We Are Sinners Saved by Grace-Sinner or Saved by Grace

I am visiting this topic once again. It seems that so-called Christians almost glory in the thought that they are sinners. I shall point out a few things that I have mentioned in the past. I encourage you to search the scriptures to see what they say

What does the scripture say about sin?

The scripture says that by one man’s “sin” death entered the world. That man was Adam, the first man. His act that is called “sin” is the act of rebellion which he established when he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. So, the family of Adam, by birthright is counted as a family of rebellion simply by birthright. The only action required to be considered in rebellion, and therefore in sin, is to be born a human being. It is unfortunate that because of that seed of rebellion corresponding actions will follow which we call sins. But the “sins” do not make the “sinner”. It is the “sinner” that makes the “sins”. It is the natural out flow of being born a “sinner” because we are of the seed of Adam.

So, to remain a “sinner” means that you must by consequence remain under the curse which was pronounced upon Adam and his seed because of his rebellion. To declare yourself a “sinner”, even if you attach the phrase, “saved by grace”, is to state an illogical situation. You cannot be a “sinner” and be a “non sinner”. You will be one or the other.

Who is “saved by grace”?

What does it mean to be “saved by grace”? In Romans 8 it defines it as being “set free from the law of sin and death”. In 2 Corinthians 5 it defines it as a “new creation in Christ Jesus”. 1 Peter 1 says that we are “born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God.” In Galatians 6 the scripture declares that “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth anything, but a new creation.”

The scripture is abundantly clear that the same creature, who is a sinner, cannot be one who is a member of the family of God through Christ Jesus. To hang on to being a “sinner” is an action of trying to share in God’s glorious work of grace.

Being “saved by grace” means that you are no longer the same creature. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. In Galatians 2 Paul the apostle puts it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live. But the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave himself for me.” Paul was declaring what is true of every person who comes to salvation through Jesus; we are different persons. We are not members of the rebellious family which was fathered by Adam, but we are now members of the family of faith fathered by Abraham. We are born again of the seed of Abraham. That seed is Jesus. Because of that we are no longer considered sinner, but we are declared “righteous”. Being declared righteous means we have right standing with God through the “righteousness” which is in Christ Jesus.

Righteous

This term is a covenant term. But it is a covenant term related to family relationship. In respect to family it means that all the privileges pertaining to family membership is ours. How do we know we have this relationship. In 2 Corinthians 5 it declares that “He(Jesus) Who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be the righteousness (right standing in a covenant) of God in Christ Jesus.” Jesus became the sacrifice, or payment for sin, that we might be declared righteous by receiving Him as our payment. In receiving what Jesus did as our payment for sin, God declares us “Righteous”.

What God declares

As the Lord said to Peter when he lowered the sheet of unclean animals down and Peter refused to eat because it was “unclean”, “Do not declare unclean that which I have cleansed.” When you tell God that you are a sinner saved by grace you are declaring the opposite of what God has said about you. You are declaring that actions declare what you are instead of agreeing with God that you are a “new creation in Christ Jesus.” Jesus said that by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned. By making a self-contradicting statement you show yourself to be double minded. Peter says that this kind of person is unstable in all his ways. Let not him think that he shall receive anything from the Lord.

To know what God has to say about you and how He relates to you, you must know what He says about you. The only way you can know this is by being filled with His Word. First you must be filled with the written word of God. Then by His grace He fills us with the Living Word by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Then we know and are convinced of the New Creation that only God can bring about is evident in our lives. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me.

Conclusion

Because of this, we can no longer call ourselves a “sinner”. Because to do that would be making the Holy Spirit of God a sinner. It would be making “Christ in you” a sinner. We would be declaring “unclean” that which God has declared “clean”.

How could we come boldly before the Throne of Grace if we acknowledge sin in our lives? We could not. So, it is by grace, through faith, that we declare that “we are the righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” He, Who knew no sin became sin for me that I might be the righteousness of God in Him.”

Free from the law
He, Who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him

Do not fall for the lie of satan that says, “We are sinners saved by grace,” or “I am a sinner saved by grace.” You are either a “sinner” or you are “saved by grace”.

Give glory to God by acknowledging His amazing grace and its work in your life. Do not exalt your piety by exalting your false humility. God will not share His glory with anyone.

He loves you and has paid the full price for your redemption from sin. Exalt Him by receiving His righteousness which was bought by the blood of Jesus.

HALELLUJAH!

 

Read more about this HERE and HERE.

 

I would love to know what you think about this subject.  Leave me a comment below.

 

 

Grace, Can You Earn Grace

One of the greatest words in all of Christendom is the word “grace”. It is a word which is used more than any other religious word other than “blessed”. But if you ask any Christian “What is the definition of grace?” you may get either a standard definition which is “undeserved favor” or “I really don’t know”. So, is that what grace is? Undeserved favor? It is that a so much more.

The need for grace

Why is there a need for grace, anyhow? To find that out we must go back almost to the very beginning. God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six days. On that sixth day He established a covenant with His penultimate creation, man. That covenant recognized that all of the creation belonged to its’ Creator but the Creator established a covenant with humankind that though the earth belonged to God, He would lease it to man and give him dominion over the whole earth if man would enter into a covenant by which God, the Creator, would support him in all his endeavors on the earth.

That covenant had one provision. It was a provision by which the keeping of it would show that man, Adam, revered God, the Creator, and would honor Him in all his endeavors. That provision was that Adam would not eat of one particular tree in The Garden of Eden. There were many fruit bearing trees in the Garden of Eden and he could eat of all except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now why do you think God chose that tree for Adam not to eat of the fruit? You may not be aware of it, but we are still suffering from the effects of that fruit in our world society. When Adam ate of that fruit he, by that single act, was declaring rebelliously to his Creator that he knew as much about what was right and what was wrong as the Creator did. In essence, he was declaring himself as god.

If you recall the Ten Commandments, the first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Adam rebelled and put himself ahead of God. Unfortunately, for all of Adam’s descendants, we are born of the family of Adam and Eve. Because we are of his family, we are of a rebellious descent. Therefore, our Creator must conclude us covenant breakers.

