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Greater | BobbyShirley.com

Tag: grace (Page 3 of 5)

Greater | BobbyShirley.com

Greater

15 But the gift of God through Christ is a very different matter from the “account rendered” through the sin of Adam. For while as a result of one man’s sin death by natural consequence became the common lot of men, it was by the generosity of God, the free giving of the grace of one man Jesus Christ, that the love of God overflowed for the benefit of all men.

16 Nor is the effect of God’s gift the same as the effect of that one man’s sin. For in the one case one man’s sin brought its inevitable judgment, and the result was condemnation. But, in the other, countless men’s sins are met with the free gift of grace, and the result is justification before God.

17 For if one man’s offence meant that men should be slaves to death all their lives, it is a far greater thing that through another man, Jesus Christ, men by their acceptance of his more than sufficient grace and righteousness, should live all their lives like kings!

Romans 15 (Phillips)

One of these things is not like the other.

Too many times I’ve allowed Adam’s fall stand taller and more unmovable than Christ’s finished work. I’ve also put more faith in what Adam did than what Christ did.

Let me explain.

It’s not that I haven’t believed what Jesus did was powerful, it’s just that I know that what Adam did messed up a lot of stuff. I can see what Adam’s sin messed up. I see it everyday. What Jesus did changed everything. I get it. But when I look around, it can be hard to see the effects.

Enter faith.

First, let’s determine what faith is. Merriam-Webster states that faith is a strong belief or trust in someone or something. The bible in Hebrews tell that “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.”

Now, let’s look at how faith allows us to see Jesus’ work as the greater.

I could take several texts to prove this to you, but only one comes to mind. Paul put it so well to his letter to the Ephesian church.

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:17-23

So, it may not be easy. It may not be what you’re used to. It may not be “natural”. But, it’s truth. Unlearn, retrain, and re-learn the truth.

Jesus is greater, better, and more powerful than anyone else.

Satisfied Saturday | BobbyShirley.com

Satisfied Saturday – 2/07/2015

Satisfied Saturday’s is a collection of links on the web that can aid your satisfaction and/or cause you to think. Enjoy!

Satisfied Saturday | BobbyShirley.com

Satisfied Saturday – 1/31/2015

Satisfied Saturday’s is a collection of links on the web that can aid your satisfaction and/or cause you to think. Enjoy!

Better | BobbyShirley.com

Better

The only way you can swallow the painful truth is to wash it down with a refreshing drink of grace.

You can tell someone all day long to fix issues they aren’t capable of fixing on their own. The only hope of seeing real change is to accept that Someone has given them the power to change.

 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”
Mark 2:17 (MSG)

This verse shows that we can’t just “fix it” or “get a new heart” in our own self-will. We must rely on the One who has fixed it all and allow Him to empower us to change.

You were once spiritually dead, as confirmed in your constant failure; being bound to a lifestyle ruled by the distorted desires of the flesh, but now God has made you alive together with him, having forgiven you all your trespasses.
Colossians 2:13 (MIRROR)

What can a dead man do to save himself? Nothing.

What does “self-improvement” look like after you’ve become a new creation? Allowing God to point to anything that can hurt us and allowing Him to empower us to fix it.

Being afraid of “not being used by God” until we get it all right is what keeps the “congregation” striving to be “used” by God. All while the “clergy” are the only ones that are deemed worthy of changing the world. That’s what I call “platform empowerment”.

This is not the kingdom. This is the empire.
This is not the good news. This is self-salvation.

Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.

1 John 4:18 (VOICE)

There is a better way. Tell people the truth, yes. The no-holds-barred truth. The in-your-face truth. But, don’t stop there. Give them the good news of grace.

Deeper | BobbyShirley.com

Deeper

I once assumed (along with the vast majority of professing Christians) that the gospel was simply what non-Christians must believe in order to be saved before advancing into deeper theological waters after their conversion. I didn’t realize that once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer us beyond the gospel but to move us more deeply into it. The good news that Jesus paid it all not only ignites the Christian life but fuels it as well.

Tullian Tchividjian, One Way Love

We never move beyond our need for grace. We never lose the need to stop hearing the good news. There’s nothing to “move on” into.

There’s nothing “deeper” than His grace. There’s nothing more “advanced” than His love for us.  There’s no kiddie pool for new Christians and a bigger/deeper pool for the mature Christians.

It’s ok to splash around in the waters of His love. He’s not scared of getting wet. Act like a kid. Wear swimmies and goggles if you must, just get in.

Thankfulness

To say that we “Owe everything to God” is an insult to the Spirit of Grace. He did it for us, and unlike most of us, expects no payment in return. It is true that real Grace produces thankfulness and humility, but it does not produce obligation.

Jackie Ramsey

Thankfulness vs. Obligation

This is the question that organized religion has posed for ages. The tension between obligation and thankfulness has been always been around.

My question is. “At what point to does thankfulness turn to obligation?”

Let’s start by defining obligation.

noun
1. something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc.
2. something that is done or is to be done for such reasons:
to fulfill one's obligations.
3. a binding promise, contract, sense of duty, etc.
4. the act of binding or obliging oneself by a promise, contract, etc.
5. Law.
an agreement enforceable by law, originally applied to promises under seal.
a document containing such an agreement.
a bond containing a penalty, with a condition annexed for payment of money, performance of covenants, etc.
6. any bond, note, bill, certificate, or the like, as of a government or a corporation, serving as evidence of indebtedness.
7. an indebtedness or amount of indebtedness.

Let’s look at thankfulness

adj.
1. Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful.
2. Expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.

Really, obligation and thankfulness are two sides of a coin. Might I suggest that obligation is thankfulness under a veil of condemnation. Because of Christ’s work for us, as us, it should produce awareness and appreciation. It’s natural for us to feel that we “owe” God something, but He doesn’t expect us to owe Him anything. From our perspective we are “obligated” to give God our lives, but the obligation is one that should be birthed out of thankfulness and not condemnation.

Thankfulness bubbles up from our heart and is expressed in every area of our lives. On the contrary, anything done from obligation is handed over begrudgingly.

Flip the coin today and allow thankfulness to bubble up. Let your only obligation be to allow thankfulness to flourish.

Service

A lawdriver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works and reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God.

Martin Luther

Grace produces works has been one of the hardest concepts for me to grasp. I think in some way what I’ve done is thrown all “works” out. I know this isn’t right, but it’s what I’ve done. Now, that’s not to say that I have become lazy in my affection toward Jesus, it’s just that I have made myself allergic to “works”.

That being said, I do believe that once someone has tasted of God’s grace and realized that there’s nothing that they can do to earn their salvation, it produces a “get to” for works. I’ve used the example of a coin when talking to people. Before grace, most of us lived on the “have to” side. Grace has flipped the coin and now we live in the realm of “get to“.

Two sides: Have to vs. Get to.

  • I no longer have to spend time reading my bible, I get to.
  • I no longer have to take care of and love people, I get to.
  • I no longer have to worship, I get to.
  • I no longer have to repent of sins, I get to.
  • I no longer have to go to church, I get to.

Grace doesn’t promote laziness it empowers service! Allow grace to flip the coin in your heart!

So, what are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anything…

Tullian Tchividjian

Choices

Living under grace means that we can sin if we so choose. We are free to make foolish choices. ‘Is he saying that since grace covers all sins, I can go out and sin if that’s what I want to do?’ Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying… Yes, you can sin. However, when you understand your identity in Christ, you don’t want to sin.

Steve McVey

“Wait just a minute! You’re going to give people a license to sin!”

That would be the typical response. It’s understandable. It’s rational. But, God and the grace He gives are not understandable or rational.

Think about it this way, once my wife has declared her undying love for me how could I turn and say “Thanks, now I’m going to go out do whatever I want.”. That doesn’t make sense either. The proper response would be spending everyday telling her how much I love her. Now, this isn’t a perfect example, I don’t know that there is one. But I think it helps prove the point.

Those born from God don’t practice sin because God’s DNA remains in them. They can’t sin because they are born from God.

1 John 3:9 CEB

So, according to this verse, if you wanted to sin you’d have to become someone else or forget who you are to do it. Let’s not have an identity crisis going on.

Scared

Grace is wildly irreligious stuff. It’s more than enough to get God kicked out of the God union that the theologians have formed to keep him on his divine toes so he won’t let the riffraff off scot-free. Sensible people, of course, should need only about thirty seconds of careful thought to realize that getting off scot-free is the only way any of us is going to get off at all. But if all we can think of is God as the Eternal Bookkeeper putting down black marks against sinners–or God as the Celestial Mother-in-Law giving a crystal vase as a present and then inspecting it for chips every time she comes for a visit…well, any serious doctrine of grace is going to scare the rockers right off our little theological hobbyhorses.

– Robert Capon, The Romance of the Word

Scared. What is it about grace that scares us? Is it the possibility of licentiousness? Is it the chance of abuse? Is the thought that once someone has encountered the true, undiluted, Grace of Jesus that they’ll continue doing the things that caused God to act on our behalf in the first place?

I don’t know why grace is scary. But I do know that to think of my life now without this growing revelation of grace is scary.

Helpless

Grace is what compels God to act on His own initiative for His own glory to do what no other god can do: forgive those who don’t deserve it and can’t earn it.

Preston Sprinkle, Charis

I think that this quote from Mr. Sprinkle is an absolute powerhouse of a theological statement of how God acts for the helpless.

Grace is what compels God to act on His own initiative for His own glory.

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