You are saved by grace? or works? or faith? or fruit? Can Grace save you?

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I had a dream about a year ago and in this dream, I stood before a great king. He seemed larger than life and he sat on a great throne. It seemed I was only 1/3 of his height. We were going back in forth in debate- well only I was debating- on the subject of salvation, but the king only had one answer and would defeat my argument each time.

My Dream:

I walked into a room and there was a great king on a large throne and between us seemed to be desk. I stood and argued that it was not possible to be saved by grace alone. I argued with all the scripture I knew and the king would reply each time “No, it is only by grace that you are saved”

What! That can’t be, I would argue back. The bible is clear that we are not saved unless we believe and even that isn’t enough, because scripture says that even the devils believe, and with this that we need works, because the bible says with out works, our faith is dead. So we need to believe, but we need to add to that faith, but yet, still that is not good enough, we need works – because scripture says that.

The king would gently reply: “It is only by grace that you are saved”

Really? I argued back, so how does that make sense? What about John 3:16?So I guess everybody’s saved, if it’s only grace? But what about those who don’t believe in Christ? Are they saved only by grace because what good is believing, faith and works then? Do they all disappear? What about Hebrews 11:6- We can’t please God without faith and Romans 1:5 and 16:26 we need to believe and OBEY, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing and he cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit- so that proves we need works; and works without love is worthless, so now we need works, love, faith, and fruit to be saved!!!!!!

“ No, it is only by grace that you are saved” He kept saying to me. I was totally annoyed because I didn’t feel like I was winning this argument. The king would look at me with the most loving eyes and let me finish each thing I said before he spoke. He seemed to look at me as a loving father would, even in my frustration – he would calmly tilt his head back touching the back of his throne with his head and smile as if I were quite entertaining. He never got angry and always looked at me with loving eyes, even though I was mouthing off and flying my hands all over the place with my argument.

Each time I would finish my argument, he would pause…. Smile at me and say – in a ‘he was so right way’ – “it is only by grace that you are saved”.

And I kept on: Well why do I need to keep running the race? Aren’t I supposed to win the prize? I keep running as it says in 1 Corinthians 9, and what about faith- what good are we without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death and resurrection? 1 tim 1:9 and all the old testament great men were honored because of their faith – like Abraham- because of their faith- in Hebrews 11” And Romans 3 says we are made right with God because of our faith, not obedience.Doesn’t faith justify us in Gal 2:16 and Romans 5:1? So it’s not grace – impossible– Salvation is belief in Jesus, plus works, plus faith, plus love, plus fruit – because without that….aren’t we chopped off that vine?

The King loving and calmly replied (as he smiled at me)  “Lisa, it is only by grace that you are saved”

No, I said, you are wrong- impossible. I know all the scripture and I know I’m right. I saw him look at me, enjoying this conversation. He knew he was right and he knew my argument wasn’t standing up to his. So I continued on…..okay, well what about this verse: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” where does grace fit in there? Doesn’t that verse prove we are saved or not saved by our actions? And see! Look at Romans 4” But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” So here we go with rock, paper, scissors! It’s faith, and not works? But still – it’s faith in God, right? So now it’s just faith, but wait Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).- so faith and belief are different? Anyways- how can God’s grace alone save us? I know God’s grace is important, but I know we are saved because we believe, and even that is not enough! Because even the devils believe, and we must add to that faith because without faith we cannot please God and to that we must add works because faith is shown in works, and to that we must add love because works without love is nothing and to that we add fruit, because without that we are cut off from the vine, and there you have it, I win.

He leaned over to me, and I really think he had a sparkle in his eye, patiently smiling, making sure I was done and said

It is only by grace, that you are saved.

The argument went on and on through the night. I kept quoting scripture, but the king kept winning the argument with his reply “You are saved by grace” ,Uggghhhhhh! I woke up and I still felt like I had not won this argument.

What exactly is Grace?

