Grace Among Us – 1

(John 1:14, 16-17 AMPC) And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. [Isa 40:5] (16) For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. (17) For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. [Exo 20:1]

Grace – a favor done without expectation of return.

Why Did Grace Have to Come?

(Romans 5:17 AMPC) For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

  • We were not sinners because we have sinned; we were sinners because Adam sinned.
  • Because of Adam’s sin, death began to reign in the earth.

Reign – to possess or exercise power and/or authority

If you are living a life of defeat, of being defeated by sin, by perpetual guilt and condemnation, by sickness, by anxiety attacks, by financial lack and by broken relationships, you are not living the life that God intended for you.

Based on the authority of God’s Word, you are destined to “reign in life” as a king, to have kingly dominion over all your challenges and circumstances.

  • Through grace, you are called to live above the circumstances of life and not trampled by them.

(Romans 5:17 AMPC) For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

  1. The key to reigning in life through Jesus Christ is in receiving not achieving.

In the world, we are taught that if you want to achieve something you must work for it. The world’s system of success is based on the twin pillars of self-effort and diligence.

God’s ways are contrary to man’s ways.

Man thinks that for God to bless him, he needs to deserve, earn and merit God’s favor and blessings by his own effort. Man thinks that God’s blessings are based on his performance and good works.

Notice, He promised that when we receive God’s abundant grace, we will reign in life. He did not say when we achieve grace and our own righteousness, we will reign in life. But we are taught to live life based on a system of achievement.

What we do is to take the world’s system of achievement and apply it to our Christian life. Instead of depending on God’s grace for His favor and blessings to flow, we depend on our self-efforts to try and deserve God’s favor and blessings.

  • We are driven to “do, do, do”, forgetting that the basis for Christianity is actually “done, done, done”.
  • We are made righteous in the New Covenant not because we do righteous deeds, but because of Jesus’ obedience on the cross.

There is nothing that you and I can do to deserve His blessings, for they are based entirely on receiving Jesus and through His finished work, the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

The Work is Finished!

(Hebrews 10:11-14 NKJV) And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. (12) But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, (13) from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. (14) For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

According to the law, the Priest who served in the Tabernacle or the Temple never sat down. They were always moving, performing their priestly duties on behalf of the people. The reason this is so is because their work was never finished.

The way that we can know that our sins are fully dealt with is because of the fact that Jesus sat down. It was a violation of the law for the High Priest to sit down at all. Only Jesus’ work is a finished work.

  1. The work is already finished, so get somewhere and sit down with Him!

(Ephesians 2:4-8 NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

All of the work of Redemption has been completed for us and this means that we can stop depending on our self-efforts to earn and qualify for God’s blessings in our lives.

  1. We do not labor in life to be blessed; rather we have the power to labor because we are blessed!

God’s grace does not make us lazy and unproductive. On the contrary, it will make you labor more abundantly for His glory.

(1 Corinthians 15:10 AMPC) But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.

In the New Covenant, God’s way is to bless you first, and the knowledge of His blessing gives you the power to labor more abundantly.

Self-effort will rob you of reigning in life by His grace. You cannot earn your salvation, your healing, or your financial breakthrough by your own efforts. If the greatest miracle – being Born Again – comes by grace through faith, and not by your works, how much more the lesser miracles such as healing, prosperity and restored marriages.

  • Stop depending on your own selfefforts to earn and qualify you for God’s blessings on your life.
Your Spiritual Debt Has Been Paid!

(Colossians 2:13-15 NLT) You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. (14) He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. (15) In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

Because of the cross, the price for sin has been paid, the judgment executed, the anger toward sin exhausted, the veil torn away and the way to intimacy with God opened.

Our God came, died a cruel death on the cross and paid the full debt of sin with His own life so that you and I can reign in life today.

  1. If the debt is paid, why are you still trying to send in payments?

When you have fulfilled your debt to the bank for the mortgage of your house, you should stop sending payments because the debt has already been paid!

In the same way, quit trying to pay the debt of sin to earn God’s favor because the debt has already been paid! Receive the abundance of God’s grace and the gift of righteousness and reign in life through Jesus Christ!

(Luke 2:8-14 AMPC) And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. (9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. (10) But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. (11) For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! [Mic 5:2] (12) And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. [1Sa 2:34; 2Ki 19:29; Isa 7:14] (13) Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].

  • Because of God’s grace that came with Jesus and His finished work, God is pleased with me!