The only outcome of breaking a covenant is death. Adam would die, and all his descendants after him. How merciful God was that He did not exercise immediate judgment. If He had, Adam and Eve would have been cast into a lake of fire which had been prepared for the devil and his angels that had rebelled against God. But in His great mercy He delayed execution of the sentence by substituting an innocent animal to use its skin to cover their nakedness. Thus, we see God’s mercy in action from the beginning.

But that was not all. God promised that a descendant of humankind through the seed of the woman would bring about a restoration of the original covenant by which mankind could renew his relationship with the Creator.

This is the background

This is the background through which grace would be coming. Man had broken covenant and there was no way that he could restore the covenant. Once a covenant is broken one of the parties must die. The fleshly body in which man’s spirit was housed would die, and it has continued to die because of the one broken covenant. That is how serious covenants are.

The Creator is a Creator motivated by love, not anger. In His great desire to have fellowship with His highest creation He established a sacrificial system by which man could bring an innocent animal and sacrifice it by putting it to death before God’s alter as a substitute for himself. The fact that it must be unblemished and young was a foretelling of the “real” sacrifice that the Creator Himself would provide in the fullness of time.

This unblemished sacrifice would be God’s only-begotten Son who would be born of a woman in a body of flesh and would be wholly human and wholly God. How this is possible cannot be comprehended by human minds. Through the God-man, Jesus, the Creator would establish a New and Better Covenant in which mankind would once again take dominion over the earth.

To fulfill the terms of the Old Covenant someone had to die. The substitute was an innocent person, The Lamb of God. Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant by following it completely. But then, He willfully accepted the punishment due to Adam. Being put to death, not just physical but spiritual also, He paid the price in full. Anyone who will accept His payment as payment for their own rebellion will have their debt for breaking the covenant considered as “paid in full”. The way to accept this “gift” is to declare that “Jesus is Lord”. In so doing, the original state of man is restored. By declaring that Jesus is Lord you establish the first covenant provision; You shall have no other gods before Me.

How does all this come about?

Do we have to work for this? The New Covenant(Testament) is quite clear on this matter. Ephesians 2;8 says, “For by GRACE are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Here we see that there is no work that man can do to bring about his own salvation. Let us look at the verses.

It is grace that brings salvation but that comes through faith. So, what is faith? Go to the Word of God. In Romans 10 we find that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. So, to get faith we must hear the word of God. But is it the audible sound of the word of God, only?

The “hearing” that the scripture refers to here is that hearing which we see exemplified in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do men say I am?” They replied by saying “A prophet”, “Elijah”, “John the Baptist” or “Jeremiah”. Then Jesus asked them who they thought He was. Peter blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of God”. Jesus’ reply was, “Flesh and blood did not reveal that to you, but my Father which is in heaven.” In other words, you did not get this through your physical senses. You got a firsthand revelation word from the Creator God Himself. This is the “hearing” that brings faith. But notice that the Romans passage says that this “hearing” comes by hearing the Word of God. That second hearing means the literal intoning of the Word of God, the spoken word. It is not enough to see a sign with scripture or just to read it silently. It must be spoken out loud.

When God created all that is in existence He spoke it into existence. Read Genesis chapter one. See how many times it says, “And God said.” God’s word must be spoken out loud or it will not bring faith. Without faith there will be no application of grace. Mercy is always in effect because it delays judgment. But if grace is never applied then the time will come when judgment will be applied. “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.” If you face judgment without the application of grace then you will receive the punishment due a covenant breaker. That punishment is everlasting separation from your creator in a place prepared for the devil and his angels, a place called hell.

The application of grace

Those who have experienced the grace of God are the ones who spread the word by which faith is engendered in those who hear it and that faith causes them to receive the grace of God. And that grace is manifested by their confession of Jesus as Lord of their life.

When someone experiences that grace they will never be the same. In 2 Corinthians 5 it says it this way: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. Sin, as the Bible defines rebellion, is no longer a part of their life. As Romans chapter 8 says; they have died to sin. It is not in their new nature to sin. It is foreign to them. Their joy has become the sharing of the Kingdom of God by sharing God’s Word everywhere they go. It is like Peter and John said it after the religious rulers told them to quit talking about Jesus. “We can not help but speak what we have seen and heard.” In other words, “You can do to us whatever you wish, but we are going to talk about Jesus because He is in us and that is who we are.”

That is the true expression of grace. Anything less is not of God and is an expression of fleshly religion and makes light of the grace of God. Colossians 1:27 says Christ in you is your hope of glory. Philippians 2:13 says that it is God Who is in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. So you see, the grace that God gives takes all the pressure off of you to perform.

If someone tries to tell you that if you do so-and-so then God will bless you and help you live a good life, you should step back and remember that He(Jesus) has already done everything necessary to put me in right standing(righteousness) in the New Covenant with God. If it is not of works, then there is really nothing I can do to improve it. Jesus said, “It is finished”. In other words, everything necessary for you to receive the grace of God has been done. As we say, “It is done!” Now it is God Who is in me both to will and to do.

Conclusion

God’s grace takes all the weight off of you to perform. He begins to live His wonderful life in you and grants you all the benefits of having right standing with your heavenly Father. He puts you in that place of “exceeding abundantly above all that you could ask or imaging, according to the power that works within you.” That power is the GRACE of God.

Receive that grace to day. In this short article there is enough Word of God by which you may receive faith if you read it out loud. Read it and then let the Holy Spirit bring faith to you as you confess the Lord Jesus.

HALLELUJAH!

That’s Just Life-Are You Sure?

I am constantly amazed at what some Christians allow to come out of their mouths. I recently posted a blog about the power of words in your life (HERE) and presented scriptural backing to show how words have great power to affect your life. So, when I hear a person, who claims to be a Christian, say such things as “That’s just life”, when describing a sickness or calamity that has occurred in their life, I wonder if they have ever read the Bible or even experienced the life changing experience of “being born again”. Do they know what it is to become a “new creation in Christ”?

What does the Bible say about life?