This dream prompted me to intensely study Grace and what I have found is truly amazing.  I think I have found some great discoveries as I study Grace. As I put all the scriptures together to define grace, I have found an interesting possible link between grace and the Holy Spirit. The definition of grace almost exactly matches the Holy Spirit, but that will have to be another post, for now, I just hope to have you thinking. 🙂

As the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption, could also God’s grace do the same? Is Gods grace the underlying denominator to faith, works, belief, love, and fruit?

   I studied Acts a few months ago in order to gather all he said to the people about Salvation in Christ Jesus and I came up with these 7 things:

ETERNAL SALVATION- AN UNDERSERVED GIFT FROM GOD

1-BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- FAITH
2-CONFESS YOUR SINS AND REPENT
3-TURN BACK TO GOD- He wants you to SEEK HIM
4-BE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST-WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS
5-PROVE IT BY THE WAY YOU LIVE
6-GET RID OF ALL SIN AND WICKEDNESS
7-WATCH OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS AND WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

As I considered all this I suddenly thought:

It is by grace that  1- I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
It is by grace that  2- He forgives me when I confess my sins and repent
It is by grace that  3- He calls me to seek Him
It is by grace that 4- He washes away my sins through baptism
It is by grace that  5-He continues to work in me, leading, guiding and teaching me to be Holy like He is holy
It is by grace that   6- He gives me His Word to teach me how to live
It is by grace that  7- He gives me discernment and knowledge to know right from wrong.

And this verse was brought to my remembrance : “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9

I’m still not done studying, but I keep on…I keep on….


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves

Ephesians 2:8

 

My Grace is sufficient, His Grace is enough 2 Corinthians 12

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“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

    What does it mean that God’s grace is enough? I’ve heard people say this repeatedly over their life conditions and sicknesses as if they were given a life sentence for misery. When the Lord spoke this to Paul, He wanted Paul to know that He (The Lord God) was in control over everything. Paul had not been abandoned by the Lord in this trial, but he could rejoice and boast in this weakness, because it is here when Paul was weak,  that God was strong.  Let every part of your life glorify God – the good times and the struggles. When we are weak, God is strong . When we’ve fully given God the reign/ reins to our life and when pride is forced out of our heart, we will finally see that it is God who must be glorified in all things.

BITTER OR BETTER? IT’S UP TO YOU
I believe that life struggles have 1 of  2 outcomes: they can make us  better (stronger, change us, better us and give us an opportunity to help) others or make us bitter (destroy us with bitterness, anger, anxiety and resentment). The choice is yours. You have the power to control your mind and your thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us and commands us to fix our thoughts and think of things that are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”

 When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-4

 The Lord wants you to know that in whatever circumstance you are in:

  • He has your today, your tomorrow and your future in His hands (So stop worrying! Cast fear and worry out of your mind)
  • Today is 100% in His control of today and everyday (Trust in Him)
  • Tomorrow is already taken care of so you don’t need to worry, fret or dread
  • He will pull you out of stormy waters
  • He is your refuge, your high tower and your safety
  • He hears your cries to Him

Charles Spurgeon said that this thorn in the flesh was about destroying pride in Paul. Pride may have wanted to creep into Paul’s heart. That would make sense, not only for Paul but for each one of us. Pride is the sneakiest of all sins, it creeps in unawares without the victim knowing. Perhaps this thorn did keep Paul’s heart in check.  When we consider Paul’s upstanding life (on his own account) his family heritage (Benjamite) and his authority before his conversion, he was a powerful and famous man. His life suddenly changes with a meeting with the Lord Jesus, supernatural events, visions, healings and  visit to heaven – that could send a person today on a pride trip, don’t you think? Maybe or maybe not. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our knowledge, fame, and favor among people (and maybe God) that we no longer have an open door to learn new truths.   When pride slips in the teaching, it can ruin the message. Pride is seen by everyone but the one who has it. It’s invisible but seen, it’s silent but heard.

