right with God by faith in Jesus’ finished work. You have to get this down in your heart. Once you are Born-Again and you do works, do are NOT performing works TO BE saved. You are performing works BECUASE you ARE saved.  

— Grace is not a license for laziness. By grace, you work. But you do so with the right mindset. Here is the mindset: “I don’t work FOR grace. I work BY grace!” There is a huge difference between the two.  

— When you work FOR grace, you are trying to earn God’s righteousness. You can’t do that. Jesus did it for you.  When you work BY grace, you have accepted what Jesus did for you, and you now embrace God’s empowering presence to do, through you, what you could never do without Him!  

— When when you work BY grace, you work harder than you ever have in your life, but your body does not fall apart, your soul does not experience burn-out, and you sleep well.  This happens because you are NOT the one doing it. It is the Father, living in You, giving you the words, and performing the work!

— When the Holy Spirit leads you to “DO” (perform something), it is because, as far as God is concerned, it is already done.  So you are expressing faith where God has already provided grace.

2.  The grace of God is available to all people.

— The issue with circumcision was that it was reserved for Israelites. It was a physical symbol of the fact that God set them apart. They were the “chosen ones,” and everyone else was left out.  But now, under the New Covenant, God’s grace is available to everyone everywhere. It does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, Black or White, Hispanic or Asian, rich or poor, a General or a Private, the CEO or the Janitor, the blood of Jesus makes us ALL ONE!

— Since the grace of God has come to you freely, please share it freely and do so with ALL PEOPLE. Don’t be selective in your evangelism. Allow the grace of God on your life to bless everyone you come in contact with. Not just those who look or sound like you.      

3.  When you are led by the Holy Spirit, you get to enjoy God’s grace and peace.

Paul said, “If you follow this rule, you will belong to God’s true people. God will treat you with undeserved kindness and will bless you with peace.” (Galatians 6:16).

— When you get past the fact that you cannot follow all the rules, and you are simply to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things, at all times, you will experience God’s grace, peace, and mercy.  

— The grace of God is His “undeserved kindness.” It is the free favor of God.

— Grace is when He freely gives you blessing after blessing, after blessing, when you clearly do not deserve it. Thank God for His grace!  

— Mercy is when God withholds the punishment you do deserve. You know you did wrong. You actually earned your punishment. But God chooses NOT to give you the punishment you earned because of His mercy.

— Paul tells us that God also gives us peace. This is a peace that cannot be shaken.  

— God’s peace gives you a level of serenity and stability on the inside that is not affected by what is going on on the outside.  You can have peace internally that is not contingent upon what is happening externally

— This is a peace that psychologists and psychiatrists cannot figure out. This is a supernatural peace. May God’s grace and peace be multiplied in your life today! 

4.  People are supposed to SEE something “different” in you.

Paul said, “It doesn’t matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person” (Galatians 6:15).

If all that matters is that you are a new person, then shouldn’t you live as a new person?

If you fully embrace all that we have talked about today, then yes, people are supposed to see something different IN YOU!

If all these things are true:

— You know God loves you.

— You know God made plans for you before the world began.

— You know God called you to a specific purpose.

— You know God has given you the grace to do what He called you to do.

— You know God’s free favor goes before you like a shield.

— You know God’s mercy is new towards you every morning, and He is better to you than you deserve.

— You know God’s goodness towards you exceeds your level of performance towards Him.

— You know you have a peace that passes all understanding.

If you know all these things, then shouldn’t your life reflect it?

The Apostle Peter said the following:

(1 Peter 3:15 TPT)

But give reverent honor in your hearts to the Anointed One and treat him as the holy Master of your lives.  And if anyone asks about the hope living within you, always be ready to explain your faith.

— Peter talks about a HOPE that is visible and evident.

— People need to see HOPE in you when you call yourself a Christian!

— The people closest to you, who know the challenges you are facing, should see something IN YOU that looks like divine HOPE, even when all worldly hope is gone!

— When people know what you are going through. When they know you are facing something that would have destroyed them, and you are facing it with a smile on your face, they will ask you to explain to them WHY you are so hopeful! At that point, you get to tell them about Jesus!  At that point, your life has become a LIVING LETTER, and people are reading it as they watch you live your life!

People will never ask you to explain your hope if they can’t SEE it. If all they see in you are problems, they will never come to you because they already have problems. People need to see something IN YOU that they don’t have!

*** You are never HOPELESS because you are never HELPLESS! The world needs to SEE that HOPE IN YOU!

I will close with this question: Can the world SEE JESUS IN YOU?

Declaration of Faith

Father, I have accepted Your Son, Jesus the Christ, as my Lord. He is the Lord of my life. Outside of Jesus, I am nothing. But in Christ, I can do all things.  

I now work every day. But I am not working FOR Your grace. Your grace cannot be earned. I am working BY Your grace.  

This means I open my heart to Your empowering presence. You are ON me, IN me, WITH me, and FOR me.  

You empower me to do what I could never do without You. I get more done than I ever thought imaginable because I am NOT the one doing it. It is You, Father, living in me! You give me the words, and You perform the work.  

I enter this day as a conduit of Your grace in this world. I share Your grace, peace, and mercy with all people. I do this because I have a LIVING HOPE. And when people come in contact with me, they get to experience JESUS because they can SEE JESUS IN ME!  

With your grace, mercy, and peace constantly flowing towards me, I can boldly declare: GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.

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