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more about “Grace and Love by Kutless“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

 

 

What Grace Is

The true grace of God is God’s work in His Son Jesus Christ. We have an indication of this in John 1:17.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that there was no grace under Moses, or that there was no truth under Moses. Nor does it mean that there is no law under Jesus Christ. We have already seen that grace is not license.

Paul says that he was not without law to God, but under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21).

Yet in some way, John is contrasting law — as characteristic of the Old system — to grace — as characteristic of Jesus Christ. What is God’s true grace? It came by Jesus Christ. In some sense, it is peculiar to Jesus Christ and his work. Grace will be found in relation to the Son of God himself –the Son who became flesh and dwelt among us. He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

Peter says that it was prophesied in advance that Christ would bring this grace to mankind, and that this grace would be our salvation.

As to this SALVATION, the PROPHETS who prophesied of THE GRACE THAT WOULD COME TO YOU made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow (1 Pet. 1:10-11).

God’s true grace would come by Jesus Christ. The prophets had an inkling of this, but they did not see it clearly. John says that grace did come by Jesus Christ, who was God in human flesh. Peter says that the Spirit of Christ testified to the prophets of someone, at some time, who would bring grace to God’s people — grace that would result in their salvation, or right standing with God. We know, looking back, that they spoke of Christ. They did not know the details but “made careful search and inquiry” as to who this Savior was and when he would come.

Jesus Became A Man

How did God’s grace involve Christ? What was involved in God’s grace? It visibly began when God became incarnate to become a man in Jesus Christ. Paul says:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9) .

Grace began when Jesus left heaven — with all its riches — to become a man. He became poor FOR OUR SAKE, that we might become RICH. Grace means, in the first place, that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. He became one of us. Jesus came for the purpose of keeping God’s will perfectly in a human body — that is why he was given a body in the first place.

Therefore, when he comes into the world, he says, “Sacrifice and offering thou hadst not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for me. In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said [putting these words in the mouth of Jesus], `Behold I have come’ (in the roll of the book it is written of me), `to DO THY WILL, O GOD'” (Heb. 10:5-7).

God had never wanted animal sacrifices or sin offerings above all else. He had simply wanted people to carry out his will! But even the most pious and faithful Jew had always failed to do God’s will (because that is what we have seen to be the universal state of fallen humans), and had to offer sacrifices for sin instead. Jesus did not come to offer more animal sacrifices. He came to do what God had always wanted but what no person had ever yet done: TO DO THE WILL OF GOD! As a MAN, He would do what NO OTHER had done. God gave Jesus a body for that purpose. He came to do the will of God. Not only that, He DID the will of God perfectly in his human body. Jesus then offered that body for OUR sins.

We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . For by one offering he has perfected for all time [or completely] those who are sanctified (Heb. 10:10, 14).

The grace of God means — first — that Jesus became a man. He was one of us. As a man he kept God’s will perfectly. Then he offered his body to God — he presented to God what God had always wanted — a human life perfectly in accord with his will for man. Grace means, in the second place, that Jesus died for sins — though he himself had none.

Jesus Swapped Places With Us

In dying when he personally had never sinned, Jesus paid the price for OUR sins — and those of every person who will finally be saved throughout all the world! Remember our two eternal principles: God demands death for sin; fallen humans always sin. Here we see how the two truths are reconciled for our salvation. Jesus died for our sins! HE TOOK OUR PLACE. God does not overlook sin — a monumental price is paid for it — the perfect life of the Son of God! The only man who ever did what God wanted died for those who never had. Here is the grace of God! It is not a cheap grace — it cost the life of the Son of God. He died in our place.

Paul tells us this same thing in Second Corinthians, chapter five:

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed to us the word of reconciliation. . . . He made him who knew no sin [Jesus Christ] to BE SIN ON OUR BEHALF, that we might become THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in him. And working together with him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor. 5:19-6:1).

This story becomes more wondrous all the time! Jesus not only took OUR place; He gives us HIS. He was made SIN for us, that we might be made THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in him. The grace of God is that Jesus became a man — a representative man who took our place. In a human body, Jesus lived a perfect life which God counts for us, then died the death which, for our sins, we deserved to die.

Peter tells us this in other words:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by his wounds you were healed (1 Pet. 2:24).

