Grace of God Part II
“The power of living in the fullness of God’s Grace “
Synopsis of Bible Study 5/6/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
We start out by raising some rhetorical questions. If you only had only one month to live, how would you prepare yourself to meet the Lord in that month? Would you pray harder, would you memorize more scripture, would you read your bible more, would you be involved in more spiritual work, would you catch up your tithes, or would you repent of sins you are guilty of? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be characterized as a performance based Christian. A performance based Christian tries to gain Gods favor by works. Remember that it is the grace of God that we live under. We are saved by Grace and grace alone. Make no mistake, the things we mentioned previously are good things to do; the problem is most people are doing these things based on a condition. The condition mentioned earlier was that it was assuming that they were going to die in 30 days or a month. We try to do good works with conditions attached to them. What happens if the condition is not met? What if we don’t have a month to live? Would you still say yes to every question? Are our works tied to a condition or the proper appropriation of grace in our life? There is no amount of work that we can do to earn God’s favor. The truth is his favor has been granted to us through the free gift of grace and so Paul rebukes the church by declaring: 1 Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death as clearly as though I had shown you a signboard with a picture of Christ dying on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Gal 3:1-3 (NLT)-Paul explained to them that previously they understood in the spirit, spiritual things, but now they were trying to be perfect by the works of the flesh. Like the Galatians, we are trying to do good deeds to get brownie points with God. This is not about the accumulation of brownie points. It is about understanding how to walk in the fullness of God’s grace.
I. The issue is how do I understand the fullness of God’s grace?
1. We have to understand the fullness of our foolishness, before we met God. Our need for God’s grace has to be understood. Let’s look at our condition prior to salvation. 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12 (KJV) – Before we got saved nobody was reaching for God and nobody was trying to do right. Everyone was doing their own thing. This means everyone in this place had a season in their life where they didn’t worry about pleasing God.
2. We once rebelled against God. 6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)-this scripture speaks of the rebellion of God’s people. This scripture reminds us that we are all as filthy rags.
3. All of us have sinned. 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 (KJV) –all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We looked it up in every language, but at the end of the day all simply means “all”. When we look at how far out there we were, it helps us understand God’s answer to our need.
4. We needed God, but what did he do? 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (KJV)-God commended his love towards us why we were yet sinners. He didn’t wait until we got our self together; his grace is so awesome he initiated his grace towards us. This is what makes Christianity so amazing and makes it so different in comparison to other faiths. Christianity is God reaching for us, instead of us reaching for God. God knew our nature and we were so rebellious, God came in spite of our nature. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10 (KJV)-We should walk in the fullness of grace because we recognize that we are only here by grace.
5. Grace by definition-it is Gods free and unmerited favor shown to guilty sinners who deserve only judgment. It is the love of God shown to the unlovely. Have you ever had an active feud where you didn’t speak to someone or didn’t want to be around them? It takes some people 20 yrs to recover from of feud. The truth is we know how to distance people that we have a beef with. We had beef with God when we were sinners. This is why God said to Paul, why are you persecuting me? When you are persecuting God’s people (including yourself), you are persecuting him. Just like this we have learned how to distance ourselves from God when we have beef with him. Even when you say don’t let me have this hangover, God heard you or when you said don’t let me have this disease when you knew you did all you could to catch the disease, God heard you (your prayer). This is what grace does. It helps you understand how messed up you really are.
II. How do I live in the kingdom by grace?
1. If we came in by grace, we have to live in God’s kingdom by grace. If we did not come in this kingdom by works, then we can’t live in this kingdom by works. Grace is the only thing that can sustain us in the kingdom. 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Phil 1:6 (KJV)-God made a divine deposit in our life. It is our purpose.
2. There are things that God does that we don’t understand. God deposited things in us before our parents knew us and before we were born. God knew we would have a sin nature.
3. Our flesh tries to keep our purpose from coming to past. Before coming to Christ, we were our own worst enemy. Despite all of that, God would not let us blow it. God was waiting for us to come back home to him. We had seasons that we purposely tried not to develop ourselves, but God refused to let our foolishness blow it. Some people can testify that God is still creating works in them despite what they have done. People call back into remembrance things you done, but God can still use you no matter what you have done, because of his grace.