In John 1:4 the Bible says, “In Him(Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend(overcome) it.” Here we see that life comes from God(Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Apart from God there is no life. (Did you know that in science there is the law of “abio genesis” which says that “life only comes from life”.) So life comes from God. Keep that thought in mind.

In John 10:9b Jesus had this to say about life. “I have come that they(His sheep) may have life and have it more abundantly.” He was contrasting this to what the thief(satan) does. “The thief does not come but to steal, kill and destroy.” So, here we see the two sides presented. One gives life(in abundance) and the other destroys life(steal, kill, destroy).

How to determine what is life and what is death

We know from John 1:4 life comes from God. In Genesis 2:7 we read, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” So the scripture is clear that life’s source is the Creator, Yahweh. In James 1:17 it says this:”Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” I think that it is clear to see that anything that comes from God is good and perfect. For it to be destructive would make God a liar, and that is impossible. (See Titus 1:2 where Paul in his introduction says of God, “in hope of eternal life which God, Who cannot lie,…”) So, everything that comes of God is good.

We know that life and good come from God. Where did death come from? Look in 1 Corinthians 15:21. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” How did man introduce death? In Genesis 2:16-17 we read this:”And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Then we go on to Genesis 3:17ff; “Then to Adam He(God) said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

Death did not come from God, it came from man’s listening to the pride engendered by the father of all lies, satan. When God had finished creating He called everything in His creation “Very good!” It was Adam who introduced death by his rebellion against God. Because he hearkened to a lie and chose pride over obedience death came and every bad thing that comes with it.

So, what about it?

Our original theme, “That’s just life”, is quite often cited by Christians to describe all manner of circumstances. One of the pastors at our church in describing his physical maladies that he has experienced since turning 60 years of age use the phrase, “Well, that’s just life.” I almost wanted to jump up out of my seat and say, “NO! That’s not life, that is death!” I held my tongue, so as to be civil. But as I began to listen in the coming days I began to hear more and more leaders in the church beginning to echo the same sentiment. They began to liken family breakups, divorces, all manner of sicknesses, accidents and financial misfortunes as “That’s just life.”

So, what about it? If that is really what life is, then we have nothing to offer this lost and dying world. If that is all that Jesus came to give us, no wonder that we are losing ground everywhere. The gospel of Jesus Christ is “Good News”. It is good news for the whole world. It is such good news that I want to shout it from the house tops and tell everyone I meet about it. But apparently I am in the minority of Christians. I believe the bad things I mentioned above are things that come from the “thief” and they are of death and not of life. For someone to state that, “That’s just life”, is to be ignorant of the Word of God and have no relationship to the Lord of Life Who paid the price that we might have life in Him.

It is time

It is time that we who have experienced life in Jesus begin to stand and share the truth of the word of God which brings life. It is time to begin to realize that grace is not just a nice word but that it is truly the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. It is unimaginable power. It causes us to be more than conquerors not mealy mouth paupers overcome by every test thrown our way. Life in Jesus says that we do not have a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. It is the Spirit that says “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” It is the Spirit that says that “it is no long I, but Christ Who lives in me.”

It is time for us to quit ascribing to our Giver of life, attributes that are from a thief who steals, kills and destroys.

Let us exalt Him as Life. In Him is life, and that life is the light of men.

AMEN!

Set Free From the Law of Sin and Death

Free from the law
The Law of Sin and Death

One of the greatest verses in all the Bible is found in Romans 8:1. It says this:”There is, therefore, NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” As if that were not enough, verse 2 continues the theme: “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Just imagine that, set free from the law of sin and death. That is the “gospel”(good news) of Christ Jesus. We have been set free. In John 8:36 Jesus put it this way: “If the Son makes you free, then you are free indeed.”

Let’s look at what this says.

Sin and death

In Genesis, chapter 3, we see where sin entered into the history of mankind. The serpent deceived Eve and then Adam rebelled against God’s covenant and ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Because of that rebellion death entered into history. As I have stated in other articles, sin is not the individual acts that we define as “sin”, but Biblical “sin” is being in a state of rebellion against God. All actions that are defined as sins come from the root of this stance of a broken covenant. You can read about that here, and here.  Romans 5:12 states it clearly: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” It is plainly stated that we are all born in a state of “sin” because we are all descended from the one who rebelled. We do acts of “sin” because we are “born sinners”. We do not become “sinners” because of the “acts of sin” that we do. I hope you can grasp the gravity of those two statements.

We are all sinners. Are you sure?

Many so called religious leaders, like to sound humble by saying phrases like, “We are all sinners.” It sounds very pious and maybe even humble, but is it true? If we hearken to the passage from Romans 8 and set that statement under the light of that great truth, would it be as profound as those who use it say it is. Romans 8:1 begins with “There is NOW no condemnation.”. To call someone a sinner is to judge them as not measuring up to the demands of the Law, or covenant. To determine condemnation there must be a law or a standard to which one is compared or contrasted. Verse one clearly states that there is no means to declare condemnation, or that they have sinned. Verse 1 continues and tells you why. They are “in Christ Jesus”. They are no longer governed by their old life in the flesh but are directed by the Spirit. That Spirit has made them free from the Law that determines who is a sinner and put them in a place which is controlled by the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

Free from the law
He, Who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him

In Christ Jesus

In a previous article we presented the Biblical understanding of baptism. We are baptized into Christ Jesus and the old man is never raised again. He is dead. The new person is the one who is set free from the “law of sin and death”. That law is the one that determined if a person was in “right standing in the covenant” or was not in “right standing in the covenant.” If that law can no longer be applied to that “new creation”, can it define him as a “sinner”. Logically, it can not. The “new creation” is dead to that law which defines a sinner.

In chapter 7 of Romans stated this very clearly as he compared this situation to the case of a woman being subject to her husband as long as he is alive, but is free from that law when her husband dies. So it is with the new creation in Christ. He or she is no longer subject to the definitions of the law of sin and death.

Free from the law of sin and death
God’s Word is Truth

Scriptural proofs

Let me ask you a question. Can the Spirit of the Living God, Who is perfect in all His ways, dwell in a sinful being? Of course the answer is, “No!”