Jesus did not stay in the grave. God raised him from the dead — and that, too, was for our sake!

Now not for [Abraham’s] sake only was it written, that “[his faith] was reckoned to him [for righteousness],” but for our sake also, to whom [faith] will be reckoned, as those who believe in him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, him who was delivered up because of OUR transgressions, and was raised because of OUR justification. Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into THIS GRACE IN WHICH WE STAND; and we exult in hope of the glory of God (Rom. 4:23-5:2).
Jesus died for our sins. If God did not have to deal with our sins, Jesus would not have died. If we ever wonder whether we are sinners, we need look only at the cross of Jesus Christ and we see that we are. He was on that cross “because of our transgressions.”

But Jesus was raised again “because of our justification.” His resurrection demonstrated to the entire watching universe that God loves sinners and that, in Jesus, he has saved those who do not reject his grace, those of every nation and time and place in whom God sees the faith of Abraham. If we ever wonder whether we are forgiven, we need look only by faith at that empty tomb where Jesus was once buried. If we think of Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins, we may also think of Jesus’ resurrection as God’s guaranteed and irrevocable receipt.

Here is the grace of God! It is a great swap-out! It comes through Jesus Christ. In Jesus of Nazareth, the God of the universe became man — made in the likeness of man — came to be like sinful flesh. He was actually and really one of us, though he was still deity. But, unlike us, Jesus did not sin.

Instead he did the will of God perfectly in his human body. Then the only sinless man who ever lived died a cruel death for sinners like you and me who will never deserve anything else than death.

Here is the grace of God. And here is why JESUS CHRIST is the very heart and soul, the center and circumference, of the New Testament. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the alpha and the omega. He is the beginning and the end. He is the first and the last. He is our peace, our justification, our holiness. We owe everything to Him.

Grace Is Received By True Faith

Paul says in Romans, chapter five, that we are justified by faith (v. 1). Faith means trusting God to love us, because of what he did in Jesus Christ, and entrusting ourselves wholeheartedly to that divine love. Salvation is by grace — we do not deserve God’s favor toward us and we can never earn it. We access this grace by faith, which means that we must always look outside ourselves for our salvation (2 Tim. 1:12).

We cannot perform the work which results in our salvation, for Jesus has already done that, once for all time. We cannot add to that finished work, or improve on it. We can only trust God to be gracious to us as he promises in Christ. If we picture grace as the room of God’s favor, we may think of faith as the door into that room (Rom. 5:1-2).

God accepts us because of Christ’s work on our behalf. We enjoy that grace by accepting it as fact, trusting it as sufficient, and throwing ourselves on it in total and eternal abandon, to become servants of righteousness and true holiness in Christ. We do not earn God’s favor. We can not ever please Him enough to be given His blessings. We certainly could never pay for our own sins and be saved. But in Christ God has brought together the justice that is his nature and the weakness that is ours: Christ became a man and took our place.

God’s grace deals with the weakness of our flesh because salvation does not depend on our weak flesh — Jesus has earned it for us already! It also takes into account God’s holiness, because sin is punished — by the death of God’s sinless Son! And so Paul can say to the Ephesian Christians:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

License perverts grace, and does not satisfy God’s requirement of perfect obedience to his will. Legalism thwarts and frustrates God’s grace, and does not provide for the weakness of fallen humankind. Salvation by grace — true grace in Jesus Christ — reckons with God’s holiness and with our sinfulness and weakness. The perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ satisfies God’s holiness and provides for our sinfulness. In Jesus Christ, the holy God accepts and forgives his sinful human creatures (Eph. 1:7).

One With Christ

We are saved because we are one with Christ — and he has both offered a perfect life and died for our sins. We are one with Christ on the basis of faith, in the beginning and throughout life. True faith will seek to please him. Yet it is not legalism. There is a vast difference between law-keeping and law-depending. We will want to do God’s will, yet we never will trust in our own performance for our salvation. We glory only in the cross of Christ.

Any system, any concept of Christianity, any “ism,” any movement, which makes salvation dependent on our own ability to please God destroys and invalidates the work of Christ. If we could have been saved because of our own performance then Christ died in vain. If people could be saved by keeping the rules, Christ could have stayed in heaven — God’s people had possessed perfect rules for centuries. The weakness of the Old Testament was the weakness of man. That is the same weakness of any system which depends on us.

