Category Archives: teaching

 

Prayer bulletin for Year 2014

  1. 1.     prayer for spiritual alertness to prevent falling for temptation and
  2. 2.      prayer against appearances, agents, works and consequences of temptation in year 2014

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. (Jas. 1:13-16)

Nobody is above temptation. In year 2014, many situations (difficult and pleasant) will surface in which satan would want to take advantage to set against and derail children of God. It is therefore necessary to pray because unintended incidents and consequences are facts of life; life is full of uncertainties. When it comes to temptation, irrespective of status, position or person: all is vulnerable. But with faith in Jesus Christ who is above any temptation in life, He will help anyone to overcome any temptation.

Temptation is not a new phenomenon; it started from the first Adam to the second Adam (Jesus) and all the generations that lived after them. Many noted men of God; honorable men in our societies; knowledgeable and wise in our communities; and leaders of nearly all the world’s people, had fallen into temptation and they are still falling today.

Why temptation?

Temptation may come for two reasons

  1. Discipline, judgment or rebuke from God to correct an erred person: Sometimes, temptation comes when the Lord has a greater assignment or blessing ahead of a person. The temptation of Jesus Christ is an example.
  2. Direct attack from satan, luring man through lust, cause him/her to do that which is wrong, thus turning him against his God. If anyone falls into temptation, it can lead to a worse situation, even unto death. Remember, Jesus Christ was tempted, and was without sin.

When you are being disciplined, rebuked, tested, tried, persecuted or tempted, make sure it does not lead you to commit sin or to backslide from the faith. To be tempted is not sin, but to fall for temptation is a sin. Hence, our “Lord’s prayer”, “lead us not into temptation”. This should form part of our daily prayer. Nobody is above temptation.

Therefore, if as a child of God you fall into temptation in the New Year, do not allow it to lead to sin, it should be an avenue for correction; view the situation as a way to move you forward, better and higher. Moreover, it should be seen as a way to build a strong man out of you and to bring you nearer to God.

For the Bible says,

“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28)

 

4 agents of lust that characterize lustful temptation

Information – refers to real information or misinformation. The aftermath of events after receiving information depends on your action after you have received it. Many Christians have received wrong messages which have caused them to fall for temptation and thus derailed them from the faith. It was misinformation (through lie mixed with truth) that caused Eve to crave for the deception of satan (Gen. 3:1-3). But for our Lord Jesus Christ, the devil’s misinformation (wrongly quoting the scripture) did not cause him to do against the will of God.

In year 2014 whenever you receive any information, either true or false, be on guard. As Christians, the Bible advised that you should put on the whole armor of God; why?  That,

  • You may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
  • That you may be able to stand in the evil day
  • Having faith in the Lord with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph.6:10-18)

Spiritual weakness leads to physical weakness. Your spiritual and physical preparedness and ability to move against temptation and overcome is paramount in year 2014 since any information is uncertain until it is proved. Therefore, at first stance, when temptation comes, go into prayer; if possible add a fasting to it; divine intervention will take control. Hence the Bible says,

“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mk. 14:38).

The lust of the eye – refers to covetousness or greed for possession – materialism. The eye is the main avenue for temptation. Of all the trees in the Garden of Eden that bear fruit and the herbs that God created, Eve coveted the only one that was forbidden to eat. Why? Whatever the eye sees, the heart imputes meaning and the action to follow. If the eye does not see, the heart cannot conceive anything. In one of the temptations of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible states,

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” (Luke 4:5-6).

The scenery of all the goodies the devil showed to our Lord Jesus would not entice Him to worship the devil. Why is the world in a chaotic situation today? Why are many homes in chaos today? Why are blood relations killing themselves today? Why do nation fight against one another today? Why do we have numerous factions in thechurchofGodtoday? Believers have joined the world and have refused to follow the example of our Lord. What our Lord refused to worship the devil for has become the gods of this modern age inclusive of the elects – power, position, money, possession, fame, career etc. the struggle of many to have one or more of these has drawn many into temptation for their own destruction.

Many things that look good are in fact deadly. Looking at anything is not a problem, but the imputed meaning that the heart applies could bring about temptation. Eve in the Garden of Eden concluded that “it (the forbidden fruit) was pleasant to the eyes”; because it was pleasant, they ate it: what is pleasant to the eye now becomes death train to humanity. Even if the eye causes the heart to input wrong meaning to what is seen, we must guard against falling for any temptation.

