For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
We often have a preference for holding on to what we have achieved yesterday and we celebrate yesterday! instead of seeing what the future holds for us!! and we become stunted in our growth.
Your readiness to grow determines your effectiveness and progress! It is a season for you to move from one level to another- from one dimension to a higher dimension! From one revelation to a deeper revelation.
God wants you to move from the season of immaturity to maturity to experience His power!! God wants to transform your life to be effective instruments for Him. Sometimes you need to swim against the tide in order to come into what God has for you. In this journey with God we have to grasp the truth of His revelation and from one level to another. But unfortunately many of us do not grow, the reason being a fixed mentality and an unteachable spirit.
THE GOSPEL OF GRACE IS THE POWER OF GOD
Paul makes a radical statement here in Rom 1:16: the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Paul refers here to the power of God to grace. This gospel which is considered to be too good to be true by some people is the power of God and Paul is referring to Grace as the power of God. In other words the gospel of grace is the power of God.
Acts 20:24: notice what Paul says here, he says he came to preach the gospel of the grace of God. The Gospel is the grace of God. If you can really understand this grace then you will understand how much of power it carries to meet and sustain every area of your life.
People have been teaching wrong theology: performance mentality, performance-driven theology. What they say and frighten us is that:
We are not good enough to be blessed. We don’t have a right standing with God. Therefore, we need to work harder to get there.
Grace is really God living in us with His unmerited favor always available to us.
Ephesians 2:8 -9: For by grace and grace alone you have been saved, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Verse 9 : Not of works, lest anyone should boast
It is not dependent on how good you were! It is not dependent on how hard you worked. It’s not dependent on how long you pray. It’s not dependent on how many days you fasted. In others words Paul is saying you can take no credit at all for YOUR SALVATION. It is the unmerited Gift of God. YOU DID NOT EARN IT. YOU DID NOT WORK FOR IT. AND YOU DID NOT DESERVE IT. IT IS THE FREE GIFT OF GOD TO YOU! AND YOU CAN ADD NOTHING TO THE FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS.
Paul is addressing the Galatians church. Apparently he is very disappointed with them. This people who understood grace and they were saved by grace and so quickly they were slipping away from the truth, going into a performance mentality. Going into a performance mood. Trying to earn their salvation by good works. Trying to prove to God that they are not good enough for what Christ has done for them and therefore they were literally going back to the old tradition of performing under the law once again.
YOUR SALVATION WAS PERFECTED ON THE CROSS
In other words they felt this gospel of grace was too good to be true. They felt that they were not good enough for God to bless them by grace. Thus they wanted to prove to God they deserve to be blessed. They wanted to earn their blessings. They began to doubt that they were not the righteousness of God through Jesus dying for them on the cross.
2 Cor. 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
What is the meaning of this verse? You have a right standing with God because of what Jesus did for you. He made you righteous by His righteousness. When you refuse to stand in the righteousness of God then you are rejecting the son of God.
Paul says in Gal. 2:21:
“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
In so doing they rejected the truth. They were literally going back under the law.
I want to ask you this morning how many Christians today belong to this category of people?
Your focus on Jesus has been eroded over time and instead your focus is on your own performance. It’s like how well you can perform to justify, to prove to God that you deserve God’s blessings upon you.
Unfortunately many people who are Christians today bring people away from the cross and say salvation is by keeping the law! I don’t know why people want to come under the law when the Bible clearly says you can’t even keep the law.
James 2:10 tells us whosoever keeps the whole law and fails one bit of it he is guilty of the whole law.
Grace is a life-time gift. You are blanketed by grace.
The Holy Spirit is a major game player in the law of grace.
Grace removes the law. To live by grace doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything at all. To live by grace doesn’t mean I can get away with every wrong that I commit.
To live by grace means I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil 4: 13). Now, I can uphold the command of God by the enabling power of grace that operates in me through Jesus Christ.
In other words: Under grace Jesus is saying I require a higher standard from you, because when I have brought you under grace I give you my ability and my power to walk in righteousness.
In the past, I couldn’t do it on my own by my own self effort but I can now uphold it by the enabling power of God. That is grace! Grace will produce a certain kind of character! A certain kind of nature. A certain kind of righteousness which is of the fruit of the spirit. Grace produces victory in our lives. Grace produces power in our lives. Grace is a power that transforms us from the inside out and produces a brand new character which reflects the fruit of the spirit.
The law puts the light on you but grace puts the light on Jesus. The law condemns, grace forgives. The law is fear, grace is love.
Note: Rev Dr Jai Kumar is an ordained & licensed minister of Covenant Ministries International N.J. USA. He is a mission minded pastor who carries an apostolic anointing who preaches and teaches an uncompromising gospel with boldness. A member of ECCM (Malaysia) Spiritual Adviser & overseer to various ministries and churches. An itinerant speaker. He is also the author of a book entitled, ‘God’s Time Clock.’ Currently he worships at C3 Subang.
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Rev Dr Jai Kumar