Monday, February 20, 2023

Grace Life: Made a King

John, To the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6 MEV

 We have begun a new study examining the work of Grace in our life. We have noted a progression seen so clearly detailed in our text. First, our Good Father loved us. Secondly, He through the Finished Work of the Son thoroughly cleansed us and forgave us of all sins. 

 What Grace did next is what we want to spend some time examining more closely. This last work listed here will transform your life in a great way when you fully receive of this work of Grace. He has made us kings and priests to our God. 

 This is such a powerful truth. In Christ, we are kings and priests. We are priests because we have been cleansed and are always welcome in the Lord's presence. Because we are cleansed we can boldly enter the presence of the Lord.

 When He said we were made kings, God was showing us the power of our new identity. We are made kings. This speaks of the authority of the Believer in Christ. 

 When we look at the word kings in the literal Greek we gain insight into just how far-reaching this authority in Christ is. 

Thayers; βασιλεύς  basileus leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.

 Mounce: βασιλεύς basileus a king, monarch, one possessing regal authority.

 This word in some cases refers to a physical monarch such as a literal king. However, pay close attention to Mounce's definition. One possessing regal authority. 

 In Christ, we possess regal authority. We are made a king. We have been given a new nature. We have been made Righteous. We have been forgiven and forever cleansed from all sin. Therefore condemnation, guilt, shame and fear have no place in our thinking, nor in how we see ourselves. 

 Let's look at another aspect of a king seen in Scripture;

Where the word of a king is, there is power; And who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 NKJV

 Where the word of a king is there is power. When we recognize our authority our words will also reflect this dominion and authority that has been given us in Christ. When a king speaks no one says who do you think you are? What do you think you are doing?

 When you know who you are in Christ, you can boldly speak and declare what you want to see come to pass. The enemy and religious tradition can't ask what are you doing! When you know what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work, and what He purchased and provided in His triumphant work of Redemption you can speak out and lay hold of what is yours in Him!

 That's the problem with religious tradition. They spend all their time asking what are you doing. They don't know who they are, so they settle for a life of defeat and failure and missing out on the promises of God. 

 We are kings and we boldly decree what God has already declared over us. We don't speak how the situation appears. We speak out what we want the situation to become. We speak what we want to see not how it feels like or seems like.

 Kings don't fear or tremble, they walk in authority, they decree a thing and it is established for them. Religious tradition has exalted the theology of God controlling all aspects of life on earth that they unwittingly accept all the affects of the fall and the curse to overtake them in this life. 

 When situations, circumstances, conditions are contrary to what Christ purchased for us in the Finished Work don't lay down and merely accept it. Rise up in your kingly authority and command the darkness to flee. Command the situation to align with God's decreed will. 

 When I was a young Christian, I had found out about who I was in Christ. I heard of our new identity. At this time I was serving as a Sailor in the United States Navy. My position was that of a cook. I was stationed on a ship over seas. I used to work the night time shift by myself. 

 We had what we in a set of chillers or "reefers" as they are known on ships, (basically a type of refridgerator.) Inside the cooking area. One night these chill boxes began losing refridgeration temp. This would cause all the food items to spoil and create a problem for the work we did, and I didn't want to go on report for them going out on my shift. I knew something needed to be done, but this was in the middle of the night.

 Now remember I began hearing about who I was in Christ. I didn't fear, or allow doubt to creep in. So I right then and there decided to exercise my Godly authority in Christ. Honestly, I didn't have "sense" enough to think what if this doesn't work. I wasn't using natural reasoning. 

 I simply laid hands on these chillers and commanded them to work. As God as my witness, over the course of the rest of the shift, the temp began to drop and stayed in the proper range. A Christian brother of mine who worked the day shift commented to me a few days later after he heard my story, tell me that the produce in these chillers all had frost on them. That's how low the temp dropped in them.

 That is what happens when we walk in our authority in Christ. We have been made a king and it's time we walk in who He made us. Don't allow the naysayers, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the couldn't-sees or the wouldn't-sees to move you away from walking in all God has provided and embracing your identity in Christ. 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Grace Life: Loved and Forgiven

John, To the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6 MEV

 As Christians, those who've trusted in Christ alone, who've believed in Jesus and received His free gift of salvation, how do we live our lives? Are we to live our lives in the same manner as we did before Christ? Are there any differences or distinctions in how we live now that we are in Christ?

