Posts Tagged ‘Rom 5:17’

Reign in Grace

“And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33)

Great Power & Great Grace… these are the keys to Great Christian Character! God’s Word promotes the idea that grace is more powerful than sin or test. We should never, never, never allow our perceptions of reality to diminish the flow of God’s power. “For if by the one man’s offense, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).

We have been made kings and priests to our God (Rev. 1:5) and grace is necessary to rule and reign in spiritual life. Grace is necessary to exercise authority in the way that God desires. God rules, but not harshly. He rules and releases His power by grace, justice, mercy and truth. In order to exercise authority in every situation, we need to receive more and more of God’s grace. This grace gives us power not only to use authority over negative situations in life, but also to testify in a way that will build strength into our faith and service for the Body of Christ.

Grace inspires us to…

1. Believe:

The Scripture tells us that Apollos helped those who had “believed through grace” (Acts 18:27). Even the faith which saves us comes through God’s grace. We don’t produce faith – we receive it as a gift from God. “For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8). Grace is favor that inspires us to exercise the faith which God has given us (Rom. 12:3).

  • By the grace we have, we must believe God… His Word, His promises, His commandments, His judgments.

2. Receive:

God’s Word says, “much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17). The Apostle Paul speaks emphatically that grace was a precursor to walking out Kingdom lifestyles and anointing for ministry…  “We have received grace and apostleship” (Rom. 1:5). God does give grace, and it should inspire our bold Christian witness. We must be willing to receive it.

Also, grace must be received as grace. It cannot be received as payment for good behavior or good works. If we are thinking we receive grace from God on the basis of our good behavior, we will not be able to receive it as grace. Grace is given to the humble heart (Jms. 4:6). This is why God many times seems to greatly bless a sinner who has recently turned to Him, while seemingly ignoring many “good church people” who have been struggling faithfully for years with pride and selfish ambitions. Many have a wrong mentality concerning grace.

3. Continue:

“Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God” (Acts 13:43).

It is vitally important that all of us, especially those who have recently turned to God and trusted in His grace, continue in the grace of God. God gives more grace, so that we are inspired to flow with gracious words and activities. Jesus shocked the people of Nazareth who knew Him as a carpenter’s son, because of His gracious words (Lk. 4:22) and activity. We need to allow God to keep guiding our hearts to the place where He can continue to work in us by His grace. In the moment when we cease to allow God’s grace to work in us, we start to dry up as Christians and that life of God in us begins to lose its effectiveness. God will not force us to remain in His grace. It is something He gives us the power to do, but we must choose to go on. Don’t give up!

4. Discover & Manage:

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet. 4:10).

Every born-again Christian has a ministry, through receiving a spiritual gift and using it for the glory of God. We have all been given grace to serve somewhere. God’s grace takes many forms, as many as there are people in Christ; every anointing is unique and special. A steward or manager must use what has been entrusted to him and multiply it, otherwise; he is not being a good and faithful steward. God’s grace and blessings were not given simply for us to sit in “services” and feel good. Rather, they were given that we might not only be blessed, but also be a blessing. Greater works (Jn. 14:12) require fresh grace!

5. Multiply & Spread It:

“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 4:15).

Grace and peace do multiply… as more and more people spread it. We can spread God’s grace through giving, through preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and by “speaking such a word as is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29 & 5:18-21). It is the privilege of every true Christian, not just a special few; to spread God’s grace to as many as possible. When we to this, more and more people will bring pleasure to the heart of God (Ps. 133).

Grace is our Prophetic Destiny:

“Arise, shine; For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,

And kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isa. 60:1-3)

Recognize The Gift

I have often wondered if what disqualifies me for success in the eyes of the world, is oddly attractive to God. Maybe He chose me precisely because others would not have. Maybe my brokenness and frailties are His prerequisites.

The Bible says that God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong and the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Cor 1:25-29). Maybe that’s what He could do with me… “shame the strong and wise”. Maybe that’s what He could do with you, too.

The Words of Critics:

Many of us have been told all our life that we can’t, that we won’t or that we shouldn’t. Over time you may have believed this line of reasoning. These words can become watermarks etched in our memories… the images and expressions that undermine our faith; but God refuses such words! He is bold to refute those can’t and won’t and shouldn’ts in our memory.

God has put something inside of each of us… to display His Purposes!

  • In defiance, God takes the outcast and does the outstanding!
  • He takes the misfit and does the miraculous!
  • He takes the improbable and does the impossible!

He rules in the midst of weakness!

The Apostle Paul said it would be this way; that grace would reign in the midst of frailty (Rom 5:17). Nobody needs another example of perfection… Jesus did this for all of us. We need authenticity and when people see that in us… well, let’s just recognize the gift and honor Him for His mercy.

