Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Gospel of Grace: The Reality of the Love of God

I am shocked over how quickly you have deserted the grace gospel and strayed away from Christ who called you to Himself by His loving mercy. I’m frankly astounded that you now embrace a distorted gospel of salvation by works! 7 That is a fake “gospel” that is simply not true! There is only one gospel—the grace gospel! Yet you have allowed those who mingle law with Christ’s grace to confuse you with lies. Galatians 1:6-7 TPT first edition

  We've been in an ongoing study of the Gospel of the Grace of God. The Good News of Jesus Christ and all He accomplished for us. We've seen the Gospel isn't a religion. We've seen the reality of the New Creation, and the New Covenant. 

 Today, I sense the leading to look at the reality of God's great love. Primarily, I want to focus on receiving this unconditional love and then how we can exhibit this same love in light of His Grace. How do we receive this Love?

 God's Love is unconditional. It is eternal. It can't be worked for or earned. 
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT

 God's great Love is for the undeserving. It is for the unworthy. It is for all of us, those lost or those found. His Love is unfailing. His Love is matchless, there is none to compare it to. His Love is the only Love that brings fullness, that brings completion, that supplies, is the only thing that satisfies and brings wholeness to all areas of life. 

 Sometimes we draw back from this Love. We see our own failures. We see our own misdeeds. We even see our own motives or self-centered thinking, and sometimes draw the conclusion that God is disqualifying us or distancing Himself from us. That He loves us less. 

 Nothing can be further from the truth. In our darkest moments, that's when God's Love shines brighter. This Love perceived and fully received produces change. Change of thinking, change of speaking and eventually changed behavior. 

 This Love defined is the agape or unconditional Love of God. It is God's good will toward us. It is His benevolence to us. It is His affection for us. This word agape in the Greek also defines His Love as a Love feast. That is astounding! His Love is like a grand buffet or smorgasbord of His unconditional kindness, goodness, and mercy! 

 Now once we receive this Love what do we do with it?
Follow God’s example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. Ephesians 5:1 TLB

 Once received we can exhibit this Love to others. We can bring love into every area of life. In all our interactions with others, we can be a byproduct of that love feast.
Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him. Ephesians 5:2 TLB

 To be a more effective vessel of His Love we must boast in His Love for us first and foremost. Look at the Apostle John. He is sometimes referred to as the Apostle of Love by many students of the Word. Note how John refers to himself as

 John boasted in Christ's love for him. This put Christ's Love in the forefront of his thinking. From this supply of Love, we can now function and flow releasing His goodness and kindness to others. We aren't doing good deeds, engaged in acts of charity to earn favor or any blessing. We are living and abiding and responding to this great Love within.

Living for ourselves?

 Once we've received the Good News Gospel of Grace, what is the response? Do we now simply dismiss all devotional time? Do we omit Bible study and prayer? Do we cease volunteering our time? Do we cut off our giving? Do we go on a verbal rampage, slandering all others who have yet to awaken to Grace?

 This is important to know and understand if you want to walk in full triumphant victory. Any message that omits Love as the root, that leaves you in bitterness, resentment, swollen anger, and rage is not a message of Pure Grace. Grace has never been about living for yourself. 

 The disconnect is some have taken the amazing out of Grace. Well-meaning but misguided brethren have caught a glimpse of Grace, and see the brand new identity the New Creation creates and conclude that because of His great goodness this must have been everyone's identity since the garden and the enemy through wrong believing convinced us otherwise. The idea being no one was ever lost or in need of redemption.

 My response is, if no redemption is needed why did Jesus come and die? No that is foolish teaching. Humanity as a whole is lost and in need of redemption. Jesus paid that price because of His great Love and made this new life available to all if they simply receive it. 

 However, if we were never lost and the enemy used some form of teaching to keep us blind then those who taught this must be our enemy too. This is where we see some embrace a "grace" message. They rant and rail and attack others and seek to tear down. They never seek to reconcile and build up. Paul the Apostle of Grace reminds us of something;

 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6  one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. Ephesians 4:2-6 NLT
 See it's so clear. We are one Body. There isn't a religious Body and then a Grace Body, we are one, the Body of Christ. We are all growing. We are all learning. Let's show love and kindness to all our brethren, not just those whose eyes have been open to Grace. 

 Let's also heed Paul's words. Unite in Christ. Not unity of agreement about this doctrine or that but unity in Christ Jesus. Under Grace, we have found lasting freedom. Let's not use that freedom to ignore others. To no longer volunteer. To live only for ourselves. 

In summation, let's demonstrate this great Love bestowed upon us. This Love supplies us. It flows through us. It is there to lead us and guide us to show Jesus' Grace to others. Through His Grace and Love supply, let's be quick to lend a hand. To be a blessing, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Let's learn to be exhibitors of His Love and Grace more and more. 

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