Grace Upon Grace

John 1:14-18 ESV

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.”’) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

Jesus Christ is God

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and he is our creator God. He is our Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world. He left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human form, lived among the people on the earth, and he ministered to their needs.

Jesus Christ, because he was God, spoke the exact words of God to the people, and he taught them that they must come to him for their salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. And he taught them that they must die with him to their sins, and that they must follow him in obedience.

For, he said, if they held on to their old lives (of living for sin and self) that they would lose them for eternity. But if they lost their lives for his sake, i.e., if they died with him to sin and lived to him and to his righteousness, then they would have life eternal with God.

Not everyone loved him, though. Not everyone accepted his messages or his ministry on the earth. He had many enemies, primarily those who were the religious rulers and/or influencers within the temple of God, who knew and who taught the Scriptures, so they knew of the Messiah to come.

But Jesus’ enemies would not accept him as their Messiah. And they turned many of the people away from him, too. And they were responsible for making sure that he was put to death on a cross, because they wanted to put an end to him, and to his message, and to his ministry.

Full of Grace and Truth

So, they hung Jesus Christ on a cross to die, but this was the will of God that Jesus should die for the sins of the world. For, when he died, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. In his death, thus, he put our sins to death so that we might no longer live to sin and to self, but so that we would now live for the glory of God.

And when God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus rose victorious over death, hell, Satan, and sin on our behalf so that we could die with him to sin, and so that we would be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, and so that we would now live holy lives, pleasing to God.

Now, through God-given and God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are born anew of the Spirit of God, we are delivered from our slavery to sin, and now, by the grace of God, we are able to become slaves to God and to his righteousness.

Now we walk (in practice, in conduct) according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our flesh. For, if we deliberately continue living in habitual sin, and if we do not repent of our sinful practices, and if we do not become those who practice righteousness, we will not inherit eternal life.

For, God’s grace to us is not just forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die. His grace trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return.

Law and Grace

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are under the New Covenant relationship God has with his people. The Old Covenant God had with the Jewish people was done away with when Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and he made both Jew and Gentile one in Christ, via faith in Christ.

So, as followers of Jesus, we are not subject to all the ceremonial, liturgical, sacrificial, and purification laws of the Old Covenant. But the New Covenant is not “lawless.” We are still subject to obeying our Lord’s commands, which are his moral laws, which never went away.

Under the New Covenant we must turn away from our lifestyles of sin, and we must follow Jesus in obedience to his teachings, and to the teachings of the New Testament apostles, which are directed to us who follow Jesus. And we must conduct our lives according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

So, if anyone is trying to tell you that God’s grace requires no repentance (turning from sin), no obedience to Christ, and no surrender to Jesus as Lord, then don’t listen to them. If they are trying to convince you that you can be saved and on your way to heaven but that God no longer sees when you sin and so you can keep on living in sin, know that is a lie from hell.

Yes, we are saved only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and this is not of ourselves or of our own works lest we should boast that we did something to earn our own salvation. But Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

He not only delivers us from bondage to sin, but he empowers us to live righteously in his power and strength. So, it all comes from the Lord, so all the glory goes to God and not to ourselves, because we can’t walk according to the Spirit in our flesh, but only in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

He Reached Down

An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18

How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.

He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.

My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.

My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.

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