Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
The great thing about this dispensation of grace is that everything depends on God. He provides the salvation, the power, the direction (Bible doctrine), the resources, and he keeps the score. All I have to do is remain faithful to his word and trust in his revealed plan. If we do things according to his word then he will work all things together for good, Rom.8:28. We do not have to live a life before God on pins and needles especially around our own brethren in the Lord.
The believer’s relationship to God is dependent on grace. I Cor.15:10 “ But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Paul gave all the glory to God for what he accomplished as a believer.
Knowing your life is under new management at salvation means you recognize God indwells you to guide your life. You learn from his word how to live that life and you in turn start to sense his presence in your thoughts. Paul said His grace to me was not given in vain, that is, Paul did not waste his opportunities to live and serve God by grace. When God can bring favor into the believer’s life, why would a believer turn down that opportunity and divine provision to develop a wonderful personal fellowship with the Lord?
Unfortunately many believers turn down the grace of God after salvation. They try to pay their own way by substituting activity and performance and ritual in place of a personal walk with God. What a loss they accrue against their divine inheritance.
As a grace oriented believer you recognize your acceptance in God’s family, that there is no need to try to impress God to gain his favor. Again I repeat what Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” I am not what I am because I went to the right schools, or I know the right people, or I have talents, or I have a wonderful personality. I am not who I am because I am a moral person, I am who I am by the grace of God.
Walking in the Spirit, i.e. walking in fellowship and following biblical mandates for the New Testament believer ensures the believer that he is walking in God’s favor, and it also means he is walking in God’s power. When you are walking in fellowship with the Lord you are, by the grace and power of God racking up rewards in heaven. Your thinking is under the control of the Holy Spirit and subsequently so are your actions. We have a little saying which is posted in the nursery.
We listen and we do! Kind thoughts - Kind words - Kind deeds - Practices for all who love God. “The young and the old, have thoughts untold. From thought as a seed, sprouts word and deed.”
Genuine godly thinking is grounded in God’s word and this godly thinking must be at the head of the table in our souls, and when it is we do what the Lord wants us to do. We leave the results up to him. An example of this is the gospel letter we recently sent out. We let God tabulate the results. God is keeping the score concerning your success. Too often believers try so hard to validate their love and devotion for God. They do not think they are doing a good enough job to show this love and devotion unless someone tells them they are, or they get the results they want from their efforts.
There is no need for believers to feel insecure about their worth to the Lord.
We are never worth more or less to God at any time in our Christian life. Our worth to God was demonstrated on the cross; enough said.
God loves you and accepts you as his child for who you are, no for what you do . This thought should be enough to motivate the Christian in his works. Seeking praise for our works is vanity. So much of the activity around churches today is provided because the preacher also thinks the more you do for God the more God will like you and this is not in touch at all with the grace of God, Phil.2:13. This kind of thinking is totally divorced from biblical reality.
“For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”
“Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will #1 bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and #2 will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, (our motivations); and then shall every man have praise of God.” I Cor.4:5.
In Christianity godly character comes first. It is not talent, gifts, personality. This godly character is demonstrated the highest when we as God’s children show unconditional love to one another. Our Lord said this is the highest commandment. If we are going to live out the grace life we must have a good understanding of God as he has revealed himself in his own words. And if we have that good understanding we will demonstrate it in our attitudes to both the lost and the saved. Care, compassion and concern will take over where criticism and judgment once ruled. Doctrinal integrity will prevail where insincerity once ruled. Our private lives will be honorable as well. Too often sincerity has been used as a cover up for biblical integrity. But the believer who stands rightly adjusted to the justice of God, by growing in the grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, by keeping his own sins confessed, by being faithful to the local church; this believer eventually stands in his own integrity as an honorable believer. He is trustworthy, kind, faithful, considerate, respectful of others privacy, and confident in his priesthood relationship with the Lord. This believer knows his destiny is bound up in the will of God and he goes after the word of God like the deer goes to the stream for water.
His hunger for God’s righteousness is greater than any pettiness. It is greater than what any one thinks.
The sufficiency of God’s grace
I close with a word about the sufficiency of God’s grace. The experience the believer has with the grace of God brings him closer to the Lord in his priesthood growth. This grace growth is evidenced by those around us. This grace makes us better ambassadors for the Lord. God revealed so much to Paul that he gave him a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. Paul asked the Lord three times to remove this suffering, but God chose not to remove it. It was in Paul’s undeserved suffering that he experienced the grace of God at its highest level. He did not complain about his ailments all the time because he wanted the focus to be on the Lord. He took his ailment, whatever it was and he laid it out before the Lord. He glorified the Lord in his undeserved suffering knowing he bore it so that he might experience the power of Christ in his life. God’s grace provisions were poured into Paul’s life and he learned to trust the Lord in his suffering, so much so, that he poured this same grace back into his work for the Lord. He shared this same comforting grace with other believers and in doing so he was a shining testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.