Monday, February 17, 2020

Becoming Strong In Grace

So you, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 MEV

 Be strong. We can be strong in a lot of things in this life. We can be strong in studying for a degree. We can be strong in bettering ourselves for our career goals. In the spiritual realm, we can be strong in the religious traditions of men. Today, I want to begin a new series studying something all believers need to be strong in, the Grace of God.

 We can be strong in Grace. We can grow in Grace and in the knowledge of Jesus. We can trust in and rest in God's great Grace. Too often we're strong in something other than God's Grace. 

 Sometimes we find ourselves strong in the religious tradition of men. Sometimes we find ourselves strong in Old Covenant mindsets and not New Covenant thinking. Other times we are strong in trying to earn or achieve God's blessing in our life. 

 The blessing of God is not a blessing on our behavior or our performance. The blessing of God is a blessing on Christ's perfect redemption and His Finished Work. The blessing, the favor, and the mercy of God are God's response to Jesus' works, not our works. We didn't pay the price at the Cross. We didn't bear the sin of mankind. We never bore anyone's infirmities, weaknesses, poverty, or disease. We didn't bear the curse, Jesus did. 

 The blessing of God is a blessing on Christ's work, not our work. When we look at our works as some form of currency in receiving God's goodness we are in a business transaction and not a relationship with a Father. When we look at our performance as something that now qualifies us for all of Heaven's goodness we are putting the focus and attention onto ourselves and not Jesus. When we look at our behavior as the disqualifier of God's blessing and favor we are discounting Jesus' perfect redemption that was accepted as the once for all payment that was perfectly pleasing to the Father. 

 The goodness and favor and blessing of Almighty God is not a stamp of approval of our actions, our words, our deeds or behavior. The blessing isn't something we achieve. It isn't something we earn. God's blessings come because of what Christ did. God is blessing the work of Christ. Now don't misunderstand, good works, avoiding sin, saying no to temptation, being a blessing, serving and loving others is good fruit and bring its own rewards. It's just not the root of God's favor. 

 This cuts cross-grain to all we've heard growing up as believers. We heard "do good and get good." "Do bad and get bad." That's Old Covenant not New Covenant. Under the New, we are already blessed in Christ Jesus. We also must allow God's Word to rightly divide our own thinking and motives. Without even realizing it, sometimes we do good works to achieve something. To gain the favor of leadership or impress others. That's why the blessing is rooted in Jesus' work and not our own.

 Becoming strong in Grace is becoming strong in knowing and understanding all Christ did for us. It's learning to trust in His perfect redemptive work and not our own. It's resting in the Finished Work and not trying to earn, achieve, strive for what God already purchased and performed on our behalf. 

 Becoming strong in Grace isn't about becoming more and more bitter at local churches, ministries, and those that lead them. It isn't about becoming more and more isolated from others in the Body of Christ. It isn't about becoming stingy and no longer giving of our resources and time to bless other ministries. It isn't about becoming more rebellious and delving deeper and deeper into darkness and depravity. Becoming strong in Grace is about becoming strong in who we are already in Christ because of Jesus' Finished Work. 

 We can become stronger in this Grace of God. We can grow in our understanding of what it means to be New Creations in Christ. We can grow in understanding what it means to be accepted and approved in Him. We can become more and more confident in the presence of God. We can rejoice before our Father knowing He isn't holding our sins or misdeeds against us. 

 In summation, we can choose what to be strong in. We can be strong in bitterness. Strong in sinful desires. Strong in religious tradition. Strong in Old Covenant mindsets and observances. Or we can grow stronger and stronger in God's Grace. We can grow stronger in Him. He welcomes this growth and encourages it via His Spirit within and the promises of His Word and the Finished Work of the Cross. 

 God is for us not against us. Go back to when we first received Jesus. We knew we couldn't earn anything. We knew we didn't deserve anything based on our own merit. We knew we were lost and hopeless apart from Christ and His perfect love. Yet He chose us, blessed us, highly favored us, made us new, gave us His righteousness. He forgave us past, present, and future and forever secured us in Him. We can grow strong in this Grace. 
 Image courtesy of vectorolie at

No comments: