Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Great Grace

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV


I sensed the impression of the Lord to begin a new study on the Radical Grace of God. The objective of this study is to come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Just how amazing His Grace truly is. This is the foundational question. Just how great is His Grace?

 Look at our text for this study.
33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV

This is a beautiful passage of Scripture. The Apostles at this time were the very ones who were witness to the crucifixion and resurrection. The Apostles saw, interacted and fellowshipped with the resurrected Christ. They were now facing persecution and were subjects in an oppressive Government, the Roman Empire. 

 Yet in the midst of these circumstances and conditions, they had been so impacted by the Lord Jesus Christ they were determined to share this good news of the Gospel of Grace whatever the consequences. With the power of God in them and upon them and flowing through them they were empowered and emboldened to preach the Gospel. The Word records that Grace was upon them. Not just Grace but great Grace. So just how great is Grace in your life or spiritual worldview?

What is the one indicator that Grace isn't great in your eyes?

 We as believers can discuss and dialogue and even debate certain points of view from the Scriptures. Healing, Spiritual gifts, methods of water baptism etc. The one thing we can't debate or alter or disregard is the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ. It is only by Grace we are even granted access into this new life in Christ. So is there a simple indicator or clue that we haven't really seen or accepted just how great this Grace truly is? Yes.

Still more to do.

 If this sentiment is added to the end of any sentence concerning redemption then yes it is clear Grace isn't great in your eyes. If we feel that the work is undone in any way, we have not yet fully grasped His Grace. Let me be honest and transparent. I am still grasping just how great His Grace is. Unlike the average person, I have encountered and had to manage and supervise the worst this fallen World has produced. I've dealt with heartless murderers and rapists. There is even a recent report of a brutal gang rape of a minor in a High School here in the United States. I am appalled and outraged at such brutality. Yet God's Grace is so much greater than this evil. 

 His Grace can heal the heart and every wound of this precious child who was so brutalized. Now, this is what still humbles me and makes me stand in awe of His love, but His great Grace can also change the very hearts of the vicious perpetrators of this act. His Grace has unconditional love, the offering of mercy, total forgiveness, complete wholeness and redemption to even the worst of humanity. This Grace is so much greater than my own human capacity to love and forgive. Yet in the face of this great Grace far too many are willing to place restraints and limits on this Grace.

Unleash His Grace!

 We have allowed religion and mixture of Law and Grace and blending of the Old and New Covenant to figuratively put restraints and a leash on His Grace. The still more to do mantra is a subtle wrong thinking pattern that creeps into our thoughts. It manifests so subtly and easily located by our words.

"Jesus' work is finished but your work has just begun."
"God has His part and you have yours."
"Holiness is what you do."

 The still more to do mantra means we believe something is greater than Grace. Our performance, our commitment, our obedience is deemed greater than Grace. What else is greater than Grace?

 To some sin is so much greater than His Grace. If we say that person sinned away their salvation or blessing, then we are saying Grace is not greater than sin or our deeds. Disobedience is greater than Grace to some. They seem to believe disobedience will disqualify us from receiving from Him. This thinking pattern is indicative of one who really believes the source of blessings and favor is our performance and ability to follow the rules perfectly. 

 The source of all blessing, healing, favor and peace is Christ alone. It is His obedience on our behalf that secured all the goodness of God. We receive by resting in Christ's Finished Work, not our abilities. It is His blessings, His goodness received that causes us to repent or change our thinking. His goodness leads us from disobedience to obedience, not blessings and favor withheld.

 His Grace is so much greater than even we can grasp in our finite minds. We need to unleash His Grace from the shackles of tradition and wrong thinking. His Grace is greater than we can even imagine. The moment we think we've seen it all, His great Grace appears and astonishes us with His amazing splendor and everlasting love and goodness. 

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