(the fast link to this page is http://gracelovetruth.com/?p=1102)
In this time when there is an ever increasing rise of legalistic religions, the Holy Spirit is re-establishing the church in Jesus’ unique Gospel of Grace which Paul refers to in Acts 20:24.
For this purpose we are presenting this powerful eight part Bible based The Grace-Love- Truth Course that will revitalize your spiritual life and understanding of the good news of Jesus’ grace.
The purpose of the course is:
To change wrong beliefs that are barriers to intimacy with Jesus.
To emphasise the unique message of Christianity: Salvation and life through Jesus Christ, by grace and not by works.
To reveal Jesus’ finished work on the cross and what this means for us today.
To enable us to understand God’s amazing favour that is revealed in Jesus.
To establish us in our identity as beloved and blessed children of the “Abba” Father.
To empower us to live in God’s gift of grace, righteousness and blessings.
To remove false teachings that make us feel unworthy and disqualified.
It is not our intention to impart more knowledge about Jesus but rather to help us to know Jesus in a more real and intimate way.
(Please note that there is no copyright on this material as it is published with the intention of being freely and fully available to the worldwide Church. However we do ask that if you use the course you acknowledge www.gracelovetruth.com and you let us know by email at email@example.com . Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version ®, NIV ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.)
1. The Gospel of Grace (Acts 20:24)
2. The New Covenant (Hebrews 8:10-13)
3. Law and Grace (2 Corinthians 3:6)
4. Grace overcomes Sin (Romans 6:14)
5. Righteousness is a gift of grace (Romans 3:22)
6. Children of God – our new identity in Christ (1 Corinthians 5:17)
7. Our union with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
8. God is Love (1John 4:8)
The Author – Garry Hare
This course has been written by Garry Hare who is the founder of Grace Love Truth Ministries and is chairman of Heart to Heart International.
Garry was born in Bristol England in 1956. His family emigrated to South Africa in 1967. Garry was educated in Johannesburg and graduated with a diploma in Civil Engineering in 1979. He worked in construction primarily as the CEO of his own property development company until going into full time self supporting ministry in 1996.
Garry and his family live in Kloof, Durban and he has been married to Annette since 1981. They have three children; Ryan (28), Simone (24), Jonathan (18), and three foster children; Amanda (13), Dion (11) and Sakina (13) and one grandchild; Ari (2).
Garry grew up in a non-Christian family but early on he attended traditional English church schools. As a young adult he was involved in the “New Age” movement and dabbled in a number of religions. He was radically saved in 1991 after a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit at a Christian healing service. After being “born again” he was initially involved with “Christian Ministry to Jews” (CMJ) and an employment ministry for the workless. In 1996 Garry went into full time ministry with New Wine (SA), a Charismatic Renewal Ministry and also ministered in the local Anglican Church of Kloof, Durban, where he was formally ordained as a deacon in 2000. Garry has ministered in churches of all denominations and types throughout South Africa and in various parts of the world, including Finland, Holland, UK, Korea, China, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Garry left the Anglican Church in 2002 to found “OrphanAid” and to fulfil a call to help establish a network of easily reproducible, relational, simple church communities among the poor and needy. This also involves mentoring young leaders, teaching and equipping believers from various church backgrounds and caring for AIDS orphans. In 2005 Garry and Annette founded “Springside Place of Refuge and Safety”, a safe home for abused women and children. Garry handed over the leadership of OrphanAid and Springside to a local team of leaders in 2010. Garry is chairman of Heart to Heart International which is an NPO umbrella organization to a number of ministries. Garry is a trustee and teacher at Kloof Theological Centre whose aim is to provide solid Biblical teachings to the both the local and wider church. Garry and Annette are also involved in pastoring in a network of relational, small, simple, local churches. Garry and Annette also have a close association with Sarepta Kloof. Since 2009 Garry has been involved in sharing the gospel with Muslims and helping encourage the persecuted church.
Garry and Annette are accountable to a group of other mature Christians from various church backgrounds, as well as the team which they are part of. They are also linked in with many local churches.
Garry and Annette have a passion for: Jesus and His kingdom, family, sharing the good news of Jesus’ grace, establishing believers in their identity as God’s beloved children, the empowering of the Holy Spirit, mission to the poor, needy and oppressed, authentic Christian community and church, the unity and rich diversity of the church, the breaking down of racial, cultural, denominational, educational & economic divides, raising up young leaders and using technology to share the good news.
Over the years God has blessed Garry and Annette in their business dealings and they have their own financial means of support.
Garry’s present calling and focus is to help establish the wider church in the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ (Acts.20:24) and teach on how to practically live out the love and grace of God.
The first part of the eight part course The Gospel of Grace can be found at
http://gracelovetruth.com/?p=1095 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for PDF or Word printable files which are in a better format and can be emailed to others.
Here’s a outline of part 1.
1. THE SCRIPTURES
1.1 Principles of Bible reading
1.2 The eight C’s
1.3 The scriptures reveal Jesus
1.4 Two ways of righteousness
2. SCRIPTURE IN THE CONTEXT OF GRACE
2.2 Division in the early church
2.2 Law keepers and grace believers
2.3 A scriptural exercise
3. AMAZING GRACE
3.1 What is grace
3.2 Saved by grace alone
3.3 It’s not maintenance by works
3.4 Jesus’ grace is our right standing with God
3.5 Grace preaching has great historical roots
3.6 Salvation by grace is a full package of life now
3.7 Grace qualifies us
3.8 Grace blesses
3.9 Grace offends
4. ONE GOSPEL
4.1 One message of good news
4.2 The gospel of grace and the kingdom
4.3 Stick to the gospel of grace
5 . GROUP EXERCISE
5.1 The Prodigal Son
6. EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNERS
6.1 Group exercise and questions
Part 1: The Gospel of Grace
An important part of understanding grace that is ours through the living Word, Jesus Christ, is that grace be based on firm biblical and historical foundations. When we have strong biblical foundations then the intimacy, hope and blessings that come through Jesus and his grace cannot be undermined. As you go through this study course please spend time looking up all the scriptural references quoted in brackets and allow the Holy Spirit to establish the Word in your heart and mind. As you go through each part, at first,there may unanswered question that arise. Many of these will be answered as the course progresses, so hang in there. If by the end of the course you feel any question has not been answered sufficiently please spend time in prayer and the Scriptures asking the Holy Spirit for revelation. You may also email us at email@example.com if you still feel clarification is needed and we will endeavor to help.