Study these scriptures and know that you are “righteous” not a “sinner”.

Colossians 1:27: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1 Corinthians 6:19: What? Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Philippians 2:13: For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Galatians 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There are many more scriptures which proclaim this great truth of being free from sin. Let me share one more.

1 John 3:4 and following says: Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whoever abides in him sins not: whoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

Free at last

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not religion. In contrast to organized religion today it brings freedom. The Law of Sin and Death seeks to shackle people with what they cannot do or what they can do. Jesus simplified it when He said that the Law could be fulfilled in two positive statements. “Love God. Love your neighbor.” Once you are freed from the mentality of “we are all sinners” ,to “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”, then you can live the abundant life which Jesus said defines the Child of God. You will speak with boldness “that which you have seen and heard”. You will prefer the humble over the proud. You will lay hands on the sick and see them recover. You will cast out demons. You will raise the dead. You will walk in divine health. All your needs will be met, not according to your abilities, but according to God’s riches in glory by Christ Jesus. You will be more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. God, Himself, declares you “Righteous”, because you are in Christ Jesus.

Stand bold against religious piety and declare;

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!

Hallelujah!

Share your thoughts on this subject by leaving a comment below.

God bless you as you grow in Him.

If Any Man Be in Christ

If any Man Be in Christ
Being in Christ

In Christ

It seems that the title of Christian is applied to anyone who is not a heathen. But, is that what the book that defines what a Christian really is says. One of the most striking definitions is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. This is what it says. “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.” Of course I quoted the King James Version of the scripture, but the application is for all. “If any ‘person’ be in Christ Jesus”, would be a more contemporary translation.

Application

Stop for just a minute and consider what that verse says. When a person enters into Christ Jesus the result is a whole new creation that has never been before. It carries the meaning of a unique being that there are no others just like. With it comes an ever renewing process that continually makes that person “new”, day by day. For the “New Creation” his or her life is never the “same old, same old day in and day out” routine. It is as in Lamentations 3:23 as the writer speaks of the mercies of God, “They are new every morning”. So it is with the “New Creation”. He or she is “New every morning.”

Consider also, it says, “in Christ”. This is the same picture that baptism is supposedly a picture of. You may wonder why some people who say they are Christians continue to act as if they are not. It could be that they are not truly a Christian.

Baptism

That picture of baptism which I mentioned above is not exactly how the scripture defines the true baptism. The terminology of the scriptures paints a picture in which the person is lowered into the water and is never seen again. The statement “Buried with Christ in baptism” is usually spoken as the person is lowered into the water. This portrays 2 Corinthians 5:17,”If any man be IN Christ…” You are baptized into Christ and you do not come out. It is no longer you, but Christ Who is in you.(Galatians 2:20) Biblically speaking, a true Christian is a dead man. He no longer runs the life that inhabits the body he or she is in. The nature of the flesh is dead. He is a new creation, a baby in Christ Jesus. It will take time to learn to crawl and then to walk, but he is now a member of the family of the Creator. He is no longer a “sinner”. He is now in “right standing” with his Heavenly Father. And that will never change because it is by grace through faith and that is not of anything that he has done or brought about. It is all of God.

Crucifixion
Jesus Paid It All

Who accomplished it

If it is all of God, and He declares him righteous, is there any way that he can become unrighteous? No! Since it was nothing he did to become righteous, therefore there is nothing he can do to become unrighteous. You might think, “Well he can live like the devil and still be alright.” You do not know the Word of God then. It is clear in 1 John 3 that he cannot sin, it is totally against his nature. If he could sin, then he is not a child of God. Philippians 2:13 says it this way; “It is He who is in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”  Therefore, since he is a child of God he can not sin. If you are a child of God, do not let anybody call you a sinner. The only spirit that does that is the one that is the accuser of the brethren. If they call you a sinner they are contradicting the word of God Almighty Who has called you “righteous”(having right standing in a covenant relationship).

1 Corinthians 2:14 says this:” For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” The “New creation in Christ Jesus” has the mind of Christ directing his life and making decisions for him. He is not his own. He has been bought with a price. Philippians 2:13 clearly states it, “For it is He(God) Who is in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” That takes all the weight off of you.

Justified by Grace
Righteous before God

Aren’t we all still sinners?

I read an article in which the writer placed every child of God as a terrible sinner even when we are saved. He pointed out several characters in the Bible which were men of God but they did terrible things. What he failed to note was that all but one of these men he cited were under the old covenant.

Do you know that the Holy Spirit can not indwell an unregenerate person? People under the Old Covenant were unregenerated. When they died they went to Paradise, but not to Heaven itself. Their sins were not permanently covered, or paid in full. That did not happen until Jesus paid the price of all sins when He died on the cross. Then, and only then, could regenerated(new creations in Christ) come into the presence of the Creator of the universe. So, people under the Old Covenant could not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. After Jesus ascended to the Holy of Hollies in Heaven and presented His blood as payment for all of man’s sins, then those who would come claiming that blood could come into the glorious presence of God, Himself. That is why Jesus descended into Sheol and preached the Good News to those who had by faith received the promises of the Old Covenant. God could then, through The Holy Spirit, legally “tabernacle” in human beings who were born again by the blood of the lamb. So the men that the writer had cited were not truly regenerated, but were saved by their faith in the coming Lamb of God. The one New Testament man he cited was Paul. He used the statement that Paul made out of context. Paul, in the passage cited, was referring to his preconversion man.

Many religious people have abused the understanding of man’s position under the Old Covenant and tried to translate the same standing to the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant God was external, a cloud, a pillar of fire or a burning bush. In the New Testament He is an indwelling Holy Spirit, Who lives in those who receive Him. Do you believe that the Infinitely holy and glorious Creator would reside in a corrupt and sinful vessel? Think again. God’s glory would consume that vessel. In Acts 10 The Holy Spirit admonished Peter when he refused to eat of the unclean animals presented to him in a vision, by saying, “What I have cleansed, do not call common(or unclean)”. God was signifying that those in whom He dwells are no longer sinners but are accounted as righteous, having right standing in covenant relationship with Him.

