Saturday, August 2, 2014

The hidden power and benefit of grace--Part II

                         Last time we talked about grace, we saw how it protected Noah. Little is known about this wonderful power of God. We saw it at work in Noah's life. His society was perverse, dangerous and tough, nevertheless, God had mercy on his servant.
                           Today, we are going to see more about the hidden power of grace and what it does. I like to call it hidden because there are some who do not understand its functions. Hard to believe, but there are those who believe that Salvation has to be worked out until the end. Legalistic doctrines have been made about God's gift. I am amazed that some will argue with me and say you can't know that you are saved until you die.I, respectfully, have to differ.
                            The word says that you know that you have eternal life. (I John 5:13) So, if we know that we have eternal life, we are saved---point blank!  Eph 2:8-9 says that Salvation is a gift through grace not of works. Many will say, but what about the verse that says he that endured unto the end shall be saved? (Matt 24:13) Again, Matt 24:13 indicates works and that contradicts the gift of salvation. If you do a careful study of that chapter, that is talking about the Jews. (Matt 24:20)
                             When Jesus comes for his church, the dispensation of grace will cease and God will focus his attention to the Jews and the law. (Eph 3:2/Eph 1:10) Scriptures teaches us that in the last days, the sacrifices will be instituted again.  That is why the dispensation of grace was called a mystery. Jesus spoke very little about it to his disciples and that mystery was revealed to Paul. He spoke consistently about the mystery, which was the Jews and Gentiles becoming one. (Rom 11:25/ Eph 1:10)
                            That is why we need to be careful how we interpret scripture. I believe that God is full of mercy and grace, but nevertheless, we can't let our guard down. Sin has consequences and there is a place where one's salvation can be lost but it is not as easy as one thinks it is. Think about this, Jesus made this clear---what is born of flesh is flesh and what is spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
                                Here is an example in understanding the benefits of grace--Even though we disappointed our family, they did not cast us out. I did not stop being a Santos because of a shortcoming. True, when I was a minor, I was disciplined and corrected but still remained a part of the family. The same is true in the spirit. God is not waiting for us to mess up and hit us with a club to send us to hell. He gives us grace and mercy. At times, he even corrects us and it is not a pretty sight.
                          When you were part of a Jewish family, there were standards to be followed. If a son caused shame and grief on the family, the father would then tear part of his clothes and call his son dead. The same is with us---If after we mature and stray away, our heart will get hardened. There will, then, come a time when God will see us dead. We don't want to get there. The good news is that God will, always, leave a door open as with the example of the prodigal son. Another clear example of the benefits of grace.
                             So, my friend, take advantage of God's grace while there is still time. If you are wrestling with some issues (and who isn't ?), ask God to have mercy on you. Ask him to work within you a spirit of repentance. Confess that you love righteousness and hate iniquity. As you do so, you will begin to hate what he hates and loves what he loves.That indeed is the hidden power of grace. God bless.

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