Professing Christians claim to be “not under The Law, but under Grace.”
Yes, under the New Covenant, we are not under The Law. Unfortunately, most professing Christians are also not under Grace.
Is it your lack of success being holy?
No. It’s your lack of failure.
2 Kings 22:19
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast torn thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God towards mankind.
We didn’t earn it.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. And Grace denotes beauty – visual appeal.
In fact, the introduction of Grace in the Old Testament (Covenant) repeatedly describes ‘grace’ as visual appeal. Genesis 6:8
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight…
And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes…
And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins;
1 Samuel 20:3
And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes;
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings
Yes, we are not under The Law of Moses, but under Grace to be saved…
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
…or are we under Grace?
Do we have that beauty? And what is that beauty?
We have wisdom when we see ourselves as God sees us.
God sees us as his wife, his woman.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name;
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you
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.
As a woman, how are we beautiful?
By finding, knowing, and rejecting the ugly.
First: recognize that evil exists in this world (and in yourself).
And make the decision that you’re going to be part of the solution.
You’re going to conquer your own failings and also help the world.
By your best efforts, you’ll be the best you that you can be!
(And, of course, you fall on your face, and you’re worse off than before.)
…but what I hate, that do I.
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
You can do it!
(Nope - Forget helping others, you cannot even help yourself as you are mired in your own failings again and again.) Romans 7:24-25
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
…So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Are you really winning against the enemy?
If you’re honest, that good that you sought to perform isn’t helping anyone… as you’re losing, and the world around you is losing.
Abraham learned the hard way.
God told aged Abraham that he and his elderly wife would finally have a child – a son of promise, and Abraham would be a father of nations. Romans 4:18
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
And Abraham did have faith and believed God. Genesis 15:6
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
But, like us, Abraham went forward with goodness – his own ‘good’ works, rather than waiting and doing it God’s way.
Abraham listened to his wife and took handmaid, Hagar, as a wife.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
The result was a son, a wild man, Ishmael… Genesis 16:11-12
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
…rather than the eventual Covenant son of Abraham: Isaac. Galatians 4:28
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
As then, and to this day, Ishmael’s Muslim people surround and occupy much of God’s promised land, Israel.
(Muslims trace the roots of their false prophet Muhammad to Ishmael.) Genesis 15:18
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates
Our own efforts will always result in an Ishmael, rather than an Isaac. Psalm 13:2
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
You might be losing for many years and decades. Psalm 31:10
For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
You might have been failing for so long that your heart is broken. Ecclesiastes 7:3-7
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The only acceptable good is from God. Mark 10:18
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Jesus did not die from being crucified.
Unlike others crucified, Jesus did not need his legs to be broken to die; he was already dead. John 19:31-33
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs
How did Christ die? He died of a broken heart.
Christ was cut off from the only true goodness, the Father.
After taking our sin, for the first time, the Father would not answer Christ. Matthew 27:46
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
…I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
…they pierced my hands and my feet.
…They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps...
But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
Christ forever became a man.
…he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained… he hath raised him from the dead.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
As a man, like us, Christ identifies with those of us who cry out, and are cut off from God. Habakkuk 1:2-3
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.
Christ has favor upon the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. The broken cry out for righteousness. Psalm 71:2
Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
The broken fill their hearts by speaking the word of God, but break their hearts by realizing how we fall short.
The broken look in the mirror, and see their own true condition.
The broken realize that their own works, and their adherence to any rules or laws will only result in failure.
The broken realize that the human condition will never be solved by our own works, and righteousness will never come by our adherence to rules or laws.
Even with the perfect Law of Moses, we fail.
In this dark world, we cannot find who, what, or where God is. Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people perish
But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
And the broken finally cry out to the only righteousness (from God) that will solve the human condition… but are truly broken hearted as when we cry out… God does not answer.
God does not answer because we are cut off from God – because The Law stands in our way.
We are cut off from God by committing just one sin under The Law.
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
2 Corinthians 3:6-7
…not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth…
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious…
1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Christ understands as he was cut off too. Ezekiel 6:9
…because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God
When Christ took our sin, God cut Christ off, and God would not answer Christ.
But, unlike us, Christ (the only perfect man who was not guilty under The Law) had the power to take up his life again. John 10:17-18
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. We, however, are guilty under The Law, and must die. Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death;
But, when we are dead to The Law, it has no more punishment to give us.
And, as a woman, we can marry Christ to be the bride of Christ. Romans 7:3-4
…but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Like a married couple, our debts (like a mortgage) are legally accounted for by our husband. Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Justified means: just as if we never sinned.
God’s people will have his Law written on their hearts. Jeremiah 31:33
…I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in fleshy tablets of the heart.
I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people But what is this Law? The Law is a broken Law.
When Moses returned to his people with the tablets of the ten commandments, his people had already broke the first and second commandments by worshipping a false god.
In anger, Moses broke the tablets. Exodus 20:3-4
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…
So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands.