We are privileged to be living in an amazing time for the church and the kingdom – a time as the church has never known before. Five hundred years ago, the Holy Spirit gave the Reformers, one of whom was Martin Luther, a revelation that we are saved and justified by grace alone. This revelation started to free the church from the false doctrine of salvation through good works. The revelation that salvation was by grace and not by dead works was the catalyst that brought mankind out of the Dark Ages. Sadly, history shows that the revelation of grace was not fully received and implemented by the Reformers. The majority of church Reformers, who taught salvation by grace alone, ultimately established theologies and governmental church systems that were founded on a mixture of grace and Law. The good news is that God is rectifying this shortfall. This is a time of amazing Holy Spirit revelation and new reformation that is revitalizing the church. The church is once again focusing on the centrality of Christ, his Cross and his grace – for these are the foundations of His kingdom. For the first time since the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit is bringing the church back to the understanding that not only are we saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, but we are called to live everyday by the grace of Jesus. Correctly understanding grace is crucial to the effectiveness of the church in this era where there is an increasing flood of harsh legalistic religion. Without a revelation of the grace and the love of God (1 John 4:16), it is actually impossible to know the truth of God’s purpose for mankind and the church. Grace, truth and Jesus Christ are inseparable (John 1:17).
1. The Scriptures
One of the crucial aspects of understanding God’s grace is that we correctly use the Scripture in the context of the Holy Spirit’s progressive revelation of Jesus’ gospel of grace and His kingdom. This gospel is found in shadows and types throughout all the Old Testament scriptures. If we accept the fact that the ultimate purpose of all Scripture is to reveal Jesus Christ, his righteousness, his salvation, his grace and his kingdom, it will affect the way we read and interpret Scripture.
1.1 Principles of Bible Reading
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
These are some of the principles we will be applying when reading Scriptures:
We believe that all Scripture is from God and in its original language, is without error. It has spiritual authority and power. It is alive and active for each new day. It reveals spiritual truth about the spiritual kingdom of God and therefore can only be truly understood in its fullness through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to “born again” believers. To correctly interpret any scripture;
1. Scripture is used to interpret scripture.
2. The principle of first mention is helpful i.e. the first time something is mentioned will shed light on all subsequent mentions.
3. Scripture, especially the Old Testament, is highly symbolic, poetic and prophetic. The Jews would have picked up on these nuances and hidden meanings which form a thread through their generations and history.
4. The Scriptures reveal one of the core underlying themes since the Fall of man; God dependant righteousness, which pleases God, as opposed to man’s independent self righteousness, which God hates (more on this important truth in part 5).
5. Because of God’s different covenants (which we will look at in part 2) not all Scripture applies to born again believers, but all Scripture is valid, important, useful and insightful.
6. The New Testament is a fulfilment of the Old Testament and it is directly linked and does not stand on its own.
7. Jesus acted in a specific ways so as to fulfil the Old Testament Scriptures, the Jewish people knew and recognized this.
8. The mindset with which we approach Scripture affects what we are able to receive from Scriptures. To those who seek Law, it teaches Law, to those who desire grace, it reveals Jesus as grace.
1.2 The Eight C’s
There are many varying opinions on the way to use the Bible. Applying the following eight “C” points can be a helpful way to gain revelation and understanding of any scripture, especially in the context Jesus’ grace:
- Christ: How does it reveal and point to Jesus as Lord and Saviour and our intimate relationship with him?
- The Cross: What does it say or imply about the finished work of the cross?
- The Context: Who and what issues was it originally addressing? Have we read the whole message or just taken a scripture out of its context?
- The Covenant: Which covenant applies to this scripture, Law or Grace?
- Citizenship: What does it say about the kingdom of God, our citizenship thereof and the Holy Spirits leading?
- The New Creation: How does it point to the new creation – the born again believer?
- The Church: What is it telling us about God’s people – the church and fellowship?
- God’s Children: What does it say about the children of “Abba” God?
1.3 The Scriptures Reveal Jesus
Jesus is the living Word and Scripture is the revelation of the Word (Greek: logos), who is Jesus. It is not a rule book, but the revelation of Christ. It reveals God’s plan to save mankind through Jesus. The Scriptures cannot save anyone, only Jesus can.
John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 5:39 – “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.”
Luke 24:27 – “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Acts 18:28 – “For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.”
2 Timothy 3:15 – “And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
Mark 14:49 – “Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
1.4 Two Ways of Righteousness
Rom 3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
A foundational theme of all Scripture is that there are basically two systems of “getting right” with God. One works and the other fails! (More on this in part 5).
1. Self righteousness through the knowledge of good and bad: Good works and religious Law keeping by self effort.
2. God’s gift of righteousness through revelation and faith in his Saviour, Jesus Christ.
2. Scripture in the Context of Grace
John 1:17 – “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
This Scripture clarifies the context in which born again believers seek to understand the Scriptures. Scriptures are often quoted out of context. When this happens, a scripture can take on a totally different meaning to its original intended use. As the saying goes, “A scripture taken out of context is a con.” A very important principle is that the context of a scripture is essential to correctly understanding that scripture. For instance; Jesus said in Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away… and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” We all know that there is no way Jesus expected us to literally apply this, otherwise we would be a church of blind, one handed people. However taken out of context some may justify doing exactly as he said – as in Saudi Arabia today. However, taken in the context of the whole teaching which starts in Matthew 5:1 and ends in Matthew 7:28, we see that the actual issue was the self righteousness and hypocrisy of the religious Jews and that the keeping of the Mosaic Law could not make one righteous enough in God’s eyes.
2.1 The Context of Division in the Early Church
To correctly understand some of the most important parts of the New Testament and to root ourselves in the New Covenant and the Gospel of Grace (Acts 20:24), we need to understand one of the major issues that Jesus was addressing through Paul – what was the context of Paul’s letters?
One of the major issues of Paul’s day was the division and conflict within the churches between Christians from a Jewish background and Christians from a gentile (pagan) background. Even Peter and James fell into the trap of promoting divisions over the Law of Moses, and Paul rebuked them for it (Gal.2:11). “So what?” you may say, “I don’t have any religious Jews in my church.” That may be true, but this basic issue of Law or grace is still evident today among all Christians and it affects the way we read the Scriptures, the personal way we understand the gospel and how we live out “The Gospel of Grace” in love and faith.
