Friday, December 6, 2013

Grace: Reigning as Kings

In The Grace-Filled Man we covered singleness of heart and action, how whatever the grace-filled man or woman sets in his heart to do, he will accomplish because he submits his life to God. When the grace-filled man draws near to God he finds God drawing near to him. When the grace-filled man resists the devil, he finds the devil fleeing from him in seven directions. The grace-filled man acknowledges God in all his ways and God directs his paths (Proverbs 3:6).

Paul writes concerning the grace-filled man:
"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). Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men. For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him)." - Romans 5:17-19 (AMP)
For those who receive the free gift of righteousness and an abundance of grace will reign as kings in this life even more certainly than death reigned through Adam's offense. Selah. It is impossible for those who have singleness of heart and action, God's favor, God's grace to not accomplish all that they desire, indeed God will give them the desires of their hearts, how could they not reign as kings in this life?

A king gives commands to fulfill the desires of his heart and accomplishes all he sets out to do. It is easy for the king because he utters the words and others fulfill it. In the same way, God's gift of grace grants us the desires of our hearts (but not for the purposes of fulfilling our lusts).
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." - John 10:10 (NKJV)

The Greatest Example of Grace

Jesus was the perfect image of grace and truth, the perfect example of the grace-filled man. The prophet Zechariah prophesied of Him:
‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’” - Zechariah 4:7 (NKJV)
Jesus ministry even from early childhood was marked by grace. Everything He did was saturated and overflowing with the grace of God, just as was prophesied.
"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." - Luke 2:40 (NKJV)
"So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph's son?" - Luke 4:22 (NKJV)
John the Apostle wrote these profound words describing Jesus:
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. [15] John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” [16] And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. [17] For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [18] No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." - John 1:14 (NKJV)
The glory which could only originate from the Father was described as being full of grace and truth. Jesus is the perfect and complete manifestation of the Father's glory which is full of grace and truth. "And of His fullness we have all received." This grace and truth that is of the Father, the fullness of Christ is for us.

We were predestined for good works which the Father planned before the foundation of the world.  We cannot accomplish His plans without grace, we will continue to be frustrated.  God only gives His grace to the humble, but the prideful He opposes and much of what they do fails or at best must be accomplished by shear will and brute force. James' advice is to submit ourselves to God.  For the gracious man, Jesus commands are not burdensome and when he resists the devil, the devil flees, and when he draws near to God, he finds God drawing near to him.

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