TEXT: Galatians 2:6-9
It’s the last message for this month in our series on “Seasons of Grace” and last week we shared on “Grace is Better”. Grace is unmerited favour and it’s possible for someone to feel entitled but never enjoy grace. Grace is real and we understand that (John 1:11) grace is unmerited favour. God’s love to the undeserving (Eph 2: 4-5). We learned that Strongs’ concordance defines grace as the divine influence upon the heart of a man and its reflection in the life (Gal 1: 11-15).
Apostle paul understood the concept of grace because it’s grace that makes righteousness possible, not religion. He was a notorious sinner. He persecuted the church and must have felt he deserved to go to hell. He did it all in ignorance (Gal 2: 6-9). An adopted person will likely understand the concept of grace better. Why will you think you ever need God’s grace and mercy if you feel very qualified?
Grace has certain elements like:
- HUMILITY: Col 3:12: Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (James 4:6 and 10) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Correct estimation of yourself is humility. It is the concept of the scripture that says “a man receives nothing except its given…” (John 3:27) despite your competence. You’ll soon be deceived if you don’t have a correct estimation of yourself. John the Baptizer showed a measure of humility to stay in his place of assignment.
In Acts 12:23, King Herod, lost his life in the process of basking in pride. Humility is not low self esteem, its more of a sense not a feeling of unworthiness. Humility is inward regard that reflects in an outward expression. It is not being attached to one’s achievements or possessions.
- SELFLESSNESS: Christ, the progenitor of the Christian faith was selfless. Jesus didn’t use the anointing for self but when he needed to feed or touch people. (Matt 14:13) “Except a corn of wheat falls to the ground and dies…” (John 12 :24). What about the martyrs? When did we reduce God’s kingdom to meeting personal needs? Apostle Paul said “…for me to live is Christ…” (Phil 1:21).
- FAITH: This has been over-flogged in church today and we are not even there yet. It is absolute trust in God and His word. This should makes us do the word and when we do it qualifies us to taste the creative power of God. God gave each one a measure of faith (Rom 12:3) because we are made from his template. Faith is in varieties like varieties of soup. We need faith to walk and work with God. We have his capability but not his ability. Faith is a possibility mechanism. Pentecostalism is faith based.
You can’t receive the Holy Spirit without faith. You can’t even become a Christian without faith. There is a faith that brought you to Christ, there is higher level of faith for exploit in the kingdom. King Saul put his trust in people rather than in God (1 Chron. 21). King David conducted a census and it became a sin. If you want to enjoy grace, have faith in God and His word. Faith is what we use to change our circumstances. Even a child needs faith to walk.
- PROFANITY: (Spirit of Esau) (Heb 12:16 Gen 25:29-33): Inability to appreciate the things of the spirit and the working of the things of God and His kingdom. Profanity reduces all our effort at pleasing God to filthy religious endeavours and a waste of time and efforts. In the end, God is not pleased and we’re not blessed but frustrated. Esau didn’t understand spiritual things. Religion is a frustration for we have the mind of Christ. What does the mind of Christ think about?
Our words, intention and action are always at variance, and as long as that’s the case, we can’t produce results, we can’t be effective.