And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
And I took the two tablets, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tablets the words that were in the first tablets, which thou brakest
This Law is a broken Law written on broken hearts.
A broken Law for a broken heart.
A broken heart for a broken Law.
Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
But those tablets of The Law, which were broken and then re-created, sat right below the Mercy Seat (in a container of the same dimensions as the Seat). Exodus 25:21
And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
But the unfortunate reality is that most professing Christians do have their rules (mostly based on The Law) and also hope for Grace.
Rules have their place, but they will never make you righteous in the eyes of God. Romans 3:20
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight Faith is counted as righteousness for Grace.
Grace is a free gift – but is not cheap. And God doesn’t give it to just anyone.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
If you follow The Law – you must follow of all of it.
(If you break one point of The Law, you are guilty.) James 2:10
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
But faithfully, we are to follow the Holy Spirit regarding rules and guidance for our individual lives – including how to apply The Law in everyday situations. Isaiah 30:21
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
If you remain under The Law (circumcised), you no longer cling to Grace via faith, and you fall from Grace. Galatians 5:3-4
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
The Law’s circumcision must be for our hearts – broken hearts.
Broken hearts for a broken Law. Deuteronomy 10:16
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart
How do we circumcise/cut/break the heart?
The power of speech. Confession.
(The blade in Blade Runner cuts our heart.)
We speak our confession (after seeing ourselves in the mirror of the Word and how we fall short of The Law). Nehemiah 9:3
And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
Sins are only forgiven when confessed. 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
But, confession means much more than just confessing sins.
Biblical confession means: ‘saying the same as.’ 1 John 4:2
Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God
Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
And we are to say the same as God has already said.
The words of our mouth are to say the Word of God (Biblical scripture).
When we speak the Word of God, we change our heart so that we can be saved. Romans 10:9-10
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
In fact, we limit Christ in our lives when we hold back our confession, our speaking of the Word. Hebrews 3:1
…consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus;
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
But the reality is that most people, professing Christians or otherwise, don’t have that brokenheart.
You simply haven’t failed enough.
God gives up on many people who follow their heart, which isn’t broken (including professing Christians). Romans 1:21-22,24
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
…Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts
Those who God gives up on may prosper in this life… Job 21:7
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
…or they might be cut down, as they will be by the end. Matthew 7:19
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Those who have Grace are linked to Christ. John 15:4-5
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Being a Christian isn’t about the letter of The Law...
Being a Christian isn’t about effort through our own sweat and abilities. 1 Corinthians 15:10
…and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Being a Christian is about union with God. 1 Corinthians 6:17
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you…
How are we joined to God to get this Grace?
It’s by failure. It’s by affliction. Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…
The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
1 Corinthians 11:32
…we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Proper Christians can be described as Blade Runners.
A proper Christian’s path in life can be described as a thin blade.
The only way you can know the existence and whereabouts of a blade (your role in life) is by finding its edge.
The edge is the point in life where we might fall off.
The edge is the point in life where we can’t do it anymore.
The edge is our point of failure.
The edge is the end of our own ‘good’ works.
The edge is the point in life where we need and find Grace.
The edge is the end of our life and the beginning of life with Christ.
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God
…for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ
Paul, after being thrown in jail by the authorities, was on the edge (but comforted in Christ). Philippians 1:7
Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Of course, if God is interested in you, you might be like Jonah.
You simply might not be desperate enough yet.
You might need more affliction.
When God called Jonah, Jonah jumped in his car, and sped out of there. Jonah 1:1-3
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
But, God had affliction prepared for Jonah. Jonah 1:17
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah must have struggled to get out of the fish during the first day… and the first night… and the second day…
People who will one day turn to God are like Jonah, trying to solve their problems and the world’s problems on their own.
They are trying to solve the human condition via rules which are not given to them from guidance by the Holy Spirit.
On their first day inside the fish, they try to escape by their own ability.
They aren’t desperate enough. More affliction inside the fish is necessary.
Christ’s Grace is the end of The Law of Moses for righteousness… Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(...the original greek of Romans 10:4 says 'end of law' rather than 'end of the law.')
So, Christ is the end of any rules that people think will make themselves righteous. Romans 10:3
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
In times before worldwide literacy and availability of the Bible, God was willing to look away when people pursued a righteousness that is not of Christ. Acts 17:30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent
But nowadays, with worldwide knowledge of Christ, God has justification to subject all of us to that affliction – to drive us to the edge where we are in danger of falling. Mark 12:17
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.
After affliction, Jonah found the edge of his own ability.
He was desperate enough for Grace. Jonah 2:1-2
Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Similarly, the proud king Nebuchadnezzar was not trash to God, but, mercifully, God was interested in him.
So, Nebuchadnezzar had to go through affliction before being united to God.
Driven mad, and then restoration (after repentance): Daniel 4:33-34
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation
And when I was arrested and named as a Blade Runner by the Holy Spirit to pray and fast for the Lord… how did I immediately respond?