Sin does not force itself on the unwilling, but is chosen because of its attraction. The eye has caused many to fall for many deadly attractions because they look good; this is one of the satanic strategies to induce human being into falling for temptation, and thus turning him against his Creator.

Delilah was attractive and beautiful to Samson, he coveted and married her. Delilah became an instrument of death that causes the death of Samson (Judg.16:4-22).

Be on guard in year 2014; Beware of whom your friend is; who your partner is; what you see; what you look for; and who your associates are. Choice of job should not be based on the hugeness of pay, but allow divine judgment to select for you. Not all that glitters are gold.

The lust of the flesh – lack of self-control, the desire to satisfy the body both inward and outward is a big phenomenon in humanity. Lack of satisfaction is the number one sources of man’s problem. The Garden of Eden was filled with varieties of what to eat, why was that not satisfactory enough for Adam and Eve? Man’s appetite is never satisfied. The temptation that Adam and Eve could not restrain from inEden, a similar temptation was what Jesus Christ exercised self-control and did not yield to devil’s enticement. The Bible states,

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1Cor. 6:12-13).

Furthermore, The Bible states,

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Dan. 1:8a)

Daniel did not rise to stardom if not because he was able to control his appetite for food. Joseph did not rise to be second in command to the king of Egypt without mentioning his self-control over devil’s enticement; he fled to avoid committing fornication. We need to know that any unlawful physical activity will affect our spirituality. We should not allow any unrighteous urge, crave or desire to affect our relationship with our God; it will alter our destiny and future.

In the story of Esau and Jacob; Esau, the older brother sold his birthright to his brother Jacob because of hunger and desperation to eat of Jacob’s red stew – lack of self-control for appetite. Jacob demanded for Esau’s birthright in exchange for his stew. Esau said “what is this birthright to me”. For this careless unmindful utterance, Esau lost all the blessings and entitlement of a first born to Jacob.

Lust for the flesh is revealed in the following sins; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling etc.

Anyone who cannot exercise self control will fall into the temptation of committing any of the above.

The pride of life

In another temptation of our Lord Jesus, the Bible states,

“And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Luke 4: 9-12).

The pinnacle of the temple is a metaphor of a lofty peak; the highest or culminating, a success, power fame etc. it can also refer to a child of God who has reached the climax of an achievement in life. Jesus Christ is the highest peak, the highest authority, the highest spirituality of the church. However, Jesus would not yield to the command of the devil neither would He tempt God because He’s equal in all things with the father; no, that would amount to pride.

A person of high position or who has reached the climax of any achievement would be overwhelm with pride; either intentionally or by default. At this point, he/she would take things for granted. The devil has blinded many Christians in that their attitudes after being elevated betray the Christianity they once professed.

It is unfortunate that many people who have prayed earnestly to God and were granted the privilege to get to stardom in life have turn around to bite the finger which fed them. They have replaced the position they once created for God in their lives with their achievement and position. They don’t have time for God in their daily schedule anymore. They now worship their vain self-glory. Pride causes a Christian to backslide and work independent of God.

The children of Israel came back home after they were defeated by the Philistines in order to carry the ark of the Lord; thinking that the Ark would save them. They were defeated again; the Ark of the Lord failed them and was captured. The two son of Eli were killed; why? They tempted God; thinking that the presence of the ark which represents the presence of the Lord would give them victory; whereas, many in Israel have sinned against God and were corrupt; from the sons of the high priest to the least (1Sam. 4:1-11).

Being a child of God does not mean you have to test Him by doing what is contrary to His will; or trying to play around danger which the spirit of God warns you of. In order to overcome temptation, do not take the word of God wrongly or with levity. This is why many Christians run into diverse problems and they call it temptations. You wouldn’t expect God to deliver you from law enforcement officer when you sped above speed limit, which is against the law of the land.

Obedience to the law of God and working in the spirit are key guide to avoid falling for temptation. Obedience to the law of the land which does not conflict with the law of God will protect you from suffering as a lawbreaker. When you suffer as a lawbreaker, don’t call it temptation, you are tempting God because you want Him to intervene in your wrong doing.

There are some spirits behind some manifestations of pride that must be rebuked and mortified – obstinacy, adamancy, arrogance; they can lead one to destruction.

 

The need to be enlightened

Satan is the sole originator of temptation and he uses man, evil spirits and forces in the wicked places as his agents. He offers all manner of enticements to lure a believer to disobey God and lead him to destruction. The heart’s desires and wishes of every man are never satisfied as long as he remains without salvation in Christ. He is always inclining to satisfy these desires in any way possible without minding the source, whether it is legitimate or illegitimate; righteous or unrighteous. He is not even mindful of the consequence of his action; whether it leads to life or death.

Because of this desirous intent, which is one of man’s weaknesses; satan sees it as an avenue to get to man, tempts him and make him do that which is wrong and turn him against his Creator. Temptation has then become a vital tool, which satan has been using from beginning of the world to turn man against his Creator.

God’s thought for His children is that of peace, and not evil. Satan foresees all these blessings and would do anything to stop Christians from obtaining them. Satan accomplishes his mission by putting temptation before the children of God. This temptation could come in form of the followings

  • Enticements and shortcut to lure to error
  • Frustration and delay to cause denial of God
  • Obstacles and difficulties to cause backsliding

Most temptations come because of our strong desire for worldly things and will want to obtain it ‘at all cost’, regardless of how, where and what the result of obtaining it will be.

Beware of the following baits

  1. Do not yield to satan ministration, you will likely be enticed or induced. (1Jn. 5:18)
  2. Recognize the wiles of the devil; they may lead one to fall for temptation.  (2Cor. 2:11)
  3. Avoid doubt and negativity to avoid caving in to temptation.
  4. Incessant sinning is the result of diverse temptations because the word of God has no place in the erred.

In year 2014, whatever situation you find yourself, when all things seems not going well and when faced with problem and difficulties of life, know that Satan is at work and he wants you to commit an error, whereby you are robbed of heavenly blessings. This moment calls for prayer and fasting.

 

Preventing and avoiding temptation

  • The first recommendation for a believer is to avoid temptation and this can be achieved only when you are genuinely born again. (1Jn. 5:18)
  • Let the word of God help you to overcome temptation; keep it in your heart and use them as at when necessary. (Ps. 119:11)
  • Do not compromise your faith for the fear of known and unknown. Daniel knew the consequences of disobeying the king’s law, but he was never moved but stood by his faith. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not compromise their faith for the fear of the burning furnace. Do not compromise your faith because of economic, political, terrorism, debt, mortgage or whatever situation that causes fear. Stand in the faith and trust the Lord to help you overcome.
  •  Avoid devil’s territory; it is an avenue for temptation. (1Cor. 7:5; Eph. 4:26b-27)
  • Don’t be too hasty or rush into getting rich. (1Tim. 6:9) wait for God’s timing. Shortcut produces fake or second best and not the best.
  • Beware of besetting sin which is a sign of spiritual unfruitfulness (backsliding) – Dema went back into the world having being a former follower of Apostle Paul.
  • Be sober and vigilant. (1Pet. 5;8-10)
  • Be spirit filled. (Gal. 5:16)
  • Put on the whole armor of God. (Eph. 6:10)
  • Pray always not to enter into temptation.
  • In as much as it is possible, avoid burden of owing – owing a bank, a person or burden of credit card. Cut your coat within your means. Do not allow any lack to cause you drown yourself into any unnecessary debt.
  • Avoid pride. (Pro. 16:18)
  • There is the need to control your appetite. Esau could not control his appetite; he lost his birthright and subsequent blessing.
  • There is the need to control your urge. – Rueben could not control his urge; he lost the position and blessing of a first born.

 

 Prayers

  • Magnify the Lord; praise His holy name in psalms and with praise worship every day.
  • Thank the Lord for His goodness and His activities in your life in the past – gift of life, physical and spiritual blessings, endowments, healing, protection, provision, deliverance over sin and its power, victories, divine attractions, promotion etc..
  • Acknowledge, confess your sins and repent – that you may receive mercy, forgiveness and a refreshing time from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
  • Pray for sanctification – cleansing by the blood of Christ, purification, word of God, spiritual washing, purging from sin; pruning and divine transformation.
  • Pray against – sins and its power; manifestation, trigger and pressure of sin; flesh, temptations and defilement; guilt, penalty and curse of sin; and all those things which work against the will of God.
  • Pray for Holy Spirit empowerment – spirit and power of God; spiritual growth, guidance and discernment; wisdom, knowledge, understanding and excellence; gifts, healing and power for miracle.
  • Pray for newness of life – new creation, new spirit, new heart, spiritual purging, spiritual revival for the year.
  • Pray for Spiritual fruitfulness – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, giving, mercy, truthfulness, praising, righteousness, forgiving spirit, obedience, wholeness, holiness, compassion, uprightness, judgment, happiness, gladness, spiritual quickening, soundness.
  • Pray for physical fruitfulness –blessing and fulfillment of God’s promises; success, accomplishment, promotion and establishment; strength, breakthrough, increase and divine health.

 

Guarding against lustful temptation prayers

  1. Pray that the Almighty God will uphold you not to fall into temptation.
  2. Pray for spiritual alertness every moment to prevent temptation.
  3. Pray for strength to bear and overcome any temptation.
  4. Pray for spiritual and physical strength in all areas of you weakness, that the devil will not take any advantage over it to tempt you.
  5. Pray that God in His faithfulness would provide a way of escape for you in the midst of temptation.
  6. Pray for spiritual guidance to discern right or wrong.
  7. Pray for the grace to recognize every enticement and allurement that can lead one to fall into temptation.
  8. pray for grace and empowerment to resist the devil that you do not fall for his enticements
  9. Pray for discerning spirit to recognize between divine and devil’s ministration.
  10. Pray that the word of God will not be scarce as a weapon for you to combat offensively against devil’s ministration.
  11. Pray for deliverance from any unhealthy appetite or urge that causes one to fall for temptation.
  12. Pray for deliverance from any unhealthy appetite that has caused or can cause sickness in your body.
  13. Pray for spiritual calmness in the face of any desperation which could cost you precious things; even death.
  14. Pray for deliverance from every unlawful physical activity that may result to negative consequence.
  15. Pray for protection over every unrighteous urge, crave or desire that can ruin or alter your future.
  16. Pray for protection from laying hand on anything that can lead to death
  17. Pray against every deceptive activities of the devil
  18. Pray against spirit of frustration and delay that may cause denial of God
  19. Pray against any deterring, obstacle or difficulties in your way of destiny
  20. Pray for positive and unshaken faith to avoid caving in for temptation
  21. Pray against every appearance of sinful tendencies that may cause you to be tempted beyond what you can bear.
  22. Pray for grace and power to be contented within your means
  23. Pray against any pressure that will cause you to lay your hand on what can rob you of your entitlement or what can alter your destiny
  24. Pray that you will not lay your hand on anything that will cause the blessing of the Lord to elude you in year 2014
  25. Pray against the spirit of covetousness that alters or changes ones destiny
  26. Pray for spiritual blindness towards any fake or unhealthy glitters.
  27. Pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be sufficient for you; to be contented in all situations in order to avoid temptation.
  28. Pray for deliverance from besetting temptations.

 Finale

In year 2014, in unavoidable temptation, try to endure (Patience); face it and keep moving, while abiding continually with the Lord. This is the temptation experience by the children of God. (Dan.6:16-17; 6:19-24). The Bible says “blessed is the man who endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life…” (Jas. 1:12).

Blame no one for your temptation. Follow the praying pattern of Jesus Christ (Mk. 1:35); because he is the only one who has been tempted and did not sin. Resist the devil as Jesus did (Jas. 4:7)

God promised a way out of any temptation;. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor. 10:13). Only believe, have faith, trust and rest in the Lord to help in any situation you find yourself (Ps. 37:3-8). No temptation is permanent.