 Charles Spurgen December 8, 1872 “A thorn in the flesh”  He (Paul) had been taken into the innermost part of the third Heaven—into that secret Paradise where Christ dwells with His perfected saints! He had entered into the nearest communion with God possible to a man while yet in this life. Should he not feel somewhat exalted? Surely exultation must fill that man’s bosom who has been brought within the veil to see his God and to hear the unutterable harmonies! It was natural that he should be exalted and it was not unnatural that he should stand in danger of being exalted above measure! Devout exaltation very rapidly degenerates into self-exaltation. When God lifts us up, there is only one step further—namely our lifting up ourselves—and then we fall into serious mischief, indeed.
I wonder how many among us could bear to receive such revelations as Paul had? O God, You may well, in Your kindness, spare us such perilous favors! We have neither head nor heart to sustain so vast a load of blessing. Our little plant needs not a river to water its root—the gentle dew suffices—the flood might wash it away. How many has God blessed in the ministry for a little while, or, if not in the ministry, in some other form of service? But, alas, how soon have they swollen with conceit and have become too big for the world to hold them! Puffed up with vanity, the honor put upon them has turned their brain and they have gone astray into gross folly, sheer vanity, or defiling sin…….He who thinks he is humble is probably the proudest man in the place. But there are some men in whom self-consciousness is so uppermost and so evidently powerful that you can see it in almost everything they do. It is their struggle, if they are Christians, to keep it down—but it will come up in the form of being very easily annoyed because they are overlooked in some good work—or in being easily irritated because they fancy that somebody is opposing them when that somebody never thought of them.
Beloved, above all things it is dangerous for a Christian to be exalted above measure, for if he is he will rob God of His Glory and this is a high crime! The Lord has said, “I will not give My Glory to another.” To give God’s Glory to graven images is bad, but to usurp it for ourselves is by no means better. I see no difference between the worship of a god of stone and the worship of a god of flesh. Self is as degrading an idol as Juggernaut or Kalee. God will not honor that man who retains honor for himself. The meek He will exalt, the proud He will abase. Self-exaltation is equally evil to the Church with which the man associates and the more prominent he is, the more pestilent is his sin…..Suppose Paul to have been lifted up—he would have been of small use to the Gentile Church afterwards. He would have sought himself and not the things of Christ! And very soon Paul would have become an object of parties and the leader of a sect—the cry of, “I am of Paul,” would have been sweet music to him and he would in all ways have encouraged those who adopted it—and a schism would have been the result. Had he been exalted above measure, he might have become a rival rather than a servant of Jesus. He might have disdained his lowly office and have aspired to lord it over God’s heritage. We might have heard of him as a right reverend father in God rather than as the servant of Jesus Christ and His Church. THORN (Spurgeon cont.) The Apostle says, “There was given to me a thorn.” Note that—”a thorn.” If the English word expresses the exact meaning—and I think it is pretty near it—you need not be at a loss to understand the simile. A thorn is but a little thing and indicates a painful, but not a killing trial—not a huge, crushing, overwhelming affliction, but a common matter— none the less painful, however, because common and insignificant. A thorn is a sharp thing which pricks, pierces, irritates, lacerates, festers and causes endless pain and inconvenience. And yet it is almost a secret thing—not very apparent to anyone but the sufferer. Paul had a secret grief somewhere, I know not where, but near his heart, continually wherever he might be, irritating him—perpetually vexing him and wounding him. A thorn, a commonplace thing such as might grow in any field and fall to any man’s lot. Thorns are plentiful enough and have been since Father Adam scattered the first handful of the seed. A thorn—nothing to make a man unbearable or give him the dignity of unusual sorrow. Some men boast about their great trials and there is something in feeling that you are a man greatly afflicted. But a thorn could not drive even this wretched satisfaction. It was not a sword in the bones, or a galling arrow in the loins, but only a thorn, about which little could be said.
Everyone knows, however, that a thorn is one of the most wretched intruders that can molest our foot or hand. Those pains which are despised because they are seldom fatal, are frequently the source of the most intense anguish— toothache, headache, earache—what greater miseries are known to mortals? And so with a thorn. It sounds like a nothing—”it can be easily removed with a needle”—so those say who feel it not and yet how it will fester! And if it remains in the flesh it will generate inconceivable torture. Such was Paul’s trial—a secret smarting, incessantly irritating, something—we do not know what.It was a thorn “in the flesh”—in the flesh. He was not tempted in the spirit—it was in the flesh. I suppose the evil had an intimate connection with his body. Many as the leaves of autumn have been the guesses of learned men as to what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. Almost every disease has had its advocates. I was particularly pleased to find that Rosenmuller thought it to be the gout [Brother Spurgeon suffered from severe gout]—but then other critics think it to be weak eyesight, stammering, or a hypochondriac tendency. Richard Baxter, who suffered from a very painful disorder which I need not mention, thought that the Apostle was his fellow sufferer. One Divine is of the opinion that Paul endured the earache and I generally find that each expositor has selected that particular thorn which had pierced his own bosom
 

LK,TM,UL 

You are surrounded by His lovingkindness, tender mercies and unfailing love  When we fully understand the great depth of God’s grace, we know that we are on the Path He has prepared for us. I imagine it like this- a large supernatural cloak of the Lord’s Tender Mercies, Loving Kindness and Unfailing love that covers me. (TM, LK,UL)

1-He surrounds you with unfailing love.The Lord wants us to trust in His UNFAILING LOVE for us. His unfailing love protects us, leads us, covers us, rescues us, pursues us, is better than life, lasts forever, supports us, teaches us, silences our enemies, came through Jesus Christ

  •  Exodus 15:13“With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home
  • Exodus 20:6But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
  • Psalm 13:5But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
  • Psalm 21:7For the king trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling
  • Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life
  • Psalm 40:11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me
  • Psalm 63:3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
  • Psalm 94:18 I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
  • Psalm 119:64 O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees
  •  Psalm 143:12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant
  • John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

2- He surrounds you with Tender Mercies. He crowns you with Tender Mercies and He surrounds you with Tender Mercies that always protect you.

  •  Psalm 103:4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
  • Psalm 119:77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.
  • Psalm 40:11Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
  • Psalm 69:16Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

3- He surrounds you with Lovingkindness. His lovingkindnes preserves you and is always with you.

  •  Psalm 26:3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth
  • Psalm 40:11  Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me
  • Psalm 42:8  Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
  • Psalm 119:159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thylovingkindness
  • Hosea 2:19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

The Grace of God

If the Holy Spirit lives in you, you can be assured that you are covered under Grace of God. The Lord wants you to know and understand that:

  • He will get you through today and tomorrow
  • All you need is His grace – that is knowing that His unfailing love, tender mercies, loving kindness covers you
  • Don’t let the enemy fill you with fear, doubt, worry and hopelessness- you have been set free ; ”For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord (in you!) is, there is freedom.2 Cor 3:17

In a previous post on God’s Grace, I found, according to scripture, that grace is like a current or pathway that the Lord God has us on to keep us safe. We are the apple of His eye and He leads us to the life He has planned. He will turn your sorrow to gladness and crown you with everlasting joy. Psa56:8:  “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  Though tough times may surround you, lift your head up for your redemption draweth nigh. Don’t let mans words fill you with fear and dread, trust in God. God’s word is always true. (romans 3)   In your weakness, God will show Himself strong. Your sorrows will turn to joy and the troubles of today will soon be gone as He carries you though each day.

David’s prayers during tough times: 

David had many struggles as Paul did. David always found a way to praise God even in the worst of circumstances. In death, in fear, in life, in rejection, in hiding, in despair – David would cry out for help, remember and recite God’s promises while praising the name of the Lord.