If any man be in Christ
Righteous before God

The New Covenant

The New Covenant Christian is no longer considered a “sinner”. He is not even “a sinner saved by grace”. What he or she is, is “a new creation in Christ Jesus who has been saved by grace”. If you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus, the next time someone tries the false humility slogan on you that “we are all sinners”, in loving confidence just speak the Word of God to them and let them know that you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus and because Jesus became sin for you, that you are now righteous before God in Christ Jesus. I encourage you to read Romans chapter 8. You will find a good beginning description of just what a born again new creation in Christ Jesus looks like. It is just a beginning, not a complete. If you want to know the complete description of a child of God, read His whole Word and then look at the Word Made Flesh, Jesus.

Conclusion

If someone calls you a sinner, they have to call Jesus a sinner. Shame on them. You are the Righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Hallelujah!

How to Receive Grace – Is It Free?

Background

In a previous blog “What Is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy” we found that the Biblical application is different from what most theological expositors give. We found that “mercy” was more often used under the Old Covenant and presented a compassionate Creator Who rather than meting out punishment immediately for breaking the covenant, chose to delay final judgment until an appointed time. He, instead, received a sacrifice in which was symbolized the final payment for the trespass. We then found that “grace”, which is a term which is more prevalent in the New Covenant, changed the situation from “delayed judgment” to it is “paid in full”. Then “God”s eager willingness to do good for you” became the attitude of the New Covenant. Grace becomes a free gift. We can not do anything to deserve it because we accept the payment which was completed by Someone Who fulfilled the covenant. How to receive grace, that is the question.

What does the Bible say?

If you wish to know how the covenant works, you need to check with the author of the covenant. For those of us who call ourselves Christian we are blessed because we have been given an in depth and detailed copy of the covenant that we rest in. It is called The Bible. It is divided into two “covenants”, the old and the new. As we studied the two in our blog “What Is the Opposite of Sinner”, we found that the picture that the Bible presents as a “sinner” is one who breaks the covenant. This was first shown in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree and thereby breaking covenant with their Creator.

1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV)

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by

sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

God, Himself, instituted the sacrificial system by which final judgment would be delayed (mercy) until the total price could be paid by the promised Redeemer.
Once the New Covenant was established by the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus, then the whole situation was changed.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him

Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Wow! What a great proclamation! Now God is saying “Yes” to every promise that He has ever made. It will take many blogs to cover that statement. But let us get back to how we receive this grace which fulfills all the promises.

For by grace are you saved through faith

This is what Ephesians 2:8 says:

 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is

the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before

ordained that we should walk in them.

In these verses we see that grace is brought by faith. We know from Hebrews 11 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” By this we know that faith is not some ethereal dream but is real substance and real evidence. OK. If faith is necessary to receive grace how do we get faith. In Ephesian 2:8 it says it is a gift. It implies that we have nothing to do with the getting or working at something to get it. It clearly states that we can not boast about how we got our faith. Well, you say, just how do we get faith by which we receive grace?

Faith comes by hearing

In Romans 10 Paul writes of the condition of the person who comes to salvation in Christ Jesus. He grounds it all in faith. This is how that faith comes:

Romans 10:17 (KJV)

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Most of us stop here and say that that means hearing preaching and going to church. But that is not what it says. Paul, ahead of this statement goes into confession and believing which are part of the growing process, but the driving force is faith. If you look at verse 17 closely you see that it says, “faith comes by hearing”. If you do not understand English grammar you might miss what is being said here. It does not say, “faith comes by hearing” the word of God. It says, “faith comes by hearing, and (that particular type of) hearing by the Word of God.” So the first hearing is referring to something other than just the written word of God. Do not misunderstand, the written Word of God is the beginning of the process. There is no faith apart from the written word of God.

The “hearing” which brings faith is that hearing which Jesus described in Matthew 16 when He asked His disciples who the people thought He was.

Matthew 16:16-18 (KJV)

16 And

Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood

hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;

and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus made it clear that Peter did not get that revelation by his own intellect, but that it was given to him by the Father, Himself. Then Jesus goes on to say that it is upon “this rock”(revealed knowledge from the very throne of God) that He would build His church.” This is the “hearing” referred to in Romans 10:17.

It is the written and spoken Word of God which brings the revelation Word of God by which we receive faith. We have nothing to do with it. It is totally a gift from God. He has done it all. He and His Word do it all. We have no place to boast or take any credit whatsoever.

How to receive grace

I am convinced that once the grace of God is revealed to someone they cannot help but in awe and wonder be overflowed by it.

The problem is not in getting people to receive God’s grace, it is that we have people who say they are Christians but have never experienced the grace of God in their lives. Does that mean they are not Christians? More than likely, yes. I know that when I experienced the grace of God in my life I was changed completely. I thought I was a “Christian” when I experience it, but as I studied the Word I found out differently. I came to know Jesus, personally, 54 years ago. The peace and joy and confidence that He brought into me has never waned but has grown and is ever new overflowing. Grace cannot be fully described with human words. That is how wonderful it is.

When you experienced the grace of God and you become a new creation in Christ, you can not get enough of the Word of God. As you fill up on the Word you will find what is coming out of your mouth is the Word of God. As you plant that word in the lives of everyone you meet it will begin to bring the crop of “revelation” in the lives of those with whom you share it. Then will come faith by which they will receive the grace of God.

When you have experienced the grace of God you will become like Peter in

Acts 4:20 (KJV)

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

For by grace are you saved through faith..

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

 

If you have any questions or any thoughts on this subject, please leave a comment below and I shall be glad to respond.  God bless you.

 

 

Understanding Biblical Covenants

In our previous blog we talked about “right standing in a covenant relationship.” To know if we are in “right standing” in a covenant we must have a good understanding of biblical covenant definition. In the mentioned blog we gave a somewhat light definition of a covenant comparing it to a contract. It is a contract, but it is so much more. That is what we shall address now.

Justified by Grace
Like I Never Sinned

Biblical Covenants

The Bible may be considered a middle eastern oriental based document. In the geographical area where the Bible focuses the idea of covenant was very common. Covenants were made in regard to families and businesses and tribes and individuals. Covenants were not taken lightly. There were several types of covenants but the one that we shall focus on is the most important type, the blood covenant.

