Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Reality of The Resurrection P30 (02-07-22)
Living Under Grace – Life in The Spirit
Turn to chapter 9, “Living Under Grace” in our study guide, A Closer Look at The Reality of the Resurrection.
Picking up there we read, In Christ we have become brand new creations with a brand new identity. We studied that a couple of weeks ago. And with this comes a brand new way of life. If I’m a new creation, I have a new way of life. It’s like the illustration of the caterpillar and the butterfly. You can try to teach that worm (the caterpillar) to do all the things a butterfly can do, but it’s impossible to do. You can’t improve on your wormhood, you need to be a new creation. This is how being born again is. Once you are born again of the Spirit, you can never go back to being a worm again. You have a brand new identity. You are now a beautiful creature. You can still try and do things that the worm use to do, but you will never be a worm ever again. It won’t feel good to do wormy things, but you can never change your identity once you become a new creature in Christ. This is what happens when we are born again. We have been changed. We have been metamorphōsis or changed from one thing to another.
And so, we are living in a brand new way of life. Before we were changed, we were totally controlled by the desires of our flesh, in total bondage to the law of sin and death. Today however (for those that are born again), we have a whole new way of motivation. And it is through this gift of Life, Christ’s life living in you and me, that has set us free from that law of sin and death. And now we no longer live under the law, but under the total Grace of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now under Romans 6:14 we read:
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
So what was your master before you were in Christ? Sin. And what’s a master? It’s like someone leading you around like a dumb animal. And that is what sin does to us. It leads us around like a dumb animal, it becomes our master. The flesh cries out, and oh man do we have to fulfill it. And anything that little spoiled flesh wants (oh brother!) we just act it out. We are under the yoke of slavery to sin. But now sin doesn’t have to be your master. Note it doesn’t say sin is alleviated from your life. But it is not your master any longer. Why? Because you have a new master. And it explains why you are no longer under law but are under grace.
When is the Christian world going to understand that? When you keep people under the law, sin is still your master. It doesn’t matter whether you are born again or not, if you keep people under the law, sin continues to be your master. If you can see the analogy here, if you’ve changed jobs, but that old boss is screaming and yelling at you. And if you are under the law, you still keep following him around, even though he has no control over you at all anymore.
And so sin will no longer be your master if you walk in the grace of God. The power of sin is the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
So if you as a Christian are living under the law, what are you living under? The power of sin! That’s why it is your master. So why does this go on. Because you are a new creation, but that new creation still is in the body of flesh. That’s why Paul said, “It’s no longer I that do it, but it’s sin living in me.” That is that propensity of people to believe the lies. We end up believing errors. We listen to the things of the world. Now, it is the law that demands the flesh do those things.
And for those living under the law, and the law says obey this, and man says, “i am.” So man’s pride says, look at me. And if we are not under God’s law, we make our own. And the Jews had some 600 of them on top of the ones given by God, just so they could have more laws. Today we have our own deals going on, called self-righteousness. And we set ourselves up as the standard of excellence, instead of the Lord Jesus. And so, if I am being nice and kind and sweet to everybody, and if others aren’t living up to my standards of being kind and sweet to everybody, they become the object of my criticism. And if I am very diligent, and I’m disciplined and I get up early in the morning at 5:00 am and I get my quiet time in and praying to God; and if others aren’t doing that, then I am so much more spiritual than they are. And they also become the object of my criticism and ridicule. If I go to a building every Sunday and every day of the week that it is opened, then obviously the others that aren’t doing that aren’t as spiritual as I am. Pride is puffing myself up on all of these things. So you can see how pride and the law end up working together. The law fans the pride of man and man’s pride is before the fall.
So we can see how the power of sin is in the law. All of this is in the flesh. Principles are another name for law. We don’t live by principles or law. So we are not under the law today. Yet the stronger a person’s pride is, the more he tries to obey the law. Pride refuses to come to the grace of God. Only when he comes to the end of his flesh, only then will he receive grace.