It is one thing to seek God’s will in a matter because we love him and want to please him. It is another thing altogether to approach that same matter with the idea that our salvation depends on our own good performance or merit. This attitude is legalism, and it will always lead to pride (insofar as we are successful) or to despair and hopelessness (insofar as we fail).

It is right and proper to seek to please God as thoroughly and exactly and precisely as possible. Any true believer will want to do that, and anyone who does not want to do that is not a true believer. But it is a far different matter to create a system, to formulate a creed, or to devise an elaborate set of rules, and then DEPEND ON OUR OWN KEEPING OF THOSE THINGS FOR OUR SALVATION.

Let us seek to please God. That is what true faith will always do. Let us ask God for forgiveness when we fall. That is what true faith will always do. Let us rejoice in the work of Christ on our behalf. Let us glory in the cross of Christ. Let us say — first, last, and always — “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” And — in Christ — we know that he always will!

I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that THIS IS THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD. Stand firm in it! . . . Peace be to you all who are in Christ (1 Pet. 5:12, 14).

A Personal Question

Are YOU standing in God’s true grace? Are you enjoying peace with God by trusting in his saving kindness shown in Jesus Christ? If you do believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son; if you do trust His perfect life and atoning death for your salvation; if you do rely on Him and intend to please Him as long as you live and as best you are able in all things — then do not delay acting on that faith!

Express with your mouth and your action the faith that is in your heart.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved (Rom. 10:9)

Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on [Jesus’] name (Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27).

Of [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that through his name every one who believes in him has received forgiveness of sins. . . . And [Peter] ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43, 47).
And then, as long as you live, continue to walk by the same faith –trusting, relying and obeying — living in the TRUE GRACE OF GOD!

http://www.edwardfudge.com/written/grace04.html

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SALVATION: DO or DONE ?, IT IS FINISHED!!!

This post is two articles and one video !!!

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/helpseek/doordone.htm

DO or DONE? !!

 

“There is a wide difference between your religion and mine,” said a Christian lady to one in whose spiritual condition she had long been interested. “Indeed,” said he, “how is that?” “Your religion,” she replied, “has only two letters in it, and mine has four.”

 
It seems that this gentleman was one of that numerous class seeking to get to heaven by their doings, by attention to ordinances and ceremonies, by what the apostle, in the ninth of Hebrews, terms “dead works.” But he did not understand about the “two letters” or the “four.” His friend had often spoken to him, and on the occasion to which our anecdote refers she had called to take her leave of him for some time, as she was about to go from home.

 
“What do you mean,” said he, “by two letters and four?”

 
“Why, your religion,” said the lady, “is d-o DO; whereas mine is D-O-N-E.” This was all that passed. The lady took her leave; but her words remained and did their work in the soul of her friend–a revolutionary work, verily. The entire current of his thoughts was changed. Do is one thing; done is quite another. The former is legalism; the latter is Christianity. It was a novel and very original mode of putting the gospel; but it was just the mode for a legalist, and the Spirit of God used it in the conversion of this gentleman. When he next met his friend, he said to her, “Well, I can now say with you that my religion is d-o-n-e, DONE..” He had learned to fling aside the deadly doings, and rest in the finished work of Christ. He was led to see that it was no longer what he could do for God, but what God had done for him.

 
This settled everything. The four golden letters shone under the gaze of his emancipated soul, “d-o-n-e.” Precious letters! Precious word! Who can tell the relief to a burdened heart when it discovers that all is done? What joy to know that what I have been toiling for, it may be many a long year, was all done nearly 2000 years ago, on the cross! Christ has done all. He has put away sin; magnified the claims of divine justice; vanquished Satan; taken the sting from death and the victory from the grave; glorified God in the very scene in which He had been dishonored; brought in everlasting righteousness. All this is wrapped up in these four golden letters, “d-o-n-e.” Oh, who would not give up the two for the four? Who would not exchange “do” for “done”?