2.2 Law Keepers and Grace Believers
The conflict between these two groups, Jews and Gentiles, arose because:
1. The Christians from a Jewish background believed that they were more godly and holy because they and their families had kept God’s Law for generations (Ro.2:17). They believed that their Jewish culture had refined them and made them a holy people. They believed that they came into the church with a holy advantage, a holy credit, earned by their family’s generational good works in keeping the Law of Moses.
2. Sadly these Jewish Christians looked down on, and judged Christians with a Greek/Roman culture because their culture was idolatrous and prone to be sexually immoral. Admittedly many of the Greek believers had not fully come free from the “free love” that their culture permitted, in Jewish eyes this made them second class Christians. However the irony was that the Jewish believers secretly did the same things! (Ro.2:23-24).
3. The Jewish Christians believed the gentile Christians needed a good dose of The Law of Moses to get their lives right. After all they claimed “It worked for us Jews”.
4. Intrinsically these judgmental Jewish Christians did not believe that God’s grace and the Holy Spirit in the gentile Christians was enough for their sanctification.
5. They proclaimed to the gentiles that the Law was needed in addition to being saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.
6. They judged the gentile Christians harshly and told them that only The Law of Moses could control their immoral lives.
This self righteous and judgmental attitude of the Jewish Christians and their call to implement the Mosaic Law to curb gentile sin was found throughout the church, in Rome (Ro.4:13-15), Galatia (Gal.3:1-5),Corinth and Ephesus. This judgmental attitude obviously caused great hurt, anger and division in the churches.
It was these compounded errors that Paul’s letters address:
i) Holiness and righteousness is by the grace of Jesus Christ alone (1Co.1:30).
ii) The keeping of laws imposed on us by others no longer has a place in the Christian life (Ro.6:14).
iii) We are now led by God’s Spirit and God’s Word which lives in us. Not by rules, church canons, regulations and laws (Gal.2:20)
The interesting thing that has been missed by many is that Paul points out to both the Jews and the Jewish Christians that their godly inheritance and history was actually far from holy. Even though their ancestors knew and heard God (unlike the pagan nations) they still chose to worship idols and engage in sexual immorality right under God’s nose, even on the day the Law of Moses was given at Mount Sinai (Reading the books of Judges and Kings confirms their ongoing sin). If you wish to look deeper into the depth of depravity and godlessness of Israel and what God was feeling, also read Ezek.23:14-21, but be warned its X rated stuff.
Paul rebukes the Jewish Christians in Romans 1:21-25, because of their sins listed in Jeremiah 32:34, Ezekiel 8:10, Judges 19:22, Exodus 32:1-6. Basically Paul says, ”How dare you judge the gentiles who didn’t know God, when you and your forefathers, who did know God, chose to do the very same things. So much for Israel’s Law-keeping, you unholy, self-righteous hypocrites!” (Jesus had similar strong words for the Jewish religious teachers of the day).
The same applies today, we need to beware of religious hypocrisy and judgmentalism. We are called to live in the grace of Jesus Christ. He alone can enable us to live holy lives by the Holy Spirit, not external laws and rules imposed on us by others. We are righteous by the blood of Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Word.
When we read the Bible let us read and seek revelation through the lenses of grace, not with the lenses of the Law.
2.3. A Scriptural Exercise
Before the first group meeting, read through and meditate on the following scriptures. Consider them in the context of the above teaching and answer the questions.
Act 15:11. We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 4:16, “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be
guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.”
The issue of Jewish superiority and hypocrisy: What was it?: How do you think it affected church life, their ability to rest in God’s grace and advance the God’s kingdom? In today’s church context are there similar issues and attitudes? What do these Scriptures teach us in relation to grace, fellowship and the preaching of the gospel today?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Amazing Grace.
3.1 What is Grace?
John 1:14 The Word (Greek: logos) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Firstly, as hard as it may be to grasp, in Christian terms, grace is not a doctrine or a concept, grace is a person, Jesus Christ. Without Jesus there is no true grace. Jesus is grace personified. There are of course doctrines of grace found in other spiritual disciplines such as the New Age Movement, however true Godly grace and Jesus Christ cannot be separated. As Christians we are not called to reveal and promote grace, but Jesus Christ. Emphasising a doctrine of grace can divide and confuse, but revealing the person of grace, Jesus Christ brings us together as the Body of Christ, his Church.
The first mention of grace in the New Testament is found in John 1:14. The New Testament Greek word for grace is “χάρις” pronounced “charis”. Thayer’s defines this as that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness and a grace of speech, goodwill, loving-kindness and favour, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. The Greek word “charis” is closely related to the foundational word “χαίρω” (chairō), meaning to rejoice, be glad, to rejoice exceedingly, to be well and to thrive.
The first mention of grace in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 6:8, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” The Old Testament Hebrew word for grace is “חן“ (chen) pronounced “khane” which Strong defines as subjectively meaning; kindness and favour and objectively meaning; beauty, favour, grace, pleasant, precious and well favoured. In the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, the Hebrew word “khane” is translated as the Greek word “charis”.
A closer study of Scripture and the practices of Jesus will show that grace is:
1. Our unearned, unconditional blessing from God.
2. The free gift of eternal life.
3. God’s goodness to us.
4. His unconditional, freely given, love for us.
5. God’s empowerment of us by His Spirit.
6. The fulfilment of God’s promises in Christ.
7. God’s riches at Christ expense.
8. Jesus’ fulfilment of Scripture and Law on our behalf.
9. God’s empowering to overcome sin.
10. Our qualification before God.
11. Blessing upon blessing.
12. The expression of God’s love.
13. God’s mercy plus God’s adoption as his children.
Simply put, grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved and unearned favour in Jesus Christ.
3.2 Saved by Grace Alone (Sola Gratia)
Ephesians 2:4-10 “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.
This is the great revelation of Jesus Christ, the unique truth of Christianity, the dividing line between Christianity and all other religions, salvation is by grace alone. There is no other religion or system of faith that offers such a good deal. Religion per se, is always about works and performance, grace is about relationship with Jesus Christ. The characteristics of salvation by grace are that it flows from God’s great love and mercy. It is based on the kindness of God. It is centred on Jesus Christ and His life imputed to us. It is activated and appropriated by faith; a trust in God’s goodness. It is a free gift from a loving heavenly Father. Nothing on our part has, or can earn this gift. Our good or bad works have no bearing on our salvation and therefore we have nothing we can boast about as nothing we did or did not do qualified us in any way to be saved. We were created for the purpose of being saved by God’s grace to be intimate children with our “Abba” Father (Ro.8:15) and be his ambassadors and agents in this world. We lovingly and joyfully carry out his will and do his works. These works do not earn or maintain our salvation but are simply preordained for us as God’s children and ambassadors in Christ (2Co.5:20).