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We gained access to this grace through faith. As Christians we can only stand in the grace of God. And Jesus is the Grace of God. If we try to do it by flesh, it is the flesh that has the pride that swells up and thinks it is something that I am doing. But we need to do away with that thinking and realize it is all by faith in what God did for us.
Salvation is all of God. He didn’t consult us on any of it.
Today we stand in the grace of God by faith. The moment we placed faith in Jesus Christ, we accessed the grace of God, and Jesus is the Grace of God.
Now 2 Peter 3:18 says to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
So how do you grow in this grace? Faith. You all ready have it in your bank account. Now access it. Write a check from your bank account. You do it the same way by faith in what you already have in Him.
Growing in Grace was a followup book to Classic Christianity. It deals with this subject of walking by faith and growing in grace.
Get your copy of Growing in Grace. Note that you don’t grow by trying to grow. When I was a child, I grew physically. I didn’t grow myself. God causes growth. The same is true for growing in the grace of God.
8 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.
So how did we gain access to this? By believing God. Faith is what bringing you to access it.
We are saved by faith. We can’t work for something that is already built. People want to build it themselves, but it is already built. It’s like a house that is already built. So how do you move into a house that is already built? You move in. But I want to help build it. Sorry buddy, it’s already built, just move in.
Pride comes along and wants people to think that they are building the house. Pride stirs up the flesh. People come along and say, well I want to pay you something for it. You can’t, it’s a gift. Well, I know it’s a gift but just let me pay you a penny for it. Sorry buddy, you can’t pay me, it’s a gift. I’m not going to accept your money.
Salvation is by Grace and Grace Alone
It’s like the computer age we live in. You have software, and you place this software into the computer. Now you access that by typing on some little buttons that are on that keyboard. And you access what is already there. That’s done by faith. If you didn’t believe it was there, it would be stupid to be punching those little keys on the keyboard. So what you are accessing there is already available to you, if you will access it. And if you didn’t believe it was there, you are going to sit there, dead in the head, and not accessing the information that is at your fingertips, because you are not accessing it. It’s not that it isn’t there, you simply are not accessing it. You haven’t entered into it at all.
Now religion and the law will say to you, let me reprogram that computer. I want to develop my own software program. And that is what religion does, developing its own software program. And if I have developed my own software program, I certainly don’t have to access it by faith, because I already know what’s in it, because I programmed it myself. So, there is no mystery on what comes out, because I already know what’s in it; I did it myself.
It’s the same with salvation. The same thing we are talking about in salvation, where God at the cross, provide forgiveness for the whole world. My praying does not activate God’s forgiveness. It’s not the prayer that accesses it, it is by faith. I enter into it by faith.
11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
We read there that Gentiles are saved the same way the Israelites are saved, through faith in Jesus. Just as an Israelite is saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. The object of faith is Jesus not on something of our own creation. It is through the grace of God that we are saved. Israelite or Gentile, slave or free are all saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Jesus is the only one that can provide life to the lifeless. For He alone is the only one that has a life to give.
In second Timothy 1:9 we are told:
2 Timothy 1:9
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
Christ called us to Himself. He did it because of His own purpose. He promised to reveal His Son to anyone by faith. He chose to reveal His life to me. Every born again Christian He has reveled Himself to. Well, how many people has does He reveal Himself to? We are told in scripture that it is His will that none should perish
2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
That was to all people. Yet all people do not respond to the grace message.
Now this grace of God was given to us before the foundation of the world. God’s plan was put in place before the foundation of the world. God put that plan into affect for all men to come to Him by faith.
Some will say, what about the people that do real good works, aren’t they going to heaven? And even if they aren’t in Christ, and they aren’t going to go to heaven? Think about it folks. How could you say that God made a provision for those men or women (doing so called good works) to get to heaven, and not made a provision for the children?
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”