GRACE B. Keith Chadwell
GRACE: The Greek word used in the New testament is defined by Strong’s exhaustive concordance;
“Graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act……especially
THE DIVINE INFLUENCE UPON THE HEART AND ITS REFLECTIONS IN THE LIFE;”….
Our ability to do what is good, to obey God, to come under His government (The Kings-dominion), as Christians, is no more possible without the grace of God working in us than it is for the unregenerate. For unless we die daily to our fleshly lusts, abilities and strength we leave no room for God to work in us …”to will and to do of his good pleasure”. (Phil 2:13)
In a very practical way many Christians still struggle to “do, do, do” taking upon themselves the responsibility to, from the heart, love and forgive, to give, to not be proud or vain. To, from the heart, curb our appetites for the lusts of the flesh, etc. Therefore, if we insist on trying to obey God by changing our own hearts by the works of our flesh, if we try, try, try, in our own strength, in our own soul power, then… when the real hard temptations come and they will, we should not be surprised if we fail.
Jesus said “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God”.
“Lord I am destitute, unable to rule my flesh and soul, only you are able to rule my flesh and soul from the inside, out. Lord change my want to !”
Psalms 51: 9-11 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy
holy spirit from me.
Unless we see ourselves as destitute in spirit, without strength or ability to keep even the very basic commandments of God, without His “Grace” (..”divine influence on the heart..”) we will fail, and frustrate ourselves and others, again and again, all the while being “born again” (John 3:3) of his Spirit.
As a Christian, only now we are able to see and hear by the spirit, for the first time capable of discerning the things that we should do. However, not necessarily, always, entering in or coming under the rule of God because; we frustrate the “Grace” of God by trying to change our hearts through the works of the flesh…our own efforts.
As a Christian, we can now “See the Kingdom“ (John 3:3) but not necessarily, always, will enter in….”enter” the Kingdom“ (John 3:5) Remembering that the “kingdom or king-dom or Kings-dominion is within us.
Paul struggled with this, also….
2 Cor 12:7-10
7 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 (conceited) above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 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
(on account of)… in my infirmities, (in order that)..the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
How many times have we struggled with conceit, pride, lust for things, un-forgiveness and other lusts of the flesh, perhaps as Paul did with his soulish conceit or pride because of abundant revelation? Like Paul, perhaps we have struggled to bring any variety of things under subjection to Christs’ law of love by trying to change our hearts with our own strength, and have failed.
Only His “Grace is sufficient”! Only in our weakness, in our final humility, in repentance for working on His “Sabbath” will entry be permitted into that place within or hearts where He and He alone has total dominion (His Kingdom). Only His grace is sufficient!
(“Sabbath”: entry into His rest and allowing Him to do the work)
Let us labor therefore to enter into “His rest” (we rest, He does the work). Let us die daily to self-strength, self-will, and any residue of reliance on our ability to keep the laws of God.
Only Christ in me can do the work necessary in my heart that I might be able to keep the law and glorify the Father AGAIN, in the earth, as Christ did. “Christ in me, the hope of Glory”. (Col 3:).
For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure
Sin increased, Grace increased all the more…
Is 28: (NIV) v12-13 ….to whom he (God) said,… ”this is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “this is the place of repose”- but they would not listen.
So then, the word of the Lord to them will become: do and do, do and do, Rule on rule, rule on rule;
A little here, a little there- so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured.
~ ~ ~