3.3 It’s Not Maintenance by Works
Romans 11:5, “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
The big battle in the minds of many believers is that good works still have some part in maintaining our justified, forgiven and saved state. Scripture makes it very clear that this is not so. To add any condition, work or law to grace is to deny the sufficiency of God’s grace and the finished work of the cross. Grace living is about a total dependence on God’s goodness and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It is not based on our ability or will to do what is right. The good works we now do flows out of the grace we have received, not the other way around. The root of true and godly works is the grace of Jesus Christ and our intimacy with “Abba”. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
3.4 Jesus’ Grace is our Right Standing with God
Our right standing or righteousness with God is his love gift to us through Jesus Christ. Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to all who choose to believe in him as Lord and Saviour. This is the great exchange that took place on the cross. His righteousness for our sin. We are no longer slaves to sin but we are now slaves to righteousness (Rom.6:18). This will be discussed in more detail in part 5.
3.5 Grace Preaching Has Great Historical Roots
The present emphasis on grace is not new. The centrality of Jesus’ grace is both scriptural and historical. Many great historic preachers and teachers understood the significance and uniqueness of Jesus’ grace.
a) Martin Luther (1483-1546), the great German Reformer.
“This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and let’s itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.”
“So Paul in Titus 3:5-7 discards all boasted free will, all human virtue, righteousness, and good works. He concludes that they are all nothing and are wholly perverted, however brilliant and worthy they may appear, and teaches that we must be saved solely by the grace of God, which is effective for all believers who desire it from a correct conception of their own ruin and nothingness. Yes, dear friend, you must first possess heaven and salvation before you can do good works. Works never merit heaven; heaven is conferred purely of grace. The delusive doctrine of works blinds the Christian’s eyes, perverts a right understanding of faith, and forces him from the way of truth and salvation. He who does not receive salvation purely through grace, independently of all good works, certainly will never secure it. Truly, then, we are saved by grace alone, without works or other merit. Notice John 3:16, all who believe have eternal life. That being true, believers certainly are just and holy without works. Works contribute nothing to justification. It is effected by pure grace richly poured out upon us. We receive forgiveness and grace at no cost or labour on our part, but not without cost and labour on the part of Christ. Our salvation must exist, not in our righteousness, but in Christ’s righteousness. Let his righteousness and grace, not yours, be your refuge.”
(b) Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), famous Reformed Welsh preacher.
“It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace wondrous grace. By the grace of God I am what I am. Yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me.
“We are Christians entirely and solely as the result of the grace of God. Let us remind ourselves once more that ‘grace’ means unmerited, undeserved favour. It is an action which arises entirely from the gracious character of God. So the fundamental proposition is that salvation is something that comes to us entirely from God’s side. What is still more important is that it not only comes from God’s side, it comes to us in spite of ourselves—‘unmerited’ favour. In other words, it is not God’s response to anything in us. Now there are many people who seem to think that it is—that salvation is God’s response to something in us. But the word ‘grace’ excludes that. It is in spite of us. Salvation is not in any sense God’s response to anything in us. It is not something that we in any sense deserve or merit. The whole essence of the teaching at this point, and everywhere in all the New Testament, is that we have no sort or kind of right whatsoever to salvation, that the whole glory of salvation is, that though we deserved nothing but punishment and hell and banishment out of the sight of God to all eternity, yet God, of His own love and grace and wondrous mercy, has granted us this salvation. Now that is the entire meaning of this term ‘grace’. Creatures who were spiritually dead are now alive—how has it happened? Can a dead man raise himself? It is impossible. There is only one answer, ‘By grace ye are saved’.”
c) Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), influential English preacher and evangelist.
“If heaven were by merit, it would never be heaven to me, for if I were in it I should say, ‘I am sure I am here by mistake; I am sure this is not my place; I have no claim to it.’ But if it be of grace and not of works, then we may walk into heaven with boldness.”
d) Watchman Nee (1903-1972), Chinese evangelist, author and church planter
“Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfilment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.”
e) D.L. Moody (1837-1899), prolific American evangelist
“Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favour…. Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. The Law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along to straighten me out.”
3.6 Salvation by Grace is the Full Package of Life Now
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows” (John 10:10).
One of the great misconceptions concerning salvation is that it simply means to be saved from sin and death – to receive eternal life. Jesus grace earned so much more than that for us. Salvation is much more than just a future heavenly life to come, it is full and abundant life now. Grace is a continuing way of life. The Greek word “to be saved or salvation” is “σώζω”, sozo. Thayer defines it as, “to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, from injury or peril. To save a suffering one from perishing, i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health. To preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue. To deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment and to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.” “Sozo” is a package of both future eternal life and the gift of abundant life right now. Grace not only brings us eternal life but health, wholeness, safety, forgiveness, blessing and victory over evil – today. This is kingdom living – accepting his gifts and learning to live and reign in Christ right here and right now. Grace qualifies us and empowers us in every way for this victorious kingdom life that is a witness to those around us.
3.7 Grace Qualifies
Col 1:12 “Giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Many believers constantly feel unworthy and undeserving. This results in spiritual paralysis and passivity. This is one of the biggest indicators of a Law based belief system or the mixing of Law and grace. Unworthiness stems from the belief that it is our own performance or righteousness that qualifies us to be used by God. Deep down they know that this is a shaky foundation which will always fail. Many live with a deep unspoken fear that God will at some stage “take away” or bring about terrible hardship to teach them a lesson or punish them because they have fallen short. When they are blessed they either feel guilty or undeserving and suspect that it’s too good to be true. This mentality is founded in Law. The Law always disqualifies us because it always points out our faults. Grace on the other hand qualifies us and points to Jesus as our only qualification. Jesus’ grace and kingdom is unshakable (Heb.12:28) and therefore empowers us, gives us assurance and confidence to be blessed and minister effectively and with spiritual power. Under grace we have confidence as we know that God is there to help us at all times (Heb.4:16).
3.8 Grace Blesses
John 1:16 (Amp.) “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favour upon favour and gift [heaped] upon gift”.
The Law of Moses blesses and curses based on our performance. In contrast the abundant overflowing grace of Jesus bring us blessing and blessing because it is based on Jesus’ performance and righteousness. Under grace our sin and curse has been transferred to Jesus on the cross and his righteousness and blessings has been transferred to us. It is the great exchanged of the cross – so we are now able to live with the expectation of God’s continual blessing. Even when times are hard and suffering is intense, we live in hope and anticipation of the better to soon come through grace.
3.9 Grace Offends
Galatians 5:11 “Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision (i.e. the Law), why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.”
The cross heralded in the new system in which we are called to live – that of God’s grace. Grace is scandalous. It is hard to accept, hard to believe, and hard to receive. Grace shocks us in what it offers as it defies our judgement based on logic. It is truly not of this world, it frightens us with what it does for sinners. Grace teaches us that God does for others what we would never do for them. We would save the “not-so-bad”, but God starts with prostitutes and then works downward from there. Grace is a gift that costs everything to the giver; Jesus, and nothing to the receiver; the sinner. It is given to those who do not deserve it, barely recognise it, and hardly appreciate it. That is why God alone gets the glory for our salvation that is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus did all the work when he died on the cross, “It is finished!” (Jn.19:30). Grace focuses on Jesus work and performance, not ours.
4.1 One Message of Good News
Luke 4:18 Jesus read “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor”.
The Greek word for gospel is “εὐαγγέλιον,” euaggelion, meaning a good message or good news. We are called to preach and teach the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom which is founded on God’s grace. The gospel is described in a number of ways in the Scriptures:
The gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24)
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1)
The gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:3)
The gospel of God (Romans 1:1)
The gospel of peace (Romans 10:15)
Paul’s gospel (Romans 2:16)
The gospel of Christ (Romans 15:19)
These designations are merely contextual and definitive. They are all one in the same single gospel which has been progressively revealed since the fall of mankind and was finally given to the Apostle Paul in its fullness by the glorified Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). A combined description of the gospel would be: “The good news of the grace and peace of God’s Son, Jesus Christ and His kingdom”.
4.2 The Gospel of Grace and the Kingdom
Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.”
The unique revelation that the glorified Jesus Christ gave to the Apostle Paul was the link between the kingdom and grace. Paul makes it clear in the above scripture that he was preaching the kingdom of God, but that his unique calling from Jesus calling was to testify to the Gospel of Grace. The revelation and manifestation of the kingdom reign and rule of Jesus Christ, first in the hearts of believers and then in the world, can only fully come about under the system of grace founded in Christ and His finished work on the cross. In a sense grace is the system by which the kingdom is administered, just as democracy for instance is the system of administration in the United Kingdom. Jesus declared in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Jesus preached this knowing that His gift of righteousness is the foundation of the gospel of grace (see the part 5 on righteousness) which brings about entrance and citizenship in the kingdom of God. This is the link that in times past has been missed. Many have preached the kingdom but have failed to see the link between the kingdom and grace.
Colossians 4:6 states, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”. Our response to the enquiries of the world is Jesus’ grace and that the kingdom of God and grace are inextricably linked.
4.3 Stick to the Gospel of Grace
Galatians 1:6-7, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
Finally it is clear that undermining the gospel of grace is one of the keys schemes of Satan (Eph.6:11) and his false prophets and teachers. Adding law to grace nullifies grace and denies the effectiveness of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul was well aware of this battle and issue. The reading of Galatians, especially Galatians chapter 1, reveals the intensity of the battle to maintain the purity of the gospel.
Read through the following Scriptures: Galatians 1:1-24, 3:1-14 and reflect on the passion of Paul’s defense of the gospel and grace.
5. GROUP EXCERISE
5.1 The Prodigal Son
The famous parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 shows the Father’s grace towards someone that should have been stoned according to the Law of Moses. But there is also
another son in the story. This parable contains some of the most pertinent lessons on grace found in the Scriptures. Carefully read this parable and comment on what you believe Jesus was trying to teach about the Father’s love, acceptance and how to live in grace.
Now that we have established a Biblical understanding of the grace, in part 2 we will look at the New Covenant agreement that our loving, “Abba” Father has made that guarantees us his blessing and grace through Jesus Christ.
6. FOR EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNERS
6.1 Group exercise and questions
If you are doing this course by Email it should ideally be done in a networked group setting with a minimum of five people so that an active discussion can take place and different viewpoints explored. Those doing the course at a distance by Face Book or Email should discuss the questions below in a study group either on line or at an actual group meeting. Individual should then answer the questions and email a copy to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for evaluation. This will also help us to see the effectiveness of the teachings and how to improve them. We will endeavour to answer any questions that are unresolved by the end of the course. This course is free but we do ask that you help promote its use by telling your friends and churches about it. Also please send us the names and emails of all participants so we can keep in contact with further course updates. All Email information will be kept private and confidential.
Answer the following questions.
Comment on legalistic religion.
What are some of the principles that can be applied when reading scripture?
What claims did Jesus make about the scriptures?
Explain some of the divisions in the early church and their causes.
What did Jesus say about hypocrisy?
What are dead works?
What is grace?
How do we received grace?
Explain the Greek word, “sozo”.
When and how did Paul get the gospel?
What is the main theme of Galatians 1 &2?
What is the good news?
How did part 1 help you, how can it be improved?
The copyright for this course belongs to G.R.Hare. However, it is published with the intention of being freely and fully available to the worldwide Church. We do ask that if you use the course you acknowledge www.gracelovetruth.com and you email us at email@example.com to confirm use. Please pass it onto others.by
THE NEW COVENANT STARTS AT THE CROSS
2.1. THE CROSS REVERBERATED ACROSS TIME AND SPACE
Rev 13:8 “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.
Zec 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son”.
The prophet Zechariah foresaw the coming of the Holy Spirit and Grace and how this was linked to the crucifixion of the Firstborn Son, Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation prophetically declares the eternal timeless significance of the death of the Lamb of God on the Cross. The Cross is beyond doubt the most significant world changing event in history. There is nothing more significant either in the spiritual or physical realm than the Cross. It is the most profound, earth shattering event that reverberated both into the both past and future. The Cross of Christ is the core and the under laying foundation of our Christian Faith and belief system. All scripture, both before and after the cross, points to the Cross and its affects. Without the Cross, Jesus would be no more significant than any other religious teacher or Guru. It is the Cross defines Christ and Christianity. It is the great divide of history.
2. 2. WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED
1Co 1:23 “We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”.
We do not just preach Jesus Christ – even Islam does that. Even Israel was prepared to accept Christ as the Prophet, a Rabbi and even a Messiah King. No! We preach Christ Crucified. This is the uniqueness of Christianity . We preach Christ – His life, death, resurrection, ascension and glorification at the right hand of God. The Cross was and still is, a huge stumbling block to many as it is offensive to all those who are religious, self righteous and feed on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
2. 3. JESUS FOCUSED ON THE ATONING WORK OF CROSS
Mat 16:21-23 “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Some of Jesus’ closest disciples failed to see the significance of the Cross. Jesus whole earthly life had one ultimate purpose, the Cross, and he would allow no one to distract him from fulfilling this calling. Jesus knew the Cross would change everything as the cross would deal with the divide between man and God. Peter acting in the flesh, opposed Jesus going to the Cross – Jesus called him “Satan!” Peter got angry at Jesus’ arrest and tried to resist with the sword – Jesus again rebuked him. Eventually Peter was so upset with the prospect of the Cross that he ended up denying Jesus. Jesus atoning work on the Cross was the start of the New Covenant and is the foundation of the New Covenant of the Grace of Jesus Christ. From this incident we Peter see that man’s flesh nature and natural intellect cannot understand (1 Cor.2:14) the Cross and will always oppose the Cross. The Cross and it’s power ultimately has to be a spiritual revelation within the hearts of man, as it the natural it’s just foolishness.
2. 4. THE CROSS DEALT WITH SIN ONCE AND FOR ALL
Col.2:13 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”.
Before the Cross there was no permanent atonement for sins. The Law of Moses was in force and bought death and a curse on all (this is expanded upon in part 3). No one was righteous in God’s eyes, no one could be saved. At the cross the power and dominion of Sin was destroyed once and for all – for all those who would be saved. The Cross opened the flood gate of God’s unearned and undeserved Grace (Jn.1:17), the forgiveness of sins. The Cross destroyed the power of Sin and provided a way for man’s “Adamic sin nature” to be put to death on the Cross with Christ (Gal.2:20). Now for those in Christ, all sin – past, present, future - is atoned for. (More on the issue of sin in part 4). This is the corner stone of the New Covenant and Grace.
2. 5. THE CROSS CHANGED JESUS’ FOCUS FROM ISRAEL TO ALL MANKIND
Mat 15:22 “A Canaanite (gentile) woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
Although Jesus is and always will be the Saviour of all mankind, Jesus’ earthly ministry was firstly and primarily to Israel (Mt.15:24) and its leaders – those under the Old Covenant Law of Moses. Most of Jesus teaching of this time were directed to Israel’s teachers, the Pharisees, who had wrongly interpreted the Law, did not understand the spirit of the Law and misapplied the Law. They had wrongly assumed that righteousness and salvation could be obtained by works (Ro.9:30-10:4). Jesus taught against their hypocrisy and their self righteousness. To those who chose Law Jesus preached Law, to those “Sinners” who were broken and contrite Jesus showed grace and forgiveness. During this time Jesus alluded to the fact that He was going to bring salvation also to the gentiles (Jn.10:16) but His ministry to the gentiles only really came into effect after the Cross, primarily through the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:15).
2. 6. GRACE IS NOW THE ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM OF GOD’S KINGDOM
Through the Cross the Law was fulfilled and done away with for Believers (Ro.6:14). The reign and rule of Christ and His kingdom is now bought into affect by the Spirit trough the system of grace – not religious rules, regulations and laws. The preaching of the Kingdom now goes hand in hand with the preaching of the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24) – his unearned, undeserved, forgiveness, blessing, favour and empowering.
2. 7. THE CROSS CHANGED OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD
Col.1:20 “Through Jesus He reconciled to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.
Under to Old Covenant we were salves to sin and alienated from God. But now God is no longer angry with us or out to punish us for our sins. We are now at peace with God (Col.1:20). In the New Covenant God no longer relates to us based on our performance or sin. In fact he remembers our sins no more (Heb. 10:17). God now sees us as part of Jesus. We are the Body of Christ. We are no longer God’s slaves or servants but beloved sons in Christ (Ro. 8:15) and God now relates to us as a loving and kind Father. (More on our new relationship with God in Part 6)
2. 8. THE CROSS CHANGED OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor (The Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”.
Prior to the Cross, under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit came upon certain Godly people at certain times for a certain purpose. But His presence was not permanent. The Spirit was understood as the power of God that came and went as and when God determined. Due to man’s un-atoned sin the Holy Spirit could not live within people but only “come upon” them in a temporary way. After the Cross, under the New Covenant, the sin condition of man was dealt with and the Holy Spirit came through Jesus Christ to abide in His Body the Church; all those who believed and are regenerated. The Holy Spirit is now a permanent seal and guarantee within all those who are saved. The Holy Spirit is now understood to be the third person of the Trinity and not just a force or power. The power of the Holy Spirit now released within and through Believers for the ministry and work of God. It is life in the Spirit (Ga. 5:16) that fulfils the purposes of the New Covenant.
2.9. THE CROSS RELEASED REVELATION
John 12:16 “At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him”. 2Co 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away”.
Before the Cross there were certain aspects of God’s Kingdom and Jesus’ teachings which could not be fully understood (Lk.9:44-45). Firstly because those under the Law of Moses were spiritually blind and had a spiritual veil over them which stopped them from understanding God’s Grace and God’s true purposes. Secondly because it is only the witnessing of the Cross; Jesus, death, resurrection and ascension that can clarifies and fulfils the scriptures. Jesus warned his disciples that prior to the cross and the infilling of the Holy Spirit there were certain things that they simply could never understand (Mt.15:16) (Mt.16:11) and other things that were still to be revealed, such as God’s Grace and gift of righteousness (Ro.5:17) which could not come through ministry of the earthly Jesus but only through the ministry of the heavenly Jesus, our great Heavenly High Priest.
2.10. THE CROSS REVEALED THE FULL GOSPEL OF GRACE
Gal.1:12 “I did not receive the gospel (of grace) from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ”.
During His earthly ministry Jesus never fully revealed Salvation by Grace, He simply alluded to it as displayed it in practice (Jn.8:1-11 and Lk.15). After the Cross, the glorified Jesus (Jn.12:16) reveal even more aspects of the Kingdom and Grace to the Apostle Paul (Gal.1:12). In a sense this was the final revelation and clarification of The Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. All other scriptures need to be interpreted in the context of Jesus’ final revelations and scriptural teachings given to the Apostle Paul who was caught up into heaven and taught by the glorified Christ (2 Co.12:2).
