John 1:14 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.
John 1:15 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.’ ”
John 1:16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the wrecking ball to Satan’s kingdom. So why is it that the Church has apparently stopped preaching it? What a glorious reality it is to live in the Kingdom with such freedom from things like sin, shame, guilt, heaviness, oppression and sickness. Have we changed the message from one of deliverance to a message of love? Was not love always a part of the Gospel message? The Church is called to be salt and light, but it is hard to do that when you are always asking for permission to speak the truth.
Jesus, despite the feelings of today’s church, did not come bringing a love message only. Jesus came bringing a kingdom message with the foundation of love. The Gospel of the Kingdom is one that has love, power, forgiveness, righteousness, good works, deliverance, freedom from sin, and glory all wrapped inside. It is okay to preach the love of Jesus, as long as love is not the excuse for sin.
Bill Johnson says;
Obedience will always be important, as John 15:14 highlights, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” But friends are less concerned about disobeying than they are about disappointing. The disciples’ focus shifted from the commandments to the presence, from the assignment to the relationship, from “what I do for Him” to “how my choices affect Him.”
The world is in chaos, and the Church seems to be lost on what it should do. Do we think the world has never been in chaos before? Of course, it has. There has always been one message that has turned the world right side up in the past, and it is the message that we need again. The Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will always prevail.
Acts 17:6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”
The Law came through Moses, but let’s discuss that for a moment. The Law was more than rules. It was the pathway, at the time, by which one was determined to be righteous or not. It was given to show that all men need Jesus, the Savior. If the Law of Moses could have made us righteous, it would have. It was not a failure of the Law, but the failure of us. (Scripture refs; Rom 6:14-15; Rom 7:14; Gal 3:23;Gal 5:18; Rom 7:7-12)
The Law, Love the Lord your God has not gone away. Nor is it okay to have any other gods or idols. The two Commandments Jesus told us to obey were these.
Mark 12:28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Going back to the Quote from Bill Johnson, the disciple of Jesus through the romance of relationship to Him, becomes more concerned with pleasing Him. The Law did not require love to be involved. It required strict obedience. Let us not throw out obedience. Love has not erased it. Disobedience is not a quality of a mature believer. However, without the foundation of love, rules become harsh and cold. They serve no real purpose in the long term plans of God.
So the question needs to be asked, what did Grace and Truth do to the rules? Did Jesus come to set me free from the Law or did he set me free from the curse of the Law? If He has removed me from the requirements of the Law, can I do whatever I desire? If I prayed a prayer for salvation, does that mean that I get a pass for the rest of my life? Certainly not! I am called by God to be pleasing to Him and to have a relationship represents Him. Notice that Grace and Truth came through Jesus, not just grace.
Truth is important because it has the power to set you free. When we believe a lie, we empower darkness in our lives. When we submit to sin and give ourselves to it, we enable darkness to rule our lives. This is not the way to the Kingdom nor the desire of the Father for us. Jesus wants us to be free. This is part of the component of Grace. The first indication of grace is the fact that you heard the name of Jesus. This is gift often taken for granted in America. The Name of Jesus is all over the place. However, grace is not the reason you get to go to heaven. Grace is the favor of God that enables you to stay free from sin.
Mercy first had to be granted for you and me. Through the act of sacrifice on the cross, Jesus made the way for mercy to reach us. Total mercy, not just mercy for the moment. The blood of Jesus is so powerful it can cleanse us completely and makes us white as snow. Mercy through the Blood of Jesus is one of the foundations of Grace. We were all guilty. This is not to bring shame, but to take you to a place of total and complete acceptance and forgiveness. It is so complete and full that the Lord remembers it no more and forgets it. That is freedom. It is at this point that we need to learn how to walk in Grace and Truth to maintain and live out the rest of our lives in freedom. This is where the wrong mindset can lead us to years of frustration. If not addressed properly, they can eventually lead someone away from the glorious gospel.
1 Tim. 6:20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—
1 Tim. 6:21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
There are those who think that we can never lose our salvation, but scripture teaches us that we must keep the faith, and we must keep it to the end. Grace is such a beautiful gift that it needs to be greeted with thanksgiving every day of our lives. An in-depth understanding of grace is given by the Holy Spirit for us to grasp its importance entirely in the Kingdom of God.
Grace is God's enabling power that helps me with everything I do in the kingdom. It helps me pray, live, love, study, know, heal and deliver. It is not just for ministers in the Church, but for the ministry of all who are of the Church.
I learned a valuable lesson from the Lord in 1997. My daughter was born on Christmas morning 1996. What a wonderful gift. I was then asked to usher in January for a Marylin Hickey Conference at my church. This is something I had done for years. Since I was off for the baby, I said yes. There was a problem. The Lord had asked me to step down. He wanted me to spend more time with Him for the next season I was entering. When I showed up the first morning to usher, the Spirit spoke to me. "I told you I wanted you to step down in this season." I acknowledge that He did and that I thought it was okay. He said to me that the grace to usher comes from Him and that I cannot do it without Him. He told me that He would put the grace on me for the conference. Lesson learned. The Spirit was trying to teach me how to labor with Him and to be wholly dependent upon Him for everything. This encounter was an incredible season of my life as the Lord was showing me the Kingdom. I had to discern to very wrong postures.
I can't do what God ask because I am not qualified or skilled for it.
I can do it because I am talented enough I have done it before.
Both of these mindsets create a problem in that I am not making a demand upon grace and laboring with it. These mindsets lead to striving wrong or arrogance. Both of these are devastating to the believer's walk. It is important for every believer to understand the power of grace. I have been looking at this for about twenty-five years now. Not coming from a religious background, I have an advantage. The advantage I had was that there were no traditional strongholds. I never was taught the Scriptures, so I went into them with an open mind and heart.
Here is a scripture that I have come to meditate on in prayer.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
First, it says that Jesus chose us. You and I were His choice. We could not whisper His name if He did not whisper ours. This is the beginning of grace and favor upon the believer. Second He chose us for a purpose. That purpose is so we would go and bear fruit for His kingdom. Third, we are to bear fruit that remains. Jesus does not choose anyone for failure. He only chooses us for kingdom everlasting fruit. Fourth, since these things are true, we can ask the Father for what we need, and He will give it to us. Fruit brings glory to the Father.
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
The grace of God in your life is the Spirit’s source for all that we do in Him. It is without argument, the most beautiful aspect of God’s Spirit. It conveys to us the love, intimacy, and purpose of our lives in Him. He chose us when we were not worthy, cleaned us up and commissioned us to do all that He has commanded. That is Father. One who loves us regardless, helps us get on our feet and gives purpose to our lives. I pray that for you, this word becomes one of the meditations of your heart. We will continue this in the next blog. I hope this blesses you. I would love to have your feedback. Blessing to you in the Name of the Lord Jesus. May His grace be upon you mightily.
Johnson, Bill (2016-05-17). A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World (p. 36). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition.