Recently, while seeking the Lord, I asked Him to reveal to me what is missing in the lives of most Christians. Why aren’t we accomplishing more for the Lord? Why don’t our prayers hit their target? Why aren’t more people being born again and living in victory over sin? Where is the power to see multitudes delivered? The Lord answered, “You need grace.” What? I need grace? The Lord said, “Grace is not what you believe it to be. I’m going to open your understanding to the power of grace.” I went to the Word and began a thorough study on grace. The more I studied, the more excited I became. Most of us have been taught that grace only means unmerited favor. Others believe it allows unrighteous living and covers sins. I have discovered that grace is one of the greatest secrets hidden from the church. As we study the subject of grace, you will understand that it excels what most people, today, have ever known or experienced.
The Lord informed me that this would be the most important message I have ever taught. People must understand that everything in life is influenced by grace. You need grace to live, to have a peaceful family and to go through troubles. You need it at home, at work and when dealing with your finances. We have never been taught grace in this way before.
Grace is a gift given to you from God. Zechariah 12:10 describes it as a spirit of grace: “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the SPIRIT OF GRACE and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” God is offering this grace to us. He not only wants to give us His grace, but He wants to fill us with His glory and all
good things: “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
OLD TESTAMENT GRACE
The Bible records that a number of the patriarchs in the Old Testament found grace. Genesis 6:8 tells us, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Moses also found grace: “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people” (Exodus 33:12-13). Gideon was another man who received grace: “And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me” (Judges 6:17).
NEW TESTAMENT GRACE
The prophets foretold of the grace that was coming. I Peter 1:10 records, “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.” They understood that the grace to come would supersede what they experienced. We are living in that time right now. The Lord showed me that we have completely misunderstood grace. The prophets prayed for us and we have established our own gospel.
In the Old Testament, grace meant favor, kindness and graciousness. In the New Testament, grace means graciousness of manner or act, especially the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life, including gratitude. It also means benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure and thanks. It is a gift that makes us acceptable. This New Testament grace is where we want to focus in this study. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Timothy 1:9).
THE POWER OF GRACE
Ephesians 2:5-8 explains that we are saved by grace: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
Grace not only brings salvation, but it gives you the power to live a changed life: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). This is nothing like the grace I have been taught. That message said you could sin and grace would come on the scene and cover it.
Many soul winners, today, tell those who desire to be born again, “All you need to do is ask Jesus into your heart. Just repeat this prayer after me….” Then they confirm, “Now, you’re saved and going to Heaven.” The Lord rebuked me for just praying with someone and saying, “Now, you’re forgiven.” He said when a person receives Jesus into his heart, he must become a new creature in Christ Jesus and change from the old lifestyle. The Lord said that we have been adding hypocrites to the church because some of these people have no intentions of changing their lives. They’re only seeking a good feeling, but are soon discouraged and give up.
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts describing where Jesus spoke to a sinner: “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” Those words only created a foundation for their salvation. Each individual had to make a decision to continue serving Jesus.
This is where grace is important. When you are tempted to sin, grace is available to help you overcome: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20-21). Grace reminds you not to give in to the temptation. It prods you and says, “No, you’re a new creature. Don’t go that direction.” When you face a problem you cannot handle, cry out for the grace of God to bring you through in victory. Let grace reign in your heart. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2).
The Word doesn’t say that everything will be easy after you give your life to Jesus. Luke 13:24 explains, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” The same is true of grace. Although it is available as a free gift, you must put forth an effort to receive it. It’s not automatic, you must earnestly seek and desire it more than anything else in the world. Ask the Lord to give you the fullness of His grace.
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