2.11. THE CROSS DISARMED SATAN
Col 2:15 “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”.
Under the Law of Sin and Death (Ro.8:1) which was later reinforced by the Mosaic Law, God allowed Satan to accuse and afflict those who sinned. This Satanic power of condemnation and affliction has been removed through the Cross. Satan no longer has any Law given rights to attack or afflict those who are in Christ. In Christ and through the Cross, we now have victory over the enemy and we have a great High Priest and mediator in heaven, Jesus Christ, who intercedes and defends us.
2.12. THE CROSS CHANGED THE COVENANT
Heb.9:15 ”For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Col.2:14 Having cancelled the written code (The Law), with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross”.
i) THE OLD COVENANT:
Prior to the Cross the Law of Moses was the only covenant effectively in force through which people could relate to God. Gentiles who wanted to know God had to covert to Judaism and come under the Law of Moses. The terms of this covenant are harsh and deadly as it is based on an unattainable holiness and righteousness that no man can fulfil. There are blessing and curses (Deut 28) based on ones behaviour. However no one can be justified and saved through keeping The Law of Moses (Gal.2:16) as the sole purpose of the Law is to lead people to Jesus, God’s Saviour (Gal.3:24) and remind Israel of the Abrahamic foundation that righteousness is actually by faith alone (Gal.3:8).
ii) THE NEW COVENANT:
Heb 8:6-13 “The ministry Jesus has received is as superior to the ministry of the Jewish High Priests as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the New Covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant (of the Law), no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear”.
The shedding of the blood of Jesus as an atonement for Sin heralded in this New Covenant of Grace in which sins are forgiven and forgotten. This New Covenant was no longer just for Israel but opened the door for all the gentiles to be saved as well. The New Covenant fulfilled and replaced the Old Covenant for all those who believe in Christ. The good news is that the blood of Jesus, instead of our own blood, is the blood seal for the New Covenant. The terms and conditions of the covenant are fully and eternally fulfilled by Jesus and not by us. The New Covenant is unique in a sense that it is intrinsically between two persons who are one; God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We as believers, have access into this covenant not as ourselves but only as part of the Body of Jesus Christ (1Cor.12:27) which we are included into when we believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. One of the easiest ways to understand the New Covenant is that it was prepared by the loving Father for His Son. It is a relational, marriage agreement between His Son, Jesus, the bridegroom and the His Bride, the Church (Jn.3:29)(Rev.19:7). The good news of this covenant is that there are blessings upon blessing (Jn.1:16-17) and abundant overflowing grace.
FINDING JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT:
When reading the Old Testament we should be looking for shadows and types (Heb.10:1) of Jesus: His Cross, His Kingdom, His Church, His New Covenant, His Gospel of Grace.
The Old Testament is not a book of laws and principles to live by, but actually an Exposer of mankind’s need to be saved and Gods plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.
If you read with Spiritual eyes you will see prophetic symbols and types of Jesus everywhere in the Old Testament.
Jesus said “The scriptures are about me”. They always point to Jesus in someway (Jn5:39), this should be the way we use them. You will find that if you read the scriptures in this way and in this spirit , to seek Jesus and His grace, they will come alive and make so much more sense.
Jesus is the key to unlocking the Bible – by the revelation of the Spirit.
We should value the whole of the scriptures, but interpret the Old by the New Testament, not the other way around. Be prepared to spend time to look and see, you will be greatly blessed.
I will be sending out some examples from time to time which I hope will excite you and provoke you to spend more time finding Jesus in the Bible and seeing the link between the Old and New…
Here’s an example : (Numbers 2:1-34)
The Cross found in Israel’s camp.
Map out the way Israel was called to set up camp around the Tabernacle and you will see hat from above they would have looked like a cross. A constant reminder to God of His Son and His grace towards this sinful people. See the symbolism?
Coming Next: Ezekiel 1 reveals the glorified Jesus??by
BY JESUS’ GRACE I AM……
Matt. 5: 13. I am the salt of the earth.
Matt.5: 14. I am the light of the world.
John 1: 12. I am a child of God and part of His family. (Rom.8: 16).
John 15: 1-5. I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life.
John 15: 15. I am Christ’s friend.
John 15: 16. I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.
Rom.6: 18. I am a slave of righteousness.
Rom.8:14-15. I am a son of God and God is my Father. (Gal.3: 26 and 4: 6).
Romans 8: 17. I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him.
1 Cor.3: 16 I am a temple (home) of God. His Spirit (His life) dwells in me. (1Co.6:19)
1 Cor.6: 17. I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.
1 Cor.12: 27. I am a member of Christ’s body. (Eph.5: 30).
2Cor.5: 17. I am a new creation and a new person.
2Cor.5: 18-19. I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.
Gal.3: 26-28. I am a son of God and one in Christ.
Gal.4: 6-7. I am an heir of God since I am a son of God.
Eph.1: 1. I am a saint (1 Cor.1: 2)(Phil.1: 1)(Col. 1: 2).
Eph.2: 10. I am God’s workmanship handiwork created anew in Christ to do His work
Eph.2: 19. I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s people in His family.
Eph.3: 1 I am a prisoner of Christ (Eph.4:1).
Eph.4: 24. I am righteous and holy.
Phil.3: 20. I am a citizen of heaven right now. (Eph.2: 6).
Col.3: 3. I am Hidden with Christ in God.
Col.3: 4. I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life.
Col.3: 12. I am chosen of God, holy, and dearly beloved.
1Thes.1: 4. I am chosen and dearly loved of God.
1Thes.5: 5. I am a son of light and not of darkness.
Heb.3: 1. I am a holy brother, partaker of a heavenly calling.
Heb.3: 14. I am a partaker of Christ….I share in His life.
1Pet.2: 5. I am one of God’s living stones and being built up, in Christ, as a spiritual house.
1Pet.2: 9-10. I am a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession
1Pet.2: 11. I am an alien and stranger to this world I temporarily live in.
1Pet.5: 8. I am an enemy of the devil.
1John3: 1-2. I am now a child of God and will resemble Christ when He returns.
1John5: 18. I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.by
WHY ASK WHY? – WHEN GOD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US.
Why should I feel unloved when “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Ro.8:39)
Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Ro.8:1)
Why should I say “I can’t” when the Bible says “I can do all things through Him Christ who strengthens me”? (Phil. 4: 13).
Why should my needs not be met knowing that “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus?” (Phil.4: 19).
Why should I fear when the Bible says ”God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind?” (2Tim.1: 7).
Why should I doubt or lack faith knowing that “God has allotted to each a measure of faith?” (Romans 12: 3).
Why am I weak when the Bible says “The Lord is the strength of my life “(Psalm27: 1) and “People who know their God will display strength?” (Dan.11: 32).
Why should I focus on my sins when God says “Heb 10:17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” (Heb.10:17)
Why should I focus on The Law when the Bible says Rom 6:15 ..we are not under law but under grace? (Ro.6:15)
Why should I allow Satan to have supremacy over my life, for “Greater is He that is within me than he who is within the world?” (1John4: 4).
Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says “Thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ?” (2Cor.2: 14).
Why should I lack wisdom when “Christ became to us wisdom from God” and “God gives wisdom to all men generously and without reproach who asks Him for it?” (James 1: 5).
Why should I be depressed when I can recall to my mind and therefore have hope that “the Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never fail, for his compassions never ever fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness?” (Lam.3: 21-23).
Why should I worry and fret when I can “Cast all my anxiety on Christ, because He cares for me?” (1Peter 5: 7).
Why should I ever be in bondage, for “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”(2Cor:3:17) and “It was for freedom that Christ set me free.”(Gal.5: 1).
Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8: 1)
Why should I ever feel alone when Jesus said ”I am with you always, even to the end of the age.(Matt.28: 20). And I will never leave you nor forsake you?”(Heb.13: 5).
Why should I feel accursed or the victim of bad luck when the bible says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us in order that in Christ we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith?” (Gal.3:13-14).
Why should I be discontented when, like Paul, I can ”Learn to be content in whatever circumstances I am?” (Phil.4: 11).
Why should I feel worthless when “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him?” (2Cor.5: 21).
Why should I ever have a persecution complex, for “If God be for me, who can be against me? (Rom8: 31).
Why should I be confused? “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace”
(1Cor.14: 33) And, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.”(1Cor.2: 12).
Why should I feel a failure when, “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us?” (Romans8: 37).
Why should I let the world bother me when Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world?” (John16: 33).
The Grace Course
Time: 27 March to 15 May. Thursdays 17:30 to 19:00
Venue: Kloof Theological Center, Kloof, Durban.
Teacher: Garry Hare
Information and bookings: KTC website for more details: www.klooftheology.org
Description: With the rise of legalism in the church and the world, we look at how to be rooted in the finished work of the cross, living in God’s favour as his sons, empowered to live in Jesus’ grace and righteousnessby
Question: Why, O why, do you who oppose Jesus’ grace claim that preaching grace is a license to sin when the scriptures teach the exact opposite?
Rom 6:14 Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
1Co 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
It’s because Jesus’ grace is offensive to carnal, soulish, thinking (1Co.1:12-16) and can only be accepted in one’s spirit by the Spirit. God’s grace always offends and confuses all who ultimately exalt carnal knowledge and logic above Spirit revealed, scriptural, truth. There is no worldly logic in God’s grace. No logic in the fact that God himself died for Sin and freely pardons ALL our sins. This is because it’s God’s heavenly wisdom, thinking and His ways are simply not man’s ways. God’s way of Grace offends the flesh and fleshy thinking but exalts the Spirit within that reveals the deep truths found in Christ alone and confirmed by the scriptures.
SIN IS BAD AND DESTRUCTIVE
Rom 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Please hear me everyone… Sin is evil, destructive and harms us all. No one is sayings sin is good and no one is handing out licenses to sin. Anyone claiming that teachers of Jesus’ Grace are saying sin is OK and sin doesn’t matter, are simply confused or at worst, lying. What we are saying that sin isn’t our focus and obsession anymore -Jesus is.
ANTI-LAW? – NO!
Rom 3:20 No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin….. Rom 5:20 The law was brought in so that sin might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
Are we anti the law. In no way! We are not anti the Law, we uphold the Law as the Law is good and powerful when used for its correct purpose. i.e. To emphasis and expose sin, especially the sin of self righteousness, and lead Sinners and Pharisees to Jesus and His Grace. We are anti the misuse of the Law which harms and condemns believers. At the moment the Law is being misused by many, as a means of bulling and controlling believers, as a tool for maintaining justification and sanctification and for instilling fear into believer’s lives – all of which is error.
GRACE IS GOD’S SOLUTION FOR SIN
Tit 2:12 Grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…. Rom 6:14 Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
In some Christian circles, grace has become a swear word. But despite all this opposition to grace, let’s be clear – whether you like it or not, the Bible teaches that God’s solution for sin is His Grace released through the cross. Not our moralizing, not our ranting again sin, not our legalizing, not self righteousness, not our own logic and strength and not our denial of God’s grace – its Jesus’ grace alone that has dealt with Sin and empowers us to live righteous lives.
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
It may be that those who won’t fully accept the gospel of God’s Grace needs go elsewhere with their law gospel. There’s a Mosque or an Orthodox Synagogue near you and the self righteous feel very comfortable there – living by laws, rules and regulations. I believe they are looking for good law preachers….but seriously brothers, don’t abandoned the Gospel of Grace, God needs us to share the Good News, not the bad news of Law, works and condemnation.
A LICENSE OF FREEDOM
2Co 3:15 Even to this day when Moses is read (i.e. The Law), a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
I know freedom scares law preachers, because at the end of the day they don’t believe the Word in the New Testament scriptures or the Holy Spirit’s ability within believers to do the work of holiness. They believe more in the power of sin than the power of the Cross. But where the Spirit of The Lord is there is freedom. In Christ, we preach HIS gospel of Grace and Kingdom (Acts 20:24) and we handout licenses of freedom from sin. The bold print is clear: We are forgiven and have freedom from the slavery to both sin and death. We are now citizens of a new Kingdom, with a new King – and by His Spirit we live.
NO SMALL PRINT
On a Grace License, signed with the blood of Jesus, there’s no hidden, horrible, legal conditions written in small print, so we are not afraid of being deceived or dragged off to court again. The conditions are clear, we are free, forgiven and now under Jesus’ grace and beloved children of the Father.
Finally, let’s proclaim the good news; “Sin is no longer my master, because I’m under Jesus’ grace”. The question is for all of us: “Is sin still my master?” If so turn away from your dead works and unbelief, be humble, repent and accept Jesus’ free gift of Grace and forgiveness today.
Be blessed and loved.