Monday, February 21, 2011

Grace: Training us to obey

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Titus:2:11-13

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

The same grace that was used to save us, shown in Ephesians 2:8 above will also train us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions.(shown in the Titus scriptures above) I believe we can sum it up like this,  the grace that brings salvation to us, will also train us to obey God.

Obedience is always what God reguires:  As Samuel said: " has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice"... 1 Samuel 15:22

The following scripture adds:" Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed". Romans 6:16-17 We are obeying one are the other, obeying sin or obeying God, there is no middle ground.

We are reguired by God to obey him, in fact the Bible states: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandents. And his commandents are not burdensome". 1 John 5:3. Obeying God show we love Him.

And Paul states this: "For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience-by word and deed."  Romans 15:18. We are to not say we are obedient but it is to be shown in how we live.

Our christian life is to be a life of obedience. We are to obey the commandments of God. We show that we love God by how we obey him. We all  realize that it is impossible to obey God in our own power. So, God give us the Holy Spirit to help us. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3: 16 -  The Holy Spirit brings us the grace of God, he is the one training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. But, how does he work this out in our daily lives?

First of all we must hold closely the fact that we are God's children, adopted into the family of God because of the merits of Jesus Christ, (see Ephesians 1:4-6). Also, when we do sin we must confess our sin, repent of it, take it to the LORD, asking for forgivenes and cleansing (see 1 John 1: 8-10) Some describe this as keeping short accounts with God, meaning we repent right away, we dont go for a long time without repenting.

The Holy Spirit is working according to the Word. We are responsible for getting the Word of God in our minds and hearts so that we might pray for the Holy Spirit to help us when temptation comes. " but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."Psalm 1:2  We need to put in our hearts 1 Peter 1:16 "since it is written,"you shall be holy, for I am holy." Our hearts have to be moved by the fact of 1 Peter 1:19 "but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot". We have to realize that the Word of God is true, knowing that we can stand against the temptation to sin, to resist the influence of the world, and the attacks of Satan because: "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13.

God is working in us, he is victor over Satan, we will not fail, we can not fail, it is an impossibility.
God is able. There are facts of the Christian Life that we can not get around: such as: "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith. 1 John 5:4

Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:6

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, for all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

We have been called to obedience, God's word is clear on that, but it is also clear that He has provided help for us because He loves us and wants us to call upon His Great Name in prayer. We are weak, we are weak, Our Father is Almighty, we must call out to him in prayer on a daily basis, if we seek to accomplish his will, because we also have an enemy who is far stronger and smarter than we are. So how does the Holy Spirit work out training us to renounce ungodliness? By prompting us to pray, to read the Word of God and get it in our hearts, as we drawn near to God, He draws near to us.James 4:8. That Grace of God is sufficient - 2 Corinthians 12:9.  Also : And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. God has every base covered there are no gaps. We can lead lives that are characterized by obedience, but because God wants to fellowship with His children get to know them and love them, it is only going to come about, when we decide to spend time with Him.

Let me close with this: 1 Peter 1:12 states this : It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which the angels long to look.

This scriptures is saying that the prophets of the Old Testament prophesizing about the grace that we are blessed with today,That they searched and inquired when the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories were to happen, found out that they were serving us. This glorious grace was so wonderful that the angels were looking into it. Why? because the angels in heaven have no need of salvation, we do, they are eagerly watching the Glory of God being manifiested and being worked out in our lives today - Look at Ephesians 2:7 - So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.  What God is doing in us and through us by His Majestic Grace, angels want to behold it and for all eternity everyone will be able to look at you and me, and marvel at the Graciousness of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ......All Glory and Honor to You, the Most High and Holy God, You are Worthy to recieve all Glory and Honor from Eternity to Eternity!!!! Bless Your Holy Name!!!!

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