 

ByLawrenceAbitogun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Category: prayer, teaching

Misconstruing Christian liberty and grace – conclusion

Many people might be wondering why I’m writing these series of articles on misconstrue of grace and the liberty it offers. I know many will think I’m too critical of the men of God; while some will see the point I’m trying to convey. The works of grace cannot be contained in a book; neither can one preacher gives an account of the benefits it offers. But the bottom line is this; grace offers us

  1. pardon and acquittal from the penalty of our previous sin/s
  2. liberation from the power of sin and its consequences
  3. declaration of believers as righteous
  4. a second chance
  5. a reunion with our Maker
  6. Beginning of a good relationship with God.
  7. preserving and preparing of believers to be with Christ in God’s kingdom

This I know that a well knowledgeable man of God who is spiritually sound, who is not after worldly gains should teach; also, this is the lesson that every believer needs to know and should know if what he/she professes is real. Ministers and believers alike have polluted, abused and turned grace to occasion to bring people into bondage of sin again. Those who are spiritual must not close their eyes and allow the devil to take over this world that Christ had come to redeem.

Situation with the church and society today is despicable. There is moral degeneration in our churches and society. Today’s modern civilized cities are like Sodom and Gomorrah; full of so many immoral and unethical behavior. The word ideology and technology has been abused; it is now being manipulated, misused and turned into a form of idolatry. Imagine the unimaginable; children’s minds are more inclined to the world of computer than any other thing; they don’t listen to parents anymore when instructed; instead, they spent more of their available time on face booking or tweeting or texting.

Unfortunately, this dilemma is very rampart in the churches. Instead of listening to the word of God, they pretend to be reading bible on-line on their Cell Phone, iPhone or iPad.  Technology that supposed to enhance humanity has turned to be instrument of unrighteousness; a form of idolatry.

In order to understand grace and the liberty it offers, we must not be ignorant of these anomalies. What does it means to abound in grace?

Our fellowship with the father must be sand

If we are in grace and we continue in our old sinful practices, we have no fellowship with God. Have we then been washed clean of our sin by the precious blood of Jesus? God cannot compromise His holiness to accommodate sin and worldly lust. Though we live in the world but we are not of the world.

Under the grace, believers are to walk in God’s light – our fellowship with Him, which is primarily the reason for our justification. Another fact is this, our walking in God’s light reveals sin; thereby we quickly run undercover in Jesus to seek salvation. Why? God’s forgiveness of our sin will liberate us to begin anew on the path of righteousness that we have been declared.        The scripture admonishes,

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:12-14)

We are pardoned; and not to go back again into what we have been pardoned

We need to be on guard against sinful tendencies. Though occasional sin cannot be avoided; however, it is an abuse of the grace we received if we continue in a consistent lifestyle of sin; active rebellion against the law of God; habitual sinful conduct; and ungodly attitude.

How can we live as Christians without being conscious of the sin/s that causes our separation from God in the first place? When talking of grace, every believer must not be ignorant of the law because it helps to reveal sin; but grace empowers us to stay away from it. Though, awareness of the law does not make us justified but faith in Christ.

The fact that we are free from the curse of the law is not enough to say that we are at liberty to do what is contrary to the will of God. Can immorality go hand in hand with salvation? Whether the law bears curse or grace removes curse; sin will always remain sin, good will always be good and bad will always be bad. The scripture states, “…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (Jas. 4:12). Constantly deal with sin and be sin less

Let us quit blaming law for disobeying the law

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phi. 4:13).  God’s purpose for the law is for love. The law is a guide to effecting this love. It is the failures of man to give love a chance that resulted to sin. Should we blame the law for revealing sin in our lives or we should be grateful that the law made us to be aware of it.

Apostle Paul says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law”. Where there is no law, there is no transgression; also, where there is no law, there is no orderliness. If God does not punish unrighteousness, there will be no day of judgment. God would not make law for man in order to make all guilty before Him; the law is meant to create atmosphere of love and belonging between man and God; and between one human being to another. If by the law is the knowledge of sin, then with grace abounding, let’s keep ourselves away from sin.

Our salvation must be genuine

Let us strive and work to obtain a genuine salvation, let us have this in mind that our salvation is not a one time event, it is more than an instantaneous experience; it is a journey of life time. It is the long process of becoming more and more like Jesus. This is what we know as sanctification; the process by which we are freed from the power of sin; this continuing process of salvation will eventually be completed in our glorification when we are saved from the presence of sin before the Almighty God.

Old things not found in the will of God must pass away

One of the ways by which grace may abound is for present-day believers to refuse to return to the attraction of this world and the pleasure of sin. They must be in subjection to God; allowing the Holy Spirit to empower them to serve God.

