Abounding in God’s Grace

Capitol Peak AutumnAuthor’s Note: All scriptures are quoted from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Explanatory insertions within a scripture are enclosed in brackets.

It was an exhilarating time in the high country of beautiful Gunnison, Colorado. Nestled in the Colorado Rockies with the aspen trees in full bloom, I recently returned from attending the 72nd Anniversary weekend at Camp Gunnison-The Way Household Ranch. The world-wide ministry that I am affiliated with, The Way International (www.theway.org), was celebrating seventy-two years of biblical research, teaching and fellowship. The new theme for the 2014-2015 ministry year is “Abounding in God’s Grace.”

Abounding in God’s Grace

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines abounding as “very plentiful” and “abundant.” What is grace? Grace is God’s divine, unmerited favor. We didn’t earn it, we can’t purchase it, and we certainly can’t work for it. Grace is a free gift from God that was given to us as a result of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to have an abundance of God’s grace?

Ephesians 2:4-10

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly
places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith [believing]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When we accept Romans 10:9-10 and confess Jesus as Lord in our lives and believe that God raised him from the dead, the Bible says that we are saved. The word saved comes from the Greek word sōzō and it means to make or keep sound or safe. In confessing Romans 10:9-10, we are born again of God’s holy spirit and are called the “sons of God” in 1 John 3:2. Prior to confessing Jesus as Lord in our lives, the Bible says that we were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). This sin nature occurred because of Adam’s disobedience to God in Genesis 3. However, God being a just and loving heavenly Father, gave us a way out of this dilemma. 1 Corinthians 15:22 states, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” With the new birth, God gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness so that we can walk in the steps of Jesus Christ (John 14:12). What are some of the benefits of God’s grace?

Benefits of God’s Grace

 A New Creature

In the past, we were body and soul subject to the principalities and powers of this world. As a born-again believer, we became body, soul, and spirit and are no longer under the authority of “the god of this world”, the Devil (2 Corinthians 4:4). The following scripture declares:

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus
Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.

Regardless of what happened in our lives in the past, God has given us a new beginning. Not only can we begin anew, but He has also given us the power, authority, and ability to reconcile men and women back to God. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we are called “ambassadors for Christ”. As ambassadors are appointed by our President to represent our country abroad, as a born-again believer, God Almighty has called each and everyone of us to reconcile men and women back to Him.

Power

Prior to learning the Word of God and getting born again, I always wanted to help people but I didn’t know how. When I got born again and started learning and applying God’s Word, the Bible, in my life I learned about the spiritual competition that is described in Ephesians 6:10-19. The Devil, also known as Lucifer, is a spirit being who was second in command to God. As a result of pride and rebellion, he took one third of the angels and is now the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He, and his devil spirit kingdom, have “made the world as a wilderness” and continue to steal, kill and destroy (Isaiah 14:12-17, John 10:10). However, once an individual becomes born again of God’s holy spirit, he is bought with the blood of Jesus Christ and is no longer subject to the “god of this world.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 states, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).

The power that we received from God with the new birth is spiritual power, the gift of holy spirit. The gift of holy spirit became available through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. This gift was first received by the apostles in the book of Acts on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11) and is available today to anyone who chooses to believe Romans 10:9-10. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). The nine manifestations of holy spirit that are available to every born-again believer are: speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith [believing], workings of miracles, and gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Why did God give us this power and what are we to do with it? God gave us this power so that we could do the works of Jesus Christ and greater works as described in John 14:12. God also gave us this power so that we can reconcile men and women back to God and destroy the works of the devil in our lives and in the lives of others (1 John 3:8).

Summary

 Abounding in God’s grace is a privilege and a right that God freely gave us as a result of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We didn’t earn it, we couldn’t work for it, and we certainly were not worthy of it. Grace, or God’s divine unmerited favor, is a free gift because of God’s immeasurable love for His children. Some people choose to reject this gift and others gladly receive it with all of its bountiful blessings. God’s Word says that as a result of accepting this free gift, we are new creatures and we have the power to do the works of Jesus Christ. These are just two of the over 900 promises in God’s Word that we can claim for a lifetime and blessings for all eternity. Wouldn’t you want God’s divine unmerited favor in your life?

 Copyright © 2014 Aleta You. All Rights Reserved.

 

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