 
Reader, what say you to this? What of your religion? Does it consist of two letters or four? Is it still “do” with you? or have you found your happy portion and rest in “done”? Do you think of it, dear friend–think deeply–think seriously–and may God’s Spirit lead you, this moment, to cease from your own “do,” and to rest in Christ’s eternal “done.” (by C.H.Mackintosh, 1820-1896)

 
* * * * * * * * * *
When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The work of our salvation was FINISHED, DONE, ACCOMPLISHED and COMPLETED. We simply need to trust and rest in what the Saviour has accomplished.

 
Salvation is not working; it is RESTING on the WORK of Another, even the Lord Jesus Christ: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5).

 
Religion is man trying to bring himself to God by human effort, by good works, by ritualism, by traditionalism, by sacraments, etc. Salvation is Christ bringing us to God on the basis of what He did for us on the cross: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

 
God’s holiness utterly condemns the best man (“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”–Romans 3:10) and God’s grace freely justifies the worst (“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”–Romans 3:23-24).

 
The gospel message brings to man not a work to do, but a word to believe about a work done: “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:25).

 
We are saved, not because of what we have done, but because of the MERCY OF GOD based upon what Christ has done on the cross: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
A person can never be saved by his own good works: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 
Good works done by sinful man can never please a holy God. The greatest good work is GOD’S WORK accomplished by Jesus Christ who offered Himself on the cross as the sinner’s Substitute. Thus we are not saved by good works but we are saved unto good works: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

 
Are you resting fully in the finished work of Christ? Are you trusting in Jesus Christ, WHO HE IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR YOU and WHAT HE HAS SAID IN HIS WORD? “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).

http://sovereign-grace.com/518.htm

“IT IS FINISHED!”

 

The Son of God is being slandered by many preachers today. We may often hear them saying, “Jesus Christ has attempted to save all humanity by dying for us all and paying the price for our redemption. But His work alone is not sufficient for our salvation. He has done His part, now we must do ours. We must finish what He has commenced. If we trust in Him, what He has done for our salvation will become effectual, and we will be saved. But if we do not trust in Him, what He has done will have been a wasted effort, and we will perish in the lake of fire.”

 
These slanderers of Jesus Christ therefore become also beggars of sinners for Him. We may often hear them pleading during their altar calls, while their congregations sing verse after verse of invitational hymns, “Please let Jesus save you. He so very much wants to save you, but He is helpless to do so unless you let Him. He has done all He can to save you; now the rest is up to you. Please finish what He has begun.”

 
Their Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 11:4) is but an inglorious caricature of “God … manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16), the Son of God who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came from heaven to earth for a very specific purpose. And at the end of His earthly ministry, He shouted in victory in His dying breath, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

 
“Finished!” is His ministry as the substitute for His people. He Himself declared He had come “as the Son of Man … to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). He identified the “many” when He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

 
The loss of life is the penalty God inflicts for sin: “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ did not die for His own sins, because “[He] committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Rather, He died as the substitute for others, in their place and stead. God His Father has therefore declared of Him, “[F]or the transgressions of My people He was stricken …, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:8,11): ” The sins of God’s people were laid upon Him, and He died the death they deserve, suffering as their substitute, in their place and stead. Consequently:

 
“Finished!” is His mission for the salvation of His people. This mission is signified even by the name which was given to Him at His birth: “you shall call His name JESUS [i.e. Savior], for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This work of salvation has many aspects, and He has finished each.

 
He has remitted the sins of His people. He did so through what He called “My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

 
He has justified His people. He has fulfilled the prophecy of His Father when He declared “My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).

 
He has bestowed eternal life to His people. In His high-priestly prayer to God His Father (John 17), He acknowledged that the Son of God “should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” (v.2). And He declared, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (v.4). In summary, He had ascertained that every one of God’s chosen people would both hear and believe the gospel, and receive eternal life through their faith (vv.6-8). He had already ascertained this was done for those who lived during the days of His earthly ministry, and He promised to do so for those who will live in subsequent ages (vv.20f).

 

Truly “It is finished!” Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself the sins of His people, and died in their place and stead, and paid their penalty for sins, and redeemed and justified every one of them. And He has guaranteed that every one of them will enjoy the eternal bliss of heaven, and that none of them will perish in the lake of fire. And He has ascertained that every one of them will hear and believe this glorious gospel. Is He your Lord and Savior?

 

 

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