 I am not speaking so much about no longer cussing or engaging in other sins without remorse or care as I am about how we think and believe. I am speaking about our outlook on life. How do we now see God? How do we see ourselves?

 When we heard the Good News Gospel of Jesus and His Grace and freely received Him, something happened inwardly. Yes we received the New Birth, yes we partook of His Redemptive work, and yes we became children of God and joint heirs with Christ. What also happened is we received a new way of thinking and seeing. 

 This is the Grace of God working in our lives. The text I chose reveals this progression of Grace working in our life. First, He loved us;

 ...To Him who loved us...Revelation 1:5b MEV

 Secondly, He forgave us of all our sins;

and washed us from our sins in His own blood Revelation 1:5b MEV

 Lastly, He made us Kings and Priests;

 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father Revelation 1:6a MEV

 This is how God's Grace worked in our lives. He first loved us and then He forgave us and made us Kings and Priests. This is such a powerful truth. In light of this truth, we are beginning a new study focusing on these works of Grace in our life.

 In Christ, we have a new way of living. Our thinking and speaking change because of the Grace of God we have received. We now walk by Faith, not by sight. Life's circumstances and lies of the enemy are not what moves us but only what God has promised provided and purchased for us in the Finished Work. 

 We now walk in Love. We walk in the Love God has poured out upon us. We walk in His Love living life loved by the Shepherd and Savior. This supply of love cascading from Heaven unto us overflows so we can now love others.

 We now abide in and live under Grace. We aren't under man's tradition or religious rules and regulations. We are no longer under the Old Covenant Law. We live under Grace and not works. We rest in Jesus' work and not our own.

 We have confident hope and Faith because we know God loves us eternally and unconditionally. His Love is eternal and unchanging. He is for us and never against us.

 We also have peace with God knowing that all our sins have been cleansed and washed away. Our sins weren't merely covered but actually cleansed. When something is cleansed and washed away there exists no trace or evidence of it ever again. 

 The believer's sins are completely cleansed and washed away. we are forgiven of all our sins. All means all. All our past and present and future sins are forever forgiven. 

 For those who've been hearing the Grace Gospel for some time, this seems elementary. However, this is such a vital truth and some believers reject the notion all sins are forgiven. They feel they must do something to gain forgiveness for the sins they commit after they received Jesus as their Savior.

 The forgiveness of sins is the Gospel that the Apostles proclaimed in the Book of Acts. When Peter preached to the Gentiles, he spoke of the forgiveness of sins. What was the immediate result? The Holy Spirit fell in His fullness and Cornielus' house was saved and Baptized in the Spirit evidenced by praying in the Holy Ghost. 

 Grace works a mighty work in our lives. He loves us and forgives us of all our sins. What happens to believers who become fully aware of this work? Their thinking changes, and their perception changes. 

 Believers who know they are Loved by the Savior unconditionally and know they are forgiven are infused with a confident boldness. They see God as always for them and never working against them. They quickly recognize God as their Father and not the harsh taskmaster. They experience victory in life no matter the circumstances.

 This leads us to the third work of Grace in our lives. These recipients of His Love and forever forgiveness are then made Kings and priests. This is an important work of Grace concerning our position in Christ, who we are in Christ, and what He made us.

 When we know we are loved and forgiven we can walk in the fullness of Grace in our everyday life. We can then own our identity in Christ. We can walk in the power and authority He procured for us. He made us kings and priests. 

 We are going to study further our authority in Christ. In order to do this we first had to establish how loved we are and how forgiven we are. We must not allow the tradition and religious ideas of men to hinder our understanding of what we have in Christ. 

 In summation, Grace works a mighty work in our life. Grace first loved us eternally. Grace then forgave us of all our sins. There isn't any sin consciousness because we are forever forgiven and cleansed from them for all time. In Christ we can rejoice in this work of Grace in our lives, we are Loved and forgiven! 


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Grace Reveals: A Redemption that is Eternal

“Now, brothers, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. Acts 20:32 MEV

 Grace, the magnificent and majestic Grace of God has appeared to all mankind offering hope, help, and wholeness. His Grace reveals so much about our Father in Heaven and His plans and purpose for our lives. On the other hand, religious tradition unveils to a lost world, a god who is a tyrant, who gets easily angered, is quick to condemn, and eagerly awaits to pour out wrath and judgment on people and nations whenever they sin too much. 

 Grace reveals our true Father God. Grace reveals to us a Father who loves us always and forever. Grace reveals a Savior greater than all our sins. Grace reveals a Righteousness that is a gift to be received and not something achieved by any works or performance. Grace reveals a Father who is always pleased with His children. Five is the number of Grace, and therefore Grace reveals one more aspect of God, His perfect redemptive work, and our identity in Him.

 Grace reveals to us a Redemption that is eternal, unconditional, unending,  irrevocable, and unchanging. Redemption is not based on our doing but on His doing. We didn't pay the wages due to buy us back from sin, satan, and spiritual death. Jesus alone paid the complete price for our Redemption through His substitutionary sacrificial suffering, death, burial, and triumphant resurrection. 

 If it was Jesus alone who paid for our Redemption, how can any believer reason we have the ability to undo this perfect purchased Redemption? How can we "unpay" the price? Traditional religious understanding reasons that we can in fact "unpay" for what has been forever purchased by our sinful thoughts, words, and repeated actions. That we have the power by our free will to "unpurchase" our redemption. 

 If we could "unpay" for Redemption by our actions and free will, then how is this Redemption eternal in nature and duration? 

 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12 NKJV

 In another translation it reads;

With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Hebrews 9:12 NLT

 Take note of the language used to describe our Redemption. Eternal, secure, and forever. We can't change or alter the meaning of these words to affirm some man-made tradition or reasoning. What does eternal mean? Without end, never to cease, everlasting. Secure means successfully obtained, without fear or anxiety of loss, fixed or attached. Forever means lasting or permanent.   

 With these words, we can see the Father gave us full assurance of our Redemption. Think of this analogy. If a father paid the full price for say a vehicle or a computer and gave it to his son, could the son go back to the store and demand that the item be unpaid for? No, the item has already been purchased. It can't be "unpurchased."

 Religious-minded ones will be quick to claim yes but you could return the item to the store claiming you no longer want it. This analogy is perfect because many stores now have all sales are final policies. No returns or refunds are allowed. 

 God has a zero return policy on His perfectly purchased Redemption. Jesus purchased this Redemption and His purchase was for eternity. Our Redemption wasn't paid for with corruptible silver and gold but the precious blood of Jesus

 Corruptible speaks of something that will fail or fade or fall away. Gold and silver speaks of man's efforts and abilities. God declared our Redemption was purchased by Jesus' Blood.

 Seeing such great proofs from Scripture, I am baffled and bewildered as to why so many reject eternal security. I am truly baffled how Word of Faith Charismatic Christians also reject once saved always saved salvation. As much as they understand what Christ went through to purchase Redemption, and what He actually procured for us, I can't understand why they see healing and prosperity as ours forever but salvation is only secured by our behavior or free will choice.

 One reason that I know of is that one of the leading pioneers of Faith teaching once claimed to have seen a vision where it was revealed a Christian was lost eternally. As much as I love this minister and honor his life and legacy of Faith I cannot accept a vision or dream or word that contradicts Scripture. The Word is the source of truth not visions or dreams.

23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because

“All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,

 25. But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25 NKJV

Our Redemption as well as our New Creation identity is incorruptible. If the vision was true, then that would mean we were born again of corruptible seed, and our Redemption is in fact corruptible. This passage clearly rejects this and proves beyond doubt that Redemption is eternal and incorruptible. There is nothing we can do to change or alter it. We can't be "unpurchased." 

 In summation, Grace has revealed five things to us; a Father who loves us eternally and unconditionally, a Savior that is greater than all our sins, Righteousness as a Gift that is apart from works and a Father who is pleased with His children. Grace has lastly revealed a Redemption that is eternal and incorruptible. 

 When you first trusted in Christ alone, you received this perfect Redemption. This Redemption is eternal and forever. You never need fear loss of Redemption or salvation. No place in the New Covenant records a man losing this Redemption, because this Redemption is incorruptible and everlasting. Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay