Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Greetings Friends,

 Romans 1:7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1:3  Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace is to you and Grace is for you.  Thank God!!! Grace is unmerited favor, but grace is also the divine influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts, and because we have the influence of the Spirit of God upon our souls it will then reflect in our lives.  We shall become image bearers.  We are to be bearers of the image of Jesus Christ.  Grace will teach us of HIS love as HIS love influences our souls.  And when HIS love influences our souls, we begin to see that we knew very little about true love. 

God’s love is the kind of love that will lay down HIS life for a sinner such as me.

God’s love  is the kind of love that makes a sinner like me a saint, a son of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ.

God’s love  is the kind of love that creates a hunger deep in our soul, to be with HIM.

God’s love  is giving.  It is sacrificial.  It is eternal. Can we describe how sweet, how pleasant, how wondrous is HIS love?

Zephaniah 3:17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:35-39 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-7 4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

1John 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1John 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

God’s love is a reality that we experience as HE draws us unto HIMSELF for we are HIS beloved bride.  This is Grace to you.  This is God’s unmerited favor. This is the divine influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and our lives.  But notice something else in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

1Corinthians 6:9-11 9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:….

“Grace to you….”

Could a drunkard, a man who raped slaves, a man who mocked the gospel, a man who sought to destroy the faith of others, could this man ever hope to know the forgiveness of God?  Could this man ever hope to be used of God. 

“Grace to you…”  Is this text qualified to only “good sinners”? 

Or, is it possible that this grace is for all who humble themselves before the God of heaven.  This man previously noted had a praying mother and this man did believe and trusted Jesus Christ as savior and was born again.  But following his conversion the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh began to torment his soul, and he raped again.  Now what torment plagued his soul?  Was there any hope for grace and peace?  Could mercy ever again come knocking at his door?  Would this man be condemned to a life of guilt and regret having no hope of being forgiven or knowing the presence of God in his life again?  There is Grace to you and grace for this man for this man wrote the following verses of song.

“The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be as long as time endures.”
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”(John Newton)

“…,But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”  (Romans 5:20)

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Grace does not lead to lasciviousness. 

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

Those who do not have the grace of God upon their lives deny the truth of God, they are deceivers and purpose to make a lie while they walk in their own way and not in grace.  They glory in their iniquity.

Contrast the picture of lasciviousness, with the portrait of the grace of God in the life of a forgiven sinner.

“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” (Luke 7:37-38)

Is this a heart that is looking for sin and to continue in sin or is this a heart that is looking and longing for worship?  Grace realized will birth worship in the soul.  God inhabits the praises of his people. 

That is what happens when sinners cry out to God for mercy.  As souls cry out to God mercy and grace is extended and worship is born.  Peace is received!  The guilt and condemnation is replaced with the joy of the Lord which is our strength. 


A solemn warning:  There are consequences to sin.  Oftentimes it is the consequences that finally break the sinner of doing their own will verses finally surrendering to God to do HIS will.

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