Grace was given to men and women of old who trusted in the Lord; likewise, grace is presently and permanently and forever available to all who believe in Christ. We are not to use our liberty as a cloak for vice, making up excuses as a cover up for wrong doing, but as bondservants of God whose main goal is to live and walk in the path of righteousness to please God.

We must not be ignorant of truth and sin

We need to be aware of false preachers who proclaim liberty but actually bring their church members into bondage. We need to be vigilant in the course of Christ because of wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). Teaching or preaching of grace can be dangerous when perverted carnally by people who believe that all they need is justification and thereafter do what is not pleasing to the Lord: or things that can make other brethren to fall.

Some ministers promises spiritual growth but do not satisfy the hunger of God’s people for the truth. It is the truth that we gained from the word of our Lord Jesus Christ that sets us free and gives us our liberty.

Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him,

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn.8:31-32)

There is moral laxity in our churches today, misunderstanding Pauline doctrine as if it was written independent of the Old Testament and the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In order to abound and enjoy the grace given by God, Our ministers and leaders should be ambitious to teach the word of Christ than being filled with their personal ego – being drunk with power, material possessions, false worship and pride; or thrived on pleasure and pride. As if that is not enough, some assert their leadership authority against those who God wants to use as co-laborer to support their ministries; turning their church members to zombies.

Be a disciple; an example representing Jesus Christ.

The name of Jesus is blasphemed among unbelievers everyday because of the ungodly and dubious attitude of both ministers and their members. As redeemed believers, we should not compromise our faith and new life with evil or any ungodly attitude. As Christians, we need to understand grace and our liberty. Our liberty is freedom form sin; obtained and retained through the empowerment of the grace we received from our heavenly Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. We are dead to sin. But if we continue in sin, we are no more under grace.The Lord Jesus said,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing… “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (Jn. 15:5-8).

Without grace, we have no liberty; and without liberty, we are at the danger of being entrapped and captured again by the devil. We need to unload our sin in order to gain freedom that we inherited after justification; Jesus is our grace; through Him, the penalty of disobeying the law is nullified, if we remain in Him. The scripture say,

Jesus answered them,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”         (Jn. 8:34-36)

If we play our own part faithfully by staying away from those things that separated us from Him in the first place, God is faithful to fulfill His own promises toward us; we shall be free indeed; and he will bless us with the benefits of grace.

Therefore, do not let us misinterpret or misconstrue grace and the liberty it offers as freedom to act independence of God law and His will. To be under grace is to stay away from sin so that our second chance can become a reality; and for one more time, we may have a meaningful relationship with God again for eternity.

 

ByLawrenceAbitogun

christianedification.org


Category: teaching

When I started this article, many who read part without the whole will probably be thinking that I’m unnecessarily criticizing the ministers of God concerning the message of grace and the liberty it offers. However, my point is contrary to that opinion. My point is this; let us avoid manipulating and distorting the message of grace and the liberty it offers for selfish and damnable motives.

The message of grace is far beyond the worldly acclaimed prosperity liberty; to do what you like or accumulation of wealth and riches under the guise of running a church for Christ. However, grace enhances a life of personal holiness and quality of life; validating our faith in Christ as genuine; helping us to overcome former lust and ignorance, and not conforming to world’s order. Before I conclude my message in this article, I would like to share with you briefly some of the benefits we derive from grace and our liberty.

The scripture says,

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven” (Col. 1:21-23

Grace is God’s favor expressed to sinful humankind apart from any human works or worth. This grace came through Jesus; not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Through grace we received full pardon for our sin; thus, cure the disease of sin in our life: but one must believe. The Bible confirms,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:16-17)

God’s grace speaks of a Christian’s legal and family position “in Christ”. In order to enjoy the benefits of that grace and the liberty in it, we need to keep that position by abiding in Him and obey Him. If we are justified by that faith in Him, we need to express it in obedience to His teaching and commands. Grace is a blessing that spring forth from the knowledge of God and Jesus.

The world cannot contain the benefit of grace; however, I’m going to list a fractional part of the benefits that a believer derives from grace.