4. Because of grace, we fall but we get up. 16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Prov 24:16 (KJV) – This scripture simply appropriates grace, because God knows what is in us. Just because you are saved, doesn’t mean that you will not fall. Everyone saved has had a moment where they have fallen. The difference is the righteous understand grace. They get up and dust themselves off and try again. The wicked keep falling because they don’t understand grace. Ex- A kid tries to learn to ride his bicycle. The child keeps falling off his bicycle, because the training wheels have just been taken off. Likewise, this is what we do when we first get saved. At first we can ride life well when we first get saved. It is new and God gives us extra support. Eventually the Lord will take the training wheels of so that you can learn to maneuver on your own. The father says it time for you to really step out and he takes the training wheels off and you fall. All you know to do when you fall is call to your daddy and he recognizing that riding the bike is greater than him pacifying the pain, allows you to there for a minute to try and figure this thing out. He wants you to keep trying while learning from your experience.
III. Our works is a result of walking in God’s grace.
1. Your works are an indicator of how you respond out of God’s love and grace. 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:9-10 (KJV)-Your works are an indicator of how you respond out of God’s love and grace. If we do it for any other reason, it is performance based. Think about leaders or those who serve in ministry. For example: choir members. If there wasn’t bible study or a service going on, would you still be singing at this very moment? If you weren’t’ on program, would you still be here? What is your motivation for being here or at any service? Is it brownie points or because you want to be there? Ex-Bishop Walker explains that he is in a new season involving his training Pastors (which is a Bishop’s job). He explains that he is training Pastors who are older than he has been in the world. He explains that because of their age, he has to challenge them in the area of shifts in the church. We have to get away from work based religion such as tithes? Often Pastors come from perspective where if you tithe, God will open the windows in heaven and pour out blessings that are more than we have room enough to receive. The problem with this is what if you lose your job or what if he doesn’t open the windows of heaven and bless you immediately? You ought to give, because you love God and nothing else. What if things don’t turn out like you think they ought to, and then you become angry for tithing and for what you did in the name of God? This still makes you performance based. The worst person to be around is someone that reminds you of what they did for you all the time? This is how we come across with to the Lord with this performance based approach. We are saying to the Lord, “I paid my tithes, why did you let this happen?” This is equivalent to your kids saying, “Well I made up my bed!” Our response would be, “You don’t pay any bills here and you are supposed to make up your bed!” Making up the bed is a kid’s duty or reasonable sacrifice. Just like this, tithing is one of those things we should think God owes us for. As a child of God, this is something we are simply supposed to do. This is our reasonable service. We should do the things that God ask simply because we love him.
2. It is important to understand that God’s blessing flow through grace not performance. 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph 2:6-7 (KJV)-God still wants to show his grace in the days to come.
3. We do those things that are pleasing in God’s sight.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22 (KJV)
4. There are some powerful things we can learn from parables. They are earthly lessons with spiritual implications. One of the most powerful is found in Math 20:1-16. Here is a contemporary summary. The Kingdom of Heaven is like brother that had a business. Early one morning the business owner went to the corner to get people to work for him. He said he would give them a penny for their work for the day. This meant the contract was set. In the 3rd hour he asked some more people to come work for them and told them at the end of the day he would pay them whatever is right. They agreed and they too went to work for him. At the 6th, 9rd , and the 11th hour, he did the same thing. He told all of them that he would pay them what was fair at the end of the workday. When the day was over, the business owner told his Forman bring the workers in so that he could pay them. He calls them from the last to the beginning. He started with the ones that came in last and he paid them a penny. He gave the group that came in just before them and so on all a penny or a day’s wages. The ones that the business owner called first were offended. They felt they should have gotten more, because they were there all day long. They started murmuring and then they asked why the business owner paid the workers that came in later the same amount as he did them that had worked all day long. He answered to them that he didn’t do any wrong them. He asked them did they remember what he promised he would pay them. That was the contract. He asks can’t he do what he wants with his own money? In God’s kingdom, the last shall be first and the first last. It is up to God how he awards his grace.