David’s prayer during storms and trials   (from Psalm 42-43,142-143)

  1. Remember the Lord: He is your strength. He is your help. He is faithful and righteous
  2. Meditate on all His works and His words
  3. Muse on all the Works of His hands
  4. Praise Him, enter His gates with thanksgiving.
  5. Cry out to Him
  6. Declare His Good works
  7. Pour out your heart to Him
  8. Lift up your hands
  9. Take Shelter in Him

HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD:    

  • Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5  Romans 15:4 Matthew 5:4 
  • The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Ps 27:14 Ps 9:9
  • Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all Ps 34:17-19
  • Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: Is 26:3-4 Psalm 147:3 Ps 55:22
  • But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31,
  • Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. James 4:10, 1 Peter 4:12, 5:7, 2 Peter 2:9

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 3:3 Ps 40:1-3

Grace defined – Are you under the Real Grace of God or have you lost your way? I

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Grace: Kharece/Charis (gr): meaning merciful kindness by God, favor, exerting His Holy influence upon souls, turns us to Christ, keeps, strengthens, and increases us in Christian faith, knowledge, affection and loveliness, good will, loving kindness, benefit, gift of grace, thanks, rewards, graciousness of manner or act – abstract or concrete literal figurative or spiritual especially the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life including gratitude.

   A popular definition of Grace that we hear so often ” free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessing.  It is free undeserved gift of God through Jesus Christ……..

but that’s only the beginning…….

Grace is part of the new covenant between God and man. When the law was in effect, sin and death reigned, but now,  through the redemption of blood in Christ Jesus, we are offered a new covenant under Grace. Grace is first received by faith in Christ Jesus when we believed. This grace justifies us, causes us to do good works, strengthens us, makes us an heir to God’s family and leads us into eternal life. God’s grace reigns over His people making us servants of God and no longer a servant to sin. The law was something man strived to do, but under grace, we are lead and directed into good works, obedience and eternal life. Grace is a driving force, it’s like a current of air, a pathway or a direction in which we go. Grace is walking in Step with the Holy Spirit of God. Grace leads us or creates a path on which we live a life pleasing to the Lord God.

After much study of the scripture on Grace, I’d like to give you two analogies on what Grace is like-

1-     Grace is like a mighty current of air or pathway that causes you/ leads to go in the right direction. It is a gift from God through Jesus Christ that leads you to eternal life. The Holy Spirit is the driving powerful force causing you to move along this path that is a righteous path before Almighty God. We know that the Holy Spirit is referred to (at times) as a breath or wind, and here, I have found that grace is actually the current. A current is the movement along which the air (electricity, water or air) flows. It is a force or movement in which wind moves through the flow. Wind is moving air, it is doing the moving. A current with no wind doesn’t exist, and wind always flows along the current. Can we put these together as an analogy of Grace and the Holy Spirit? I think so. We are told that grace gives us the ability to do good works so grace is our driving force along the righteous path.

2-     Grace is like tracks and pathway of a railroad. You see, you are the train off the track- then you accept the terms of the covenant by Faith in Christ Jesus and you are put on the tracks to newness of life. The tracks, or Grace, have a right path for you to go ahead in and helps you from falling off. The force and power of the train is the Holy Spirit always leading you in the right direction. However, you still have your own free will – to listen and obey the Spirit or go after your own lusts and desires. If you choose to go your own way and live a life contrary to the Spirit of God, you are OFF the tracks – you are no longer on the right path and are no longer under God’s grace. God will not be mocked. He is far from the wicked. (it’s in the bible)

God’s grace leads us into obedience and good works. We do fall, stumble and trip at times, even falling into temptation – but God’s grace is there to lift us up, strengthen us and establish us- knowing we did wrong, we repent, we turn and we get back on that track, always thanking God for His Grace. But if you choose to completely and intentionally leave the path destined by God for you and choose to live a wicked life, you have wandered far, far from God’s grace.   If you are living a life of sexual sin, idolatry, covetousness, or the sins listed in the verses below, you are not under the grace of God. You may have received God’s grace when you believed, but you did not allow or follow the direction it was leading you. Instead, you choose your own way and turned from God’s grace. God hasn’t changed. He will not be mocked. People may make their excuses to sin, but come judgment day, there will be no excuses.

Accepting God’s grace is accepting His covenant, it’s like a marriage. You accept the terms – that Christ died for your sins and to follow His leading and His ways. If you think you can accept God’s grace and go your own way, you are not under God’s grace – no matter what any preacher tells you. The bible is specific in this, if you choose to live an unacceptable sinful and immoral lifestyle; you are not under the protection and guidance of God’s grace. It’s like a woman who accepts a wedding ring from her groom but turns to live an immoral lifestyle.   Grace leads us to eternal life and makes us heirs of God’s family. If you choose to live an unrighteous lifestyle, you are no longer under God’s grace:

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-20   No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body] and in your spirit, which are God’s. The verse above tells us specifically that the following people will not inherit (not be an heir or part of the royal family) the kingdom:

  • Those who lie and cheat
  • Those who do not live righteously
  • Pornos- translated as Fornicators, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, those who defile themselves with others, those who do not honor the marriage bed, male prostitutes (also see Eph 5:5, rev 21:8)
  • Idolaters- those who worship others gods, any Christian who participates in the feasts of the heathens (g1496 greek), a covetous man, a worshipper of money (Rev 21:8)
  • Moichos- translated as adulterers- adulterer, one who is faithless towards God, ungodly, friends with the World.
  • Oute: translated as homosexual, a male who submits his body to unlawful lewdness, effeminate man, untypical feminine qualities of a man, improper relations between men and boys (g3120 greek)
  • Arsenokoites translated as sodomites; one who lies with a male as a female, those who abuse themselves with mankind, those who defile themselves with mankind g733 
  • Kleptes – thieves , embezzlers, false teachers out for their own gain, those who break and steal
  • Pleonektes – greedy, covetous, always wanting more, never content with what they have, want what others have – and idolater
  • Loidoros – reviler – one who speaks with an abusive language with hate, insulting to others, one who hurts and destroys others with their speech
  •  Harpax – extortioner, robber , one who destroys, also used to describe wolves in sheeps clothing
  • Akathartos – unclean person, lewdness, unclean in thought and life, demonic (Eph 5:5)

  Do you really think you stay covered under God’s amazing grace when you reject His leading and His ways? The law was made for these people described above so that they would see their iniquity before God, repent, turn back to righteousness and find Mercy under almighty God. Grace doesn’t give us an open door to live against God’s rules, but Grace is another door that you are welcome into through Jesus Christ. Grace turns you back on the narrow road that you must continue walking on. God’s Grace is a gift, a beautiful ornament that makes you beautiful. This wonderful grace causes you to do good works. 

Look at Ephesians 5  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them
We must

  • Walk in love
  • Be followers of God
  • Becoming saints by staying away from fornication, uncleanness and covetousness
  • Stop all foolish or filthy talk, vulgar joking, improper talk
  • Not allow the wrong teachings and words of others to trip you with vain words and teachings that are empty and void of truth

What does inherit the kingdom mean?  This means you are one of God’s children, an heir to the kingdom of the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ. It gives you access to your true home, your Father’s house- the Kingdom of heaven. Dire warnings are given to us warning of the requirements of this Holy family. There is a lake of fire and brimstone for those who are not part of the God’s kingdom.

Who will end up in the Lake of fire and Brimstone?  Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 give us clear understanding and warning about WHO WILL NOT inherit the kingdom “ But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” :

  • Deilos :The fearful: the timid, faithless , cowardly Christians under persecution, apostates, those who run from the gospel in fear of the world and man
  • Apistos: unbelieving, do not trust in God or his word, Christians who reject true faith
  • Bedelysso: abominable, stench, detest, to be despicable
  • Phoneus: one who murders
  • Pharmekeus: sorcerer, one who uses magical remedies, drugs, spell potions, poisoner, drugs that poison
  • Pseudes – all those who lie, deceitful, false
  • Idolotaters
  • Sexually immoral
  • Murderers
  • Unbelieving

The first example of grace in the new testament is Luke 1:30

“Mary found favor (charis/grace) in God’s eye”

What did Mary do with this grace and favor from God? Did she use it as a ticket under His favor to have her own way?