The blood covenant was the most serious of covenants. It was not taken lightly. We might liken it to what occurred in American history when the states began to expand westward. As they encountered the American Indian there was fierce wars and conflicts which arose. The Indians quite would often seek out a colonist who was willing to work with the Indians and would enter into a covenant of blood in which the colonist and the Indian would cut the palms of their hands and then clasp hands so that their blood mingled together. This was a blood covenant with them and it could never be broken.

The Blood covenant

I mentioned above that the blood covenant was the strongest of the covenants. There were various reasons for individuals and groups of people to enter into blood covenants. Perhaps there was one family or group who were a warring type society but were not adept at agricultural things. Another group or family might be very good and planting and growing crops but had no means of protecting themselves against scavaging groups. The leaders of the two families might decide to enter into a covenant in which the aggressive warring family would protect the agricultural family from scavengers and those who might destroy their crops. In exchange the agricultural family shared their food with them. To secure this covenant the leaders of the two families would share a meal together and at the close of the meal the two leaders would each cut himself and put some of his blood in a goblet of wine. The mixture was stirred thoroughly and then each head of the family drank from the goblet of wine and blood. In so doing they were signifying that they were no longer separate families, but one family.

Blood covenants were not to be broken. Per chance if there was a time that one party broke their part of the covenant, the result was that the other party must and did put the one who was at fault to death. The only remedy for breaking a blood covenant is death. The one who put the breaker of the covenant to death was not called a murderer. Rather, the one who failed to fulfill the covenant was called a “covenant breaker”. That is what the Bible calls a “sinner”. He was not in “right standing” in the covenant relationship.

The Biblical Covenant

In our previous blog we showed how God had set up a covenant with Adam and Eve. As simple as it seemed, it set the parameters of the covenant. They were not to eat of a certain tree and in so doing they would show their love for their Creator and honor Him in so doing. They broke the covenant. They did not fulfill their part of the bargain. The result was death. God in His great mercy delayed the inevitable dying of Adam and Eve, but some animals had to die to provide a covering for them. Death came because Adam sinned. But God, because He is full of grace, promised a redeemer who would fulfill and establish a new covenant in which all mankind could be redeemed. In Genesis 3:15 God promised that there would be One Who would come of the “seed of woman” Who bruise the head of the serpent.

The picture of God’s blood covenant

In Genesis 15 we see where God makes a blood covenant with Abraham. In this instance God told him to get a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle-dove and a young pigeon. He split them down the middle and laid them open in a line. The reason this was done in this manner is because the parties of the blood covenant would literally walk through the bloody carcasses laid in a row and all the while declaring, “May this happen to me if I ever break this blood covenant.” God had made certain promises to Abraham and He wanted to convince Abraham of the assurance that He, The Lord, would fulfill His promises.

But an odd thing occurred. God did not make Abraham walk between the sacrifices. God, alone, walked through the sacrifices making His declarations of promise. There was no greater way of proving His faithfulness than this blood covenant. The ultimate covenant would be sealed when God’s only-begotten Son sealed the New and Better Covenant with His own blood. God assured Abraham with the strongest covenant know to man.

Conclusion

Now God has come to humankind and in the strongest possible way He has sealed an everlasting covenant by which who so ever will may receive all the benefits that God has promised. Just as God did not require Abraham to walk through the sacrifices, He does not require you to fulfill the requirements. Look what He did for Abraham. God caused a deep sleep to come upon him. If you study the scriptures enough, you will find that death for a child of God is only sleep. So, just as Abraham slept(died to himself) so must we die to ourselves so that our Redeemer walks through declaring His fulfilling of the New Covenant and all the promises that comes with it. Those who have received the sacrifice that Jesus paid are free to receive all the benefits of the New Covenant. In 2 Corinthians 1:20 the scripture declares, “All the promises to you, in Christ Jesus, are “yes” and “amen”. We do not have to measure up. We are in Christ and He measures up.

Read the covenant and all its provisions and then shout “Hallelujah” and “Thank You, Lord Jesus”!

It is finished! It is completed! Thank You, Lord!

 

 

 

 

What Is the Opposite of Sinner

Most of my life I was taught that a “sinner” was someone who “sinned”, that is committed acts which were against God’s law or were evil. But through the scripture I came to God’s understanding of what a “sinner” is and what is the opposite of sinner.

In this article I shall share with you what the scripture says and what it clearly defines as a “sinner” and how you can be freed from such a designation.

Where did sin come from?

The original “sinner” was not a man. He was an angel. At one time he was the top angel in charge of praise and worship. His name was Lucifer. There came a time when Lucifer thought of himself more than he should and thought to dethrone the God of all creation. He handily defeated and cast down from his lofty position. Now, you understand that angels do not have the same privileges as God’s highest creation, mankind, because they were created as servants.

Psalm 103:20 (KJV)

20

Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto
the voice of his word.

Angels were created to serve God’s purpose. They were not given the choice of obeying or not. When Lucifer rebelled there could be no forgiveness. He never had the choice, whereas, man was given a choice. He could obey God and not eat of a certain tree and live, or he could disobey and choose death. God desired that the man love Him as much as He loved the man. Because God gave man the ability and right to choose He also loved him so much that when man chose to rebel and therefore brought the curse, God still loved him and provided a way that His highest creation could return to fellowship with Him. But just as man had chosen to not love God and rebel, he would have to love God and choose God’s way of restoration. God’s way of restoration was that He, through His only-begotten Son, would pay the price for Adam’s rebellion.
So, Lucifer became Satan and he seduced the woman and the man to sin. So what was their sin. The act was the eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Now they had eaten of many fruits from many trees, so why was this called sin? If we were to follow the logic of most “theologians”, then eating fruit from a tree would be sinning. After all that is what Adam and Eve did. I think you understand what I am getting at. It is not necessarily the “act” that determines sin but the motive.

The Covenant

Did you know that God made a covenant with man in the beginning? Here it is in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male
and female created he them.
28 AndGod blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the
earth.