Bold As A Lion

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1)

Jesus Christ has given me an inheritance of righteousness and I claim it as my own. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21) and I reign in life (Rom. 5:17). In fact, I’m bold as a lion, because of all that He has accomplished for me… and in me. The above verse tells us, “The righteous are bold as a lion”. Its walking in the revelation of a person’s right standing with God that makes them confident and bold as a lion. If you can accept the truth; that in Christ there is forgiveness for sin and right standing with God, then you too can have the boldness of a lion. By simple faith, you will never again need to fear your circumstances or look at someone else’s life and feel unworthy.

You can say, “I have the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ credited to me by faith. I have cast aside my filthy rags for garments that are white as snow!”

It is time to stop struggling. If the devil comes to you and says, “You’re no good, you have no righteousness.” You can answer, “I know I am unworthy in myself! I have no righteousness, but I do have the righteousness of Jesus Christ. His Blood, shed for me has cleansed me from all sin! I’ve failed God; fallen from Glory, but I have an Advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, The Righteous King of Glory!” Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God who died; yet was risen and still remains as our Great High Priest before the Throne of God making intercession for the Saints, declaring the sufficiency of His own sacrifice. He will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. And we; as a People of Praise, shall rejoice with Him at His coming… knowing that we are like Him, bold as a lion in His righteousness.

Evil Days:

When you stand in the midst of evil, you will not have to tremble (1 Jn. 4:17-18). Stop thinking, “What have I to offer God? What did I do right or wrong?” No, you come bold as a lion to the Throne of Grace and find mercy and receive grace in the time of need (Heb. 4:16). Jesus has made all grace abound to you; so that in believing, you might have joy and boldness in your fellowship with God.

Freedom to do Good Works:

Living by faith and receiving the gift of righteousness, sets us free to walk in power and do good works. Good works done in fear bring no glory to God — they must flow out of a loving heart… a joyful heart. Walking in supernatural power is possible to those who have a revelation of their inheritance! Christ’s perfect righteousness has become our source of confidence… no more bondage to fear.

Its time to awaken the heart of the lion and move in faith- Courageous & Bold!

Way Beyond Fair

The Message of the Cross should always be seen as the central theme of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the Risen King and His reign has transformed how we see reality.

The rules of acceptance and forgiveness for example are no longer based upon Laws and Commandments, but life in the Spirit (Jn. 6:63). Mercy was poured out at the cross and grace is made available through the free gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-10).

“Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me!”

The Good News that we preach is not really about the issue of “fair-ness” at all, but fellowship in the Kingdom of God. Its a revolutionary Message that goes beyond creating equality to a more impacting truth, reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21). God is more than fair – He is loving and faithful. His grace is far more sufficient than anything we could deserve. God is generous, full of grace, full of mercy, loving us even though we don’t deserve it. While you and I were still without hope, Christ died for the ungodly, the outcast, the sinner and the broken alike (Rom. 5:8). Now He offers forgiveness to all who call upon Him.

Not Religion – Relationship:

That kind of message bothers religious folks who say that the harder you work, the more you will get. After all, “God helps those who help themselves”, right? The pathway of fairness tells us that if you behave better, you will get a better reward. Religious leaders like to hear that kind of message, because it makes it easy to motivate people to work hard, to live by the rules and to be religiously driven.

But Jesus says, “Its not the Truth!”

If you have dug a really deep pit for yourself; messed up time and time again or feel like you’ve been the worst sinner of all, you don’t have to work your way out of the pit to be saved. God simply forgives you by faith in His grace. You don’t have to deserve it – God has already made a way and simply does it. You just need to believe it and step into it – by faith. You need to trust God and take Him at His Word. Your debt can be canceled from the record - paid in full - by faith in the mercy offered in the Cross of Jesus. God’s desire is that His Children would reign in life (Rom. 5:17).

Grace - Good News for Ordinary People:

It often seems that people find this kind of news difficult to embrace. “Look, I’ve been working hard to get out of the pit,” they might say, “and I am almost out”. The question you have to ask is, “Who is saving you? Who is your hope when the problem is bigger than you or the hurt is more than you can bear?” 

You mean to tell me that people can be free - instantly, without having to do any work at all? That’s not fair!

Grace is a Gift:

No, grace is not “fair” – it is grace – it is a gift we did not deserve. God can be generous to whomever He wants to be generous, and the Good News is that He is offering His generosity to everyone (Rom. 10:13). It is fair in the sense that anyone and everyone can receive it! But this means that He forgives some people a big debt and some people a smaller debt. Its the same arrangement for all, even though we all come from a different set of circumstances.

The key is not the fairness of God, but the faithfulness of His love toward us!