Through grace believers are justified – we identified with Christ and received the following unmerited favors

  • Jesus tastes death for every one
  • We obtained mercy
  • We received forgiveness of our previous sin/s
  • We received full pardon for our sin
  • Removal of sin penalty
  • God’s righteous demand is satisfied through Christ’s death
  • Imputation of Christ’s righteousness in believer’s life – transfer Jesus’ righteousness to those who believe in Him
  • Believers (former sinners) declared righteous
  • We are saved

Through grace believers are delivered – we received miraculous deliverance in the following ways

  • Redemptive power of Christ on believer’s behalf
  • Libertyobtained
  • Freedom from sin
  • Freedom from the power of sin
  • Freedom from the bondage of sin
  • Liberation from the dominion of darkness
  • We are protected from the power of the devil
  • On account of Jesus’ death, He over thrones the damages caused by sin on man from the position of enmity to friendship with God
  • Cured from the disease and curse of sin
  • Through the blood of the covenant shed by Jesus, we are sanctified (Heb. 10:29)

Through grace believers received empowerment for sanctification by Holy Spirit – to do those things which were impossible while we were in sin. We received,

  • Empowerment for regeneration
  • Empowerment for sanctification – grace establishes truth and does not allow one to be tossed around by strange doctrine (Heb. 13:9)
  • Enablement to obey the word of God
  • Empowerment to empty oneself to follow and to do the will of God
  • Enables us to present ourselves as an instrument of righteousness
  • Empowerment to live for Christ
  • Empowerment to become increasingly Christ like (2Cor. 3:18)
  • Empowerment to resist sin and its power
  • Empowerment to fulfill the law without being under the law
  • It empowers us, turning our weakness to strength
  • Enablement to walk worthy of the Lord; fruitful and increasing in the knowledge of God – loving God and others
  • Grace is the empowering presence of God, enabling us to be who H e created us to be, and to do what he has called us to do – James Ryle
  • We stay undefiled and did not fall short of God’s grace
  • Empowers us to endure in suffering; then perfects, establishes and settles us after we have endured
  • Empowerment through the word of God to avoid the corrupting influences of the world system

Through grace believers are restored – grace restores in us the desire and the power that God gives us to do His will; thus,

  • Restoration of a believer to a proper relationship with God
  • Through grace, God provides an advocate – Jesus
  • We have peace with God
  • We have access to God
  • The love of God is poured out into our heart by the Holy Spirit
  • We have the right and privilege to approach God with praise and request
  • Restoration of spiritual, physical and financial blessings on believers
  • We find help in time of need
  • It humbles us and then, exalts us (1Pet. 5:5)
  • Empowers believers to enjoy divine provisions and promises of God
  • Humanity is preserved – saving grace is available for the entire humanity (Jn. 3:16)

Through grace believers have hope –

  • Hope of glorification before God
  • Hope of making heaven
  • Hope for eternal life
  • We rejoice in hope of the glory of God
  • We rejoice in tribulation which produces character and hope

Grace provides a second chance

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rm. 3:21-23)

If by grace we are saved; God is the provider of this grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. God and Christ show this grace without discrimination to all mankind. This is God love and that Christ died for all. Through this given grace, believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in a way that pleases God.

His purpose of saving us is delivering us from sin; therefore, He won’t go against His purpose again by allowing us to remain in that sin, but He wants us out of it providing a second chance for us so that we can build a godly character and have a good relationship with Him.

Second chance made possible through the death of Jesus

Grace offers the opportunity to work toward perfection whereby we will not be conscious of sin. This means, we are not perfect instantly but through necessity of sanctification, we get to that perfection. Point to note, Jesus had perfected us; however, we are not there yet; thus the reason for sanctification – doing our own part in the will of God.

If we are parked with so many benefits of which only a fractional part of it were stated above and the bible states that only those who believed in Jesus Christ would be saved; my question is this, would a believer who is not in the will of God or who takes his/her liberty for license to sin enjoy these benefits?

Benefits of Grace have become our entitlement given to man by God on the account of Jesus redemptive death on our behalf. Nobody can take it away from us; however, individual can reject it or throw it away. Are you in grace; are you in the will of God? Joshua said,

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth…, and if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Jos. 24:14-15)

The choice is yours.

The conclusion of this article will come after this part 6.

 

Lawrence Abitogun

Christianedification.com


Category: teaching




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