God had the right to lease the Earth to man. 1 Corinthians 10 says so.

1 Corinthians 10:26 (KJV)
For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.

So God made a covenant with Adam and his descendants that they would rule over the earth and have dominion over it and the only stipulation was that they could not eat of only one tree in the Garden of Eden. When they took of the fruit and ate of the forbidden tree they broke the covenant. They no longer had “right standing” with God in the covenant which He had established.

Now, the stipulation of the covenant that they should not eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree was not so that God could show His right to tell them what to do, but was a way of Adam and Eve to show how much they trusted and loved their Creator. When they chose to eat of that forbidden tree they were saying that they did not trust and revere God but rather trusted in their own intellect and senses and thereby exalting themselves above God’s revelation to them. When confronted with their rebellion they knew that they had broken the covenant and made excuse after excuse. God in His great mercy provided a covering for their nakedness. Death entered the creation. It first came as God made skins for the covering of their nakedness. Innocent animals died so that their skins might be used as a covering of Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This was a foreshadowing that an innocent One would one day die to pay the price for the sins of all who would receive Him.

Righteousness

I have asked many people what the term “righteous” means. The answers vary from “holy” to “being good” to “religious” and on and on. This is the definition of Biblical “righteousness”: it is “right standing in a covenant relationship.” That “right standing” means that all the conditions of the covenant are met from that party’s stand point. It is similar to, but much stronger than, a contract. A simple example would be: I agree to pay you $100 to mow my lawn five times this summer. I give you the $100 dollars. As long as you show up on a basis by which you will mow my lawn five times this summer, you remain in good standing in our contract, or covenant.

It was very evident that Adam broke the covenant with God when he did the thing which he was not supposed to do according to the covenant. He no longer had right standing in that covenant. Therefore all that was in the covenant was now null and void. He no longer had dominion over the earth. Now, the one who was supposed to have rulership and direction over the Earth had lost his right to exercise that authority and had yielded it to “the god of this world”, satan. For that reason a curse was pronounced on the Earth.

Sinners

What determines a “sinner”? One of the favorite verses of all Christians is found in Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That verse is true, but is often misused. It is inserted as a clarifying point to establish that not only those who have the law but that all men whether under the law or apart from the law are concluded as having sinned. So what is sin?

Romans 3:20-26 (KJV)
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the
remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his
righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth
in Jesus.

Here we see that sin is not necessarily an action but is the “state” of one who is not in “right standing in a covenant relationship” (righteous).
Let me share a few more scriptures which back this.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Crucifixion
Jesus Paid It All

 

1 John 3:4-10 (KJV)
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is
the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that
doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the
devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for
his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is
not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Notice again that sin is contrasted to righteousness, not necessarily actions.
1 Peter 1:22-23 (KJV)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through
the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one
another with a pure heart fervently:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Conclusion

The old adage that “We are all sinners”, “I am just a sinner saved by grace,” and “We sin every day”, are lies which do not line up with the scriptures. If I say I sin everyday then I contradict the word of God which says “that if I abide in Him I do not sin.” If I say I am a sinner I admit that I do not have right standing with God which 2 Corinthians 5:21 says I do have. There is no such thing as a “sinner saved by grace”. You are either a “sinner”(covenant breaker) or you are “saved by grace”. The fact that we are all born “sinners” does not mean that we “all stay sinners(not right standing)”.

If we are sinners how can we honor the scripture in Hebrews 4.

Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and

find grace to help in time of need.

This scripture paints a picture of a young innocent child who comes running happily into his father’s lap. You cannot do that if you do not have right standing.

But, you may ask, “Don’t we mess up sometimes and sin?”

Let me ask you. Do you have children? I had two sons. If one of them had an accident, does that mean he is no longer my son? When they were young neither one of them could talk as well as I or walk or run as well as I. Did that mean that they were not my sons? I never once declared them “not my sons” because they could not do the things that I could. But as I loved them and nurtured them they came to the point that they did all the normal things that I did and many of the better. They did not arrive there by constantly deriding themselves for not measuring up. But they got there because they had parents who loved them.

We have a loving Heavenly Father Who loves us far more than any earthly parent. He has declared us “Righteous” if we are in Christ Jesus.

Acts 10:15 (KJV)

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What

God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

God has declared that in Chist Jesus you are “Righteous”. Do not let any person call you a “sinner” anymore.

In Him is Light
The Light of Men

 

 

 

 

 

What Is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy?

What is the difference between grace and mercy? Aren’t they both the same? You may have asked these questions before. You probably got the stock answer that every preacher who went to seminary was taught. Grace is unmerited favor and mercy is more or less the same thing. But is that really all there is to it?

The need for mercy and grace

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That’s right. We have to go all the way back to the beginning to find out why there is a need for such things as mercy and grace. The Creator, Who is Yahweh, created the earth and the universe and all that is contained in them in six days. His penultimate creation was a being in His own image. He called him Adam. From Adam He took a rib and created Eve as Adam’s partner. (For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave only to his wife.) Everything that God created was declared “very good”.

What went wrong?

But it was not very long before another character appeared. He was a created being but had fallen into disfavor because he had instigated a revolt in the heavens. He had declared, “I will be like the most high.” His name was Lucifer. At one time he was the head angel in charge of the praise of the Creator. But pride brought forth rebellion in him. He was cast out of heaven and found his way to earth.
Seeing God’s highest creation, Adam, and the fact that God had breathed His breath of life into him, Lucifer became jealous and hatched a plan to subvert God’s plan. He was sneaky and subtle so instead of appearing to the man he went first to the woman and in the form of a serpent. Apparently at that time the serpent was not what we think of as a snake, though that is what he became.

Creation
Garden of Eden

The fall

Lucifer, in the body of the serpent, approached Eve instead of Adam. Now, he was very wiley in coming to her. He was aware that Adam and Eve had freedom to do what they wished in the garden where God had placed them to tend it. This freedom which they enjoyed was limited by only one provision. There were many trees in the Garden, called Eden, and they bore fruits of varying kinds. They were free to eat from all of them except one. That one was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had said that if they ate of that tree they would die. Death was a hard thing for them to comprehend because there was nothing known of death at that time.

