Thursday, January 19, 2012

Works of Grace

What are we supposed to be doing today as grace believers?

Let me start by saying we need to be fed to grow.  We can grow from being fed either bad food or good food—both physically and spiritually speaking.  Most believers are being fed bad spiritual food (unsound words, not rightly divided), not good spiritual food (sound, wholesome words according to Pauline doctrine).  That’s why they’re not capable of fighting the good fight of faith.

1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

You can learn the basics of what salvation is about in denominational churches (spiritual milk), but then you need to grow from there in a church that rightly divides (spiritual meat).

1 Corinthians 3:2

I [Paul] have fed you with milk ["my gospel"], and not with meat [necessary for spiritual growth]: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

As a minister I can’t tell you what you should be doing ‘out there.’  That’s legalism.  My job is to feed you so full of truth [scripture] that you’re just bursting and you can’t help but tell others. 

2 Timothy 3:17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly [past the point of 'bursting' out] furnished unto all good works.

I can exhort you, but the minute I stand up here and tell you that you should be doing this, this and this, and start whipping you for not doing it, I’m no better than the denominations.  But whatever we do, it must be done God’s way—as laid out in Paul’s epistles in this dispensation of grace.

When we’re fed properly, we will grow so that we’ll know what to do.  The life of the Lord Jesus Christ will be so manifest in our mortal flesh, that we will do things, as he lives out his life in us.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.

What you want to be particularly wary of in a grace ministry is not putting a performance-based anything on people.  That’s the biggest thing that people who come from a denomination to the grace message learn.  “Do’s and dont’s” are so engrained in them that it’s a long process to break from that mindset and come to a real understanding of our liberty in Christ.  You have to be an adult. 

God is so patient.  If you’re doing something sinful, and God’s word hasn’t taught and convicted you, God isn’t mad at you and ready to pound you.  He lets his word convict you.  It can’t come from a person; it has to be God’s word, his Holy Spirit that convicts a person.  So my job is to get you the word.

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Now then, your question:  What are we supposed to be doing today as grace believers?  If we read and study Paul’s epistles we can see what God would have believers do.  Here are just a few…

1 Timothy 2:4
[God] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ephesians 4: 22-32
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Neither give place to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

With a mind renewed daily, feeding on the word rightly divided, it is then as we come to a situation in life, we know what God has to say about it and we can react on the basis of that Truth that we have built up in us.

1 Corinthians 3:9-10
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me [Paul], as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Hopefully this helps! 

1 comment:

  1. The three basic spiritual foods for Christians to live a healthy life are:
    • Prayer
    • Fellowship
    • Word of God