Father’s Garden

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.” (Gen. 2:8)

The Garden of Eden - God’s Original Design:

The Garden of Eden is more than a historical place in the Bible. It is more than a lost paradise. And it is more than a bright future that can only be entered through death’s doorway. Life in the Father’s Garden reveals God’s original design and our restored inheritance. Eden teaches us what it means to live as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

5 Revelations from Father’s Garden:

1. Intimacy with the Father…

  • “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”  (Gen. 3:8)

At the heart of Eden is a personal relationship with Father God. The first face Adam and Eve saw was the face of a loving Father. The name Eden means “delight”. This delight does not mean happiness as we use the term, but the joy that comes through being intimately connected with God. David speaks of his revelation of intimacy with the Father, saying, “You will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11). When Jesus died, there would be no more seperation from the Father’s Garden. The veil in the temple was torn in two, signifying that the way into the Father’s intimate Presence was restored (Mt. 27:51, Heb. 10:19-20). And that place of intimacy can be our home.

2. Clothed in the Glory of God…

  • “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25)

Although Adam and Eve were physically naked, they were covered with the Glory of God. David says of created humanity, “You [God] crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). The Hebrew word for crown also means encircled or clothed. The righteous are “surrounded with God’s favor as a shield” (Ps. 5:12). No wonder Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness at that moment, sin caused the Glory of God to be stripped away from them. Physical clothing is here to stay, but consider the spiritual truth in Christ. Jesus reclothed us in the garments of salvation and covered the believing heart with the robe of His righteousness (Isa. 61:10). We are the righteousness of God in Christ and we can live transparently before God without shame or fear. Freedom in God’s Presence is not as a result of behaving perfectly, but of placing our faith in Jesus, the only Perfect One. Through His grace, we are in the process of being transformed in His glory, by His glory into His glory. (2 Cor 5:17-21, Phil 1:6)

3. The Father’s Blessing…

  • “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:28)

The first words God spoke over Adam and Eve were words of blessing. They experienced His favor before they had done anything. They did not have to prove their worth. Their worth was based in who they were… a son and daughter of God, beloved and accepted.

Religious striving and trying to be “good enough” is a performance trap unleashed at the moment the man and woman ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the devil’s reality. The serpent was fully aware guilt would be unleashed upon humanity if they tasted that for which God had forbidden. Their eyes would be open to their naked condition and they would see how frail they really were. But that is not God’s way for He was their Blessing Bearer, their Protector against all evil. It was not a surprise to God, in fact He already had a plan for this.

In Genesis we learn that we are blessed just, because we are God’s sons and daughters. And in Christ we are renewed in the Spirit of God’s Blessing; given the right to become sons simply through receiving the free gift of life (Eph. 1:3-6) by faith in His Name, His Cross and His Blood.

4. Living at Rest, while Laboring with God…

  • “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15)

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. And that on the seventh day God rested. It is an amazing observation that the first full day that Adam and Eve experienced was a day of rest. From that place of rest, they labored together with God. We read, that God planted the trees in the Garden of Eden – and that Adam tended them. It was a united effort, a co-laboring if you will, where we observe a life of God-given purpose.

In God’s Kingdom, we are co-laborers with Christ (1 Cor. 3:9) and our Father invites us to tend what He has planted. We sense the calling and the energy of the Holy Spirit, to do the work that He has prepared for us beforehand(Eph. 2:10). Its a work of eternal purpose for our own lives and the generations that will follow. 

5. Deligated Authority to Fulfil His Purposes…

  • “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Gen. 2:19)

In Eden, Adam named the animals and after his wife was formed they walked and talked with the Father in the cool of the day. As they heard what was on His heart, they were able to carry out His purposes through the authority He had conferred to them. It was a unique relationship built upon love and trust and free will.

Today that same authority that Adam and Eve lost through sin, has been restored to us through Jesus (Mt. 28:18). Although we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God; we have been freely justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:23-24). Just as if we had never sinned, our confession of faith in the Blood of Christ opens up to us the Promise of restored inheritance in the Father’s Garden. 

“For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Rom 5:17)

Living Inside or Outside of Eden?

Outside of Eden, we experience striving and frustration. We feel and behave like spiritual orphans. We wonder God feels unapproachable, distant and harsh. The perception outside of Eden is that God is not a Father, but a judge. We struggle with insecurity and strive to bear fruit. We wrestle with trust issues like orphans wrestle for a place to call home.

Living inside the Father’s Garden describes the life that we can live today in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Within Eden, we experience the intimacy and security of our Father’s love. We enjoy His blessing and favor and live in a place of supernatural peace – His rest. We walk with God and hear what is on His heart and then we fulfil His purpose for our lives with the authority He has given to us.

Its the abundant life of the Father’s Garden that is the inheritance of the Sons and Daughters.

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