Lucifer, as I said, approached Eve, not Adam. He conversed with her about the Garden of Eden and the fruits of it. Eve told him of the one tree they could not eat from and what would be the outcome. Rather than calling God a liar, Lucifer just questioned whether Eve had heard God correctly. Then he turned her attention to the attributes of the fruit. He appealed to her senses. It was pleasant to look at. It should probably be tasty to eat. You can become like God. What is death any how? So she ate of the fruit and gave one to her husband, too.

Something changed. For some reason they felt a need to cover their body. Before, they were naked and innocent with no feeling of a need to be covered. But now, for some reason they needed to cover their body. So they took plant leaves and made coverings.

That same day, the Creator came calling in the garden. They were no where to be seen. Adam finally came out and admitted that they were hiding because they were naked. The Creator asked him, “Who told you you were naked?” ” Have you eaten of the forbidden tree?” Then the blame game began. “That woman that you gave me made me eat it.” Eve intones, “The serpent beguiled me and I ate it.” They had broken the covenant which they had with their Creator. For that they had to be cast out of The Garden of Eden, lest they should eat of The Tree of Life and live in their sin forever.

Mercy

That day mankind died, or as the Hebrew language says it, “in dying you will die.” (Does that sound a little like the second law of thermodynamics? I’ll explain that later.) Mankind, in Adam, would now be separated from his Creator and through cell degeneration would be steadily and assuredly dying. The Creator now establishes mercy. Instead of imposing the sentence immediately He by His own authority declares for all creation and for Lucifer to hear that He, The Creator, will provide One Who will pay the price for this “sin”(the breaking of the covenant) and all the sin that would ever be committed by mankind. But to show that a price must be paid The Creator sacrifices the life of an innocent animal (animals can not sin because they are not created in God’s image and therefore do not have the ability to choose to obey or not to obey). He takes the skin of the sacrifice and clothes the man and his wife. Death had now entered into creation because of sin. God showed mercy in that He delayed the final judgment for sin until His promised sacrifice would be paid by His only-begotten Son. To state it clearly, mercy is judgment delayed. It is not the same as grace.

In 2 Peter 3:9 the scripture defines it this way: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

So, to remind His highest creation that He was delaying that final judgment until His promised sacrifice would come and pay the ultimate price for mankind’s sin, He instituted a ritual of animal sacrifice in which an innocent creature was put to death symbolizing the death of the One Who would pay the total price for rebellion and sin.

Grace

How is grace contrasted to mercy? As I said earlier, grace and mercy are not the same. Mercy delays final judgment, looking forward to the time of total payment, whereas grace is a once and for all total application of a declaration being totally just and in perfect standing in a covenant relationship. Grace firmly cries out that the recipient is sinless and perfect before his Creator in every aspect. Who declares that? His Creator declares it.

Crucifixion
Jesus Paid It All
Jesus bearing his cross
I did this for you

Romans 8:1 says it this way in the New King James Version Bible, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” This is what grace does; it declares NOW, right now, not some future time in heaven, but right now the person who is in Christ Jesus is declared perfect. Grace does not put on a false humility by declaring “that we are all sinners”, because that would be the One Who paid the price for sin to contradict Himself in so saying. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:21 where Paul the apostle pens, “For He(God) made Him(Jesus) Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.” That term “righteous” means “right standing in a covenant relationship”. We, who are in Christ Jesus have been restored to the Adamic relationship which existed in The Garden of Eden before the Fall.

Sin

The confusion comes because most do not understand how we are sinners in the first place. The false humility of declaring that we are all sinners comes because of the scripture in Romans 3:23 where Paul writes, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That is correct. We were all born “sinners” because we are descendants of Adam. You do not have to do one single act to be declared a sinner. All have to do is be born a human being. But do you have to remain a sinner? Not according to the scripture.

What brought about sin originally? It was the breaking of the covenant in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, if in Christ Jesus we have been declared to be in right standing in this New and Better Covenant, for me to declare myself a sinner would be a slap in the face of my Lord Jesus Who Himself paid the terrible price that I might be declared righteous through faith in Him. Here is what it says in 1 John 3:

1 John 3:1-10 (KJV)

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we

should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it

knew him not.

2 Beloved, now are we

the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,

when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope

in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the

law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

5

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in

him is no sin.

6 Whosoever abideth in

him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

7 Little children, let no man deceive

you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8 He that committeth sin is of the

devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God

was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for

his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are

manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is

not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Verse 6 says that whoever abides in Jesus does not sin. But it does not equate sin with actions but with “right standing in a covenant relationship”, righteousness.

Where does grace fit in. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the GIFT(GRACE) of God.” There was no way you could ever merit this right standing in this covenant so by entering in to Christ Jesus, Who did merit it, you get what Jesus received for you.

The only way you could become a sinner again is if you could undo the work which Jesus did for you, and all mankind, on the cross when He received the punishment due a covenant breaker so that you could receive the blessings of one who has right standing in a covenant with the Creator of the universe. To find the terms of the covenant, good and bad, all you have to do is check it out. All the good that Jesus purchased are written down so that there is no mistake as to what the terms are. I encourage you to read it for yourself. It is not so complicated as some lawyers would write it, but it is straight forward and easy to understand. (Do not let a theologian tell you what it says. They are indoctrinated to what other men say.)

Definition

Do not take my word for what grace means. The Holy Spirit(Who is Christ in You) will tell you precisely what it is, but I shall share with you what The Holy Spirit gave me to understand what grace is for me. He gave me this phrase: Grace is God’s eager willingness to do good for me.” The Holy Spirit did not tell me I had to beg God to do good for me or promise I would do something for Him if He would do good for me. That is not the God of the Bible. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me that God is so eager to bless me that all I have to do is take Him at His Word and it is done. That sounds like faith, and it is. But we shall address that in another blog

God bless you and may He open your eyes to His Word and His great love for you.

Hear this beautiful anthem, My Eternal King, by Jane Marshall.