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” This is the first example we are given of Grace and our actions and duty under God’s grace should be the same way Mary responded “I am the Lord’s servant”

Think about this: You can’t have grace without faith and grace leads you into good works. Grace leads you into obedience so God’s laws and the our requirement to be holy don’t disappear, but now you have a supernatural force that helps you and leads you into obedience. Do you see how all three tie together?  We need faith, but faith alone doesn’t save us. Faith without works is dead. You may say, well I can have good works without faith”, but remember that you can do all your deeds and charity and good works, but if you don’t have love – you are just a noise maker. Even then, works don’t save you. So what in the world do we need to be saved?

I like the way Paul presented Salvation:
PAULS Steps of Salvation WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF ACTS:

1-BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- FAITH
2-CONFESS YOUR SINS AND REPENT
3-TURN BACK TO GOD- He wants you to SEEK HIM
4-BE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST-WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS
5-PROVE IT BY THE WAY YOU LIVE
6-GET RID OF ALL SIN AND WICKEDNESS
7-WATCH OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS AND WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

What pulls people away from God’s grace?

According to the parable of the Seeds in Mark 4 and Luke 8, new Believers and those who hear the word of God have 6 routes of destruction that turn them away from the Grace of God:

  1. Satan – he steals the word from their hearts so they no longer believe
  2. Temptation -Problems/trials/ tribulations :Allowing our Problems to pull us away
  3. Persecution for believing in God’s word
  4. Worries of this life
  5. Lure of wealth and  riches
  6. Desires and pleasures

Is a Lukewarm christian under the grace of God? A Christian under the grace of God is promised life eternal and and heir to God’s family. A lukewarm Christian is spewed out of His mouth, so a lukewarm Christian is not under the Grace of God. Even if you have good works and call yourself a Christian, you haven’t yet decided whose side you are on – the World or God? HOWEVER! God calls that one to repent and come back, read Revelation 3 :

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne

Stop Planning your excuses before God because YOU WILL HAVE NO EXCUSE

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.[i]
 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.  Romans 1

More on Grace to come…………………………………………….

 

You are saved by grace ?

Comments 22 Standard

     I had a dream about a year ago and in this dream, I stood before a great king. He seemed larger than life and he sat on a great throne. It seemed I was only 1/3 of his height. We were going back in forth in debate- well only I was debating- on the subject of salvation, but the king only had one answer and would defeat my argument each time.

 My Dream:

   I walked into a room and there was a great king on a large throne and between us seemed to be desk. I stood and argued that it was not possible to be saved by grace alone. I argued with all the scripture I knew and the king would reply each time “No, it is only by grace that you are saved”

    What! That can’t be, I would argue back. The bible is clear that we are not saved unless we believe and even that isn’t enough, because scripture says that even the devils believe, and with this that we need works, because the bible says with out works, our faith is dead. So we need to believe, but we need to add to that faith, but yet, still that is not good enough, we need works – because scripture says that. 

 The king would gently reply: “It is only by grace that you are saved”

     Really? I argued back, so how does that make sense? What about John 3:16?So I guess everybody’s saved, if it’s only grace? But what about those who don’t believe in Christ? Are they saved only by grace because what good is believing, faith and works then? Do they all disappear? What about Hebrews 11:6- We can’t please God without faith and Romans 1:5 and 16:26 we need to believe and OBEY, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing and he cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit- so that proves we need works; and works without love is worthless, so now we need works, love, faith, and fruit to be saved!!!!!!

   “ No, it is only by grace that you are saved” He kept saying to me. I was totally annoyed because I didn’t feel like I was winning this argument. The king would look at me with the most loving eyes and let me finish each thing I said before he spoke. He seemed to look at me as a loving father would, even in my frustration – he would calmly tilt his head back touching the back of his throne with his head and smile as if I were quite entertaining. He never got angry and always looked at me with loving eyes, even though I was mouthing off and flying my hands all over the place with my argument.

    Each time I would finish my argument, he would pause…. Smile at me and say – in a ‘he was so right way’ – “it is only by grace that you are saved”. 

      And I kept on: Well why do I need to keep running the race? Aren’t I supposed to win the prize? I keep running as it says in 1 Corinthians 9, and what about faith- what good are we without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death and resurrection? 1 tim 1:9 and all the old testament great men were honored because of their faith – like Abraham- because of their faith- in Hebrews 11” And Romans 3 says we are made right with God because of our faith, not obedience.Doesn’t faith justify us in Gal 2:16 and Romans 5:1? So it’s not grace – impossibleSalvation is belief in Jesus, plus works, plus faith, plus love, plus fruit – because without that….aren’t we chopped off that vine?

The King loving and calmly replied (as he smiled at me)  “Lisa, it is only by grace that you are saved”

      No, I said, you are wrong- impossible. I know all the scripture and I know I’m right. I saw him look at me, enjoying this conversation. He knew he was right and he knew my argument wasn’t standing up to his. So I continued on…..okay, well what about this verse: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” where does grace fit in there? Doesn’t that verse prove we are saved or not saved by our actions? And see! Look at Romans 4” But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” So here we go with rock, paper, scissors! It’s faith, and not works? But still – it’s faith in God, right? So now it’s just faith, but wait Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).- so faith and belief are different? Anyways- how can God’s grace alone save us? I know God’s grace is important, but I know we are saved because we believe, and even that is not enough! Because even the devils believe, and we must add to that faith because without faith we cannot please God and to that we must add works because faith is shown in works, and to that we must add love because works without love is nothing and to that we add fruit, because without that we are cut off from the vine, and there you have it, I win.

         He leaned over to me, and I really think he had a sparkle in his eye, patiently smiling, making sure I was done and said

     It is only by grace, that you are saved.

  The argument went on and on through the night. I kept quoting scripture, but the king kept winning the argument with his reply “You are saved by grace” ,Uggghhhhhh! I woke up and I still felt like I had not won this argument.

What exactly is Grace?

   This dream prompted me to intensely study Grace and what I have found is truly amazing. I’m not done, I have over 30 pages written on the subject, and hopefully I can put it together soon in a post worthy manner.  The study seems to be taking forever. I think I have found some great discoveries as I study Grace. As I put all the scriptures together to define grace, I have found an interesting possible link between grace and the Holy Spirit. The definition of grace almost exactly matches the Holy Spirit, but that will have to be another post, for now, I just hope to have you thinking. 🙂

   As the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption, could also God’s grace do the same? Is Gods grace the underlying denominator to faith, works, belief, love, and fruit?

   I studied Acts a few months ago in order to gather all he said to the people about Salvation in Christ Jesus and I came up with these 7 things:

ETERNAL SALVATION- AN UNDERSERVED GIFT FROM GOD

1-BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- FAITH
2-CONFESS YOUR SINS AND REPENT
3-TURN BACK TO GOD- He wants you to SEEK HIM
4-BE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST-WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS
5-PROVE IT BY THE WAY YOU LIVE
6-GET RID OF ALL SIN AND WICKEDNESS
7-WATCH OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS AND WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

  As I considered all this I suddenly thought:

It is by grace that  1- I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
It is by grace that  2- He forgives me when I confess my sins and repent
It is by grace that  3- He calls me to seek Him
It is by grace that 4- He washes away my sins through baptism
It is by grace that  5-He continues to work in me, leading, guiding and teaching me to be Holy like He is holy
It is by grace that   6- He gives me His Word to teach me how to live
It is by grace that  7- He gives me discernment and knowledge to know right from wrong.

  And this verse was brought to my remembrance : “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9

   I’m still not done studying, but I keep on…I keep on….


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves

Ephesians 2:8

Last night I dreamt of a Shepherd, he was tall and in a field with a staff and his herd of sheep. He was going on the outside of his herd and gathering all of the sheep that had wandered off, one at a time, then suddenly I saw a fisherman gathering in fish from a net…