Hazardous---Are We Living Out God's Grace?

Hazardous—Are We Living Out God’s Grace?

Grace: God’s supernatural gift to believe and act on the Truth.

God’s salvation comes only through Jesus Christ, not good works, going to church, or anything we do. The drawing to Christ for salvation and the ability to accept Him come from God’s grace. God gives us the faith to believe and the power to act on it.

By God’s grace, we see our sinfulness, our need for a savior, our need to repent, and our need to receive a new life through baptism and rebirth by the Holy Spirit. After we have been born again of the Spirit of God, we must not only talk about the experience (confess with our mouth), we must live out what God has worked in us.

Living out God’s grace is a matter of choice. We choose to make Jesus Lord and live out God’s grace or we choose to be our own lord. Most of the time, the choices are very subtle and we unconsciously fall into a serious hazard.

This hazard is the possibility we will praise God, Jesus Christ, and the Redemption, but the practical everyday life we live does not witness to the grace of God working in us. In other words, the hazard is we talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

If we refuse to repent, it is not God’s grace that fails, but our own sin nature we choose to follow. We ask God to help us, but He cannot if we will not make our bodies the temple of His Holy Spirit, giving Him control!

Phil 2:12-16 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

This passage presents one example of living out God’s grace. We live in a crooked and depraved generation where people constantly grumble, complain, and argue. It is easy to go with the “flow” and join the gripe sessions or act the same as everyone else. However, if we have the Spirit of Christ abiding in us, we will act like Christ. This grace will make us to shine like stars in this darkness as we work out what God has put into us.

The issue of working out our salvation, based on the grace of God, is a very vital one. To ignore this issue is to trip over the same hazard as the Jews, who thought their relationship with God was sealed by their religious membership.

John 8:31-34  To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

God’s grace gives us a new life and all His divine resources, but He cannot make us live according to His will. The living out of our salvation is our responsibility, not God’s.

2 Pet 1:2-4 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

If we live out all that God has put into our hearts by His Spirit, we shall find that we have God’s grace to stand in this crooked and depraved generation. We are no longer slaves to sin. We have God’s grace to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God.

Rom 6:2-14We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

By God’s grace, we are resurrected in baptism to live a new life controlled by the Holy Spirit. Don’t give the members of your body to sin. Sin produces death and we buried that life of death in baptism.

By God’s grace, sin no longer has control over us. We have power over sin. We can say “No” to sin, for it is no longer our master. We have the ability and authority to do this from the Holy Spirit. Don’t give sin mastery again, live out God’s grace by making Jesus Lord, King, and master of your body and life. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and let Him use you for His purpose.

This miraculous grace of God changes the sinner and recreates him into the image of Christ. Man cannot cause a Christ-like change by his own efforts. Works of true faith are performed out of Holy Spirit inspired promptings. This grace of God enables Christians to live out their salvation purely out of love for Christ, the one who died for them.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “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.”

Faith is not produced by man, but by the grace of God that is birthed by the Holy Spirit, working in the heart of repentant sinners and enabling them to believe. When the Holy Spirit is convicting us, we need to be responsive to this grace of God in our life; otherwise, we harden our heart towards God. This is a serious hazard.

Faith comes from God’s grace as we hear the Word of God. If there is no longing to hear and be responsive to the Words of Christ, then there will never be any true saving faith found in that person’s life. He doesn’t have ears to hear or refuses the grace to believe. He prefers to be his own god.

This is the verdict: 1 John 3:16-21 Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."  

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

It is to the folly of most men that they love darkness. Darkness is a symbol of evil, sin, and ignorance.

Christians, who follow Christ, walk in the Light. Therefore, they do not remain in sin or ignorance, but live out God’s grace as they obey the Spirit of God in them.

Speaking through Joshua, God gave this charge to His people, Joshua 24:15  “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Although The Lord gives us grace to believe, He will not make anyone choose to believe or follow Him. People choose to follow false teachings taught by the world or to follow the teachings of Christ and the whole of God’s Word.

The Book of Acts gives this promise to those who choose to believe Christ and live out the grace of God:

Acts 2:38 … "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

A day is coming when all that choose against Jesus Christ will be judged and destroyed. The Lord Jesus is King of kings and Lord of Lords. There is a day already appointed when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

Phil 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What determines a man’s destiny is when he bows that knee. The wisest choice a man can ever make, when the grace of God reveals to him his need for a Savior, is to accept Jesus as his Lord, repent, confess his sin, and be born again of the Spirit through baptism.

The Holy Spirit, who is God, gives us grace to grieve over our sin. He reveals truth out of His Word, He baptizes, indwells, seals, and gives empowerment. Without His presence in our lives, all acts of worship are nothing but expressions of an empty religion.

Christians are to live out God’s grace by the power of the Holy Spirit, producing love, joy, peace, all the fruit of the Spirit to the praise and glory of Jesus Christ.

The ultimate experience on earth is to know Jesus Christ, to know God’s will, and to be able to walk in step with the Holy Spirit as He gives revelation through the written Word.

Christians can experience all the grace of living a Holy Spirit controlled life. We can enjoy the fruit of the Holy Spirit and all the gifts He chooses to impart throughout the Body of Christ as we walk in obedience. God’s grace empowers us to live in the center of His will and enjoy an intimate relationship with Him.

Christians who live out the grace of God know that they do not need to wait for perfect conditions before they can walk in obedience to what the Lord tells them to do. Those who live out God’s grace will not wait until they have the perfect worship team, the best preacher, the best facilities, or the largest church attendance before they invite and bring people to church, or become steadfast in attendance themselves.

Those who live out God’s grace understand the joy of obedience to the written Word. When the Lord tells them not to, they don’t. Likewise, when the Lord tells them to do something, they do it. They know the joy of allowing the Holy Spirit to take the Word of God and wash their heart, for He can reach the inner most parts, touch the most secret emotions, and strengthen the weary recesses of their soul.

The Holy Spirit is able to discern the intents of the mind and heart, and set us on a right course to understanding the will of God. There is liberty for those who do not try to live in obedience by their own efforts, but achieve obedience through the grace of God.

Gal 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

The hazard for Christians is that they try to obtain righteousness by observing the law, instead of living out the grace given by the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:16-18  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Through the works of Jesus Christ on the Cross, believers have victory over sin, and all the grace they need to be like Christ. Through the washing of the Word of God and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, repentant believers become increasingly changed into the image of Christ by God’s grace. They have His power over the lures of the world, the lies of the devil, and the cravings of the flesh. They have the guarantee of His provision as long as they are seeking His kingdom and righteousness. They have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who enables them to have all the gifts they need to accomplish God’s will and to edify the Body of Christ.

By feeding on the Word of God and abiding in fellowship with Jesus, believers have grace to produce the fruit of Christ which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. By His grace, they develop a Christ-like character, which marks them as members in the family of God.

If you are a believer, you have all the grace from God to be what you are called to be—Christians! Are you living out the grace of God? Apart from Jesus Christ, you can do nothing. Therefore,

Heb 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

“What is Truth?” Pilot asked Jesus. He was looking at it. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Now is the time to approach God’s throne of grace confidently, confessing our need for grace to believe and act according to the Truth.

Is the grace of God revealing truth to you today? You have a choice whether to accept it and live it out, or reject it and go your own way.