5. Many are called, but few are chosen. You have always heard this all your life, but most of the time it was out of context. Ex-Someone has been in an organization for 5yrs. Another person comes aboard and 5wks later they are placed over the person that has been there 5yrs. The one that has been there 5yrs is cool with the fact that somebody has been placed ahead of them with less tenure. The one with 5yrs of tenure represents the chosen. You think God gives brownie points for your work. You think God is a God that gives benefits based on tenure. Grace has nothing to do with tenure. What is for you is for you. Are you one of the chosen ones?
IV. It is about humility
Humility brings about life. 4 True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life. Prov 22:4 (NLT).
There will come a day where the Lord will try your work by fire. 13 But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value.1 Cor 3:13 (NLT). Peter calls this the fiery trial. God will send fire to try your work to see what your real motivation is and to see where your heart is. Ex-God tried Bishops work by fire. One was the Death of a his spouse. This fire was so intense, Bishop explains that he asked God to fire him from his assignment. He just wanted the hurt to be over. God said this is the fire to see what Bishop is really preaching for. When the fire was sent, if Bishop was able to still come to the church and tell people that was a healer, then God would know for sure that Bishop Walker was for real. Because we are a part of this ministry, there is such an anointing that we under. This anointing comes with the privilege of not being able to do some things. That privilege is that we don’t have the privilege of being on a pitty party. If the head of this ministry (Bishop Walker) was experiencing death while yet still preaching God is a healer, then we are not allowed to bury our head in the sand. We are under too much anointing. Bishop admits that he has to ask for strength and patience concerning people that stop showing up at the least little thing that happens in their life. We show up, because we know it ain’t nothing but the grace of God that allows most of us to get and face the world day to day. How dare you roll over and fall over into depression. All of us are here by grace. You belong to a church that doesn’t allow you the option to quit. Be steadfast, unmovable, always abiding in his word. Your labor is not in vain.
6 examples of God’s grace
1. Saving grace- 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:15-16 (KJV)-The love is the grace. God loved us when we didn’t love ourselves. God gave the best that he had all in the name of grace. 11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. Titus 2:11 (NLT)-We thank God for saving us. Ex-Bishop admits he still gets emotional when people get saved. He says he doesn’t want to get to far from remembering when God saved him.
2. Sanctifying grace-this is growing in grace 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (KJV)-when we get saved, we need help growing in this walk. First we want to grow in word, because of what I have read. Then we come to church to hear the word. Through what we hear, we develop faith, now we need a corresponding action. God then tries the word in us so we can put it into action. Now we know God for ourselves.
3. Sustaining grace- 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. John 10:27-31 (KJV)-Imagine if you are in hands of father. He says nothing can pluck you out. When the enemy tries to take your mind, God keeps your mind intact.
4. Sovereign grace-while in God’s hand we are saying to God that he can do what he will with us. 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36 (KJV)-God can do what he wants to do , but whatever he does is for his glory. We have to get like Job. In the midst of losing everything we recognize that the Lord gives and he takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord.
5. Sufficient grace. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 2 Cor 12:7 (KJV) – It is all about the throne. Paul asked God three times for the thorn to be removed, but God reminded Paul that his grace was enough sustain him. God gave grace for you to sustain what you never thought you could endure
6. Shielding grace-you can be vulnerable when you have a thorn in your flesh. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Prov 2:8 (KJV)-God will your preserve your path. 8 I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. Psalms 4:8 (NLT)-God only allows you to deal in a realm of safety. We are so sure that we of our safety, we can sleep at night, because we know God has this thing. 2 Put on your armor, and take up your shield. Prepare for battle, and come to my aid. Psalms 35:2 (NLT) – All the apparatus you have is for safety, yet God still has it in control. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear a seat belt, but at the end of the day it was the grace that got you through. Why are you here tonight after all the attacks, and all the times you went wrong instead of right? Why are you here? Were you lucky? Did you have control over all that happened to you? No it was God’s grace.