“Tell him I’m eating."
I had to lose quite a bit before I was useful to the Lord.
(31 seconds in length)
But Grace does not end there.
Grace begins there.
God trains his people by pushing them beyond their ordinary abilities by putting them into difficult spots, where they will need his Grace to succeed. Hebrews 7:19
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Have you noticed how many women who had the promise of children from God were barren? Genesis 11:30
But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
…and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
…and God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed;
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
When we are weak (certainly relative to the challenge God has set before us), we rely on God’s strength, not our own, and we get more Grace.
The Apostle Paul received infirmities, a ‘thorn’ from the Devil to keep Paul humble.
Paul asked for it to removed, but God insisted that Paul rely on Grace to face his challenges. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Why does God want us to rely on Grace when we are in difficulty?
So, we can be humble rather than proud in our own efforts, and therefore be exalted with power. James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
2 Timothy 2:1
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
We get more Grace and grow: James 4:6
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So, we can reject this world and draw closer to God, being more of Christ’s righteousness – a people with whom he can have fellowship. James 4:4,7-8
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
…Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
So we can know God, and not be rejected on that day (and be saved). Matthew 7:22-23
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
So we can rack up wins for the Lord.
We win and win and win by overcoming.
(We cannot win repeatedly by having nothing to overcome.) 1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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.
So, we can be clothed in the only clothes that matter… those of Christ’s. Romans 13:13-14
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
What are these clothes?
The righteous acts of those led by the Holy Spirit. Revelation 19:8
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of saints.
As we put on more of these clothes, we truly become more like Christ. Colossians 3:10
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned;
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is Christians who once were connected to God with Grace, but lost contact – and they don’t even realize it. 2 Thessalonians 2:3
…except there come a falling away first
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
They chose comfortable living over affliction. Hebrews 11:25
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
1 Timothy 5:6
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
They didn’t take up their cross daily. Luke 9:23-24
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it
Christ says ‘when ye fast’ not ‘if’. Matthew 6:16
Moreover when ye fast…
For Blade Runners, the Blade is not smooth; it is jagged. Matthew 7:13
…wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
By running a jagged blade, dangers abound: you could get cut, you could fall off, you can get lost.
You are almost forced to constantly cry out to God for more help in daily life – more Grace which builds your relationship and trust with God.
And, we need to rely upon God for the big issues and the small things of life.
When we are not reliant on God is when we are defeated. Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song;
Perhaps you believe that you can be of service to God, and you’d like to volunteer.
Perhaps you have a job in mind, and you know that you can do it.
No, you do not have Grace.
Firstly, God does not take volunteers. Christians do NOT take the initiative. There are no ‘altar calls’ in the Bible.
Christ only did what was started by God. John 5:30
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Those of Christ are drawn to Christ by the Father. John 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him
We are chosen by God in advance.
(But, since you’ve made it this far down the page – God just might be interested in you.) Ephesians 1:4-5
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself
Secondly, if you are sure that you can do a job for God, you are not getting Grace.
You are not on the edge of your abilities.
The rebellion of mankind is to believe that we can do it (whatever ‘it’ is) on our own. Jeremiah 10:23
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. But, you might go forward anyway. You are a Runner (but not a Blade Runner). Jeremiah 23:21
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
You run to follow your heart. Jeremiah 14:14
Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
…and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring
You will grow fruit, but it will be corrupt. Matthew 7:17
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
And you are in danger of the fire. John 15:6
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If you are fortunate, God will not cast you into the fire of death, but give you the affliction you need. 2 Corinthians 6:9
…as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
To be that beautiful woman that is the bride of Christ, recognize the ugly.
If God is interested in you, your life might have some barriers in the way of what God wants you to be.
The barriers could be the results of your decades of works. They might be your career, your friends, your family, your reputation, your comfort and your pride.
Mercifully, God might treat you like proud king Nebuchadnezzar. Isaiah 64:6
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags;
And God might have to strip you of ALL of your righteous acts/fithy rags.
In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
The rings, and nose jewels,
The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Like any man, Christ cannot resist a naked, broken woman.
And the naked cling to the rock. Job 24:7-8
They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
For our failure to be complete, we must die.
In order to be dead to The Law which convicts us of our ugly, we must let go of this world for beautiful Grace. Matthew 10:39
…he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
1 Corinthians 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest does not come to life, except it die
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Our own initiative, our own ‘good’ works, which always will result in an Ishmael, rather than an Isaac, must completely die.
When the child of promise, Isaac, arrived – Ishmael had to go. Genesis 21:14
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away
1 Chronicles 28:9
…and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
So many professing Christians only go so far, and hold onto that Ishmael, never sending him away, which will always result in the disaster of our own ‘good’ works.
So many professing Christians cannot even speak of the central truth of the Bible, one of a woman taking off the clothing of her old ‘good’ works.
So many professing Christians are like Demas and retreat into their old comfort: the World Religion of Feminism. 2 Timothy 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;