TODAY’S DEVOTION (SATURDAY 21ST MAY 2022)
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:1-9 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 141ST DAY OF OUR YEAR OF AMAZING GRACE
I woke up this morning meditating on what human history, as we know it, would have been if there was no redemption for our lost souls. I wondered what life would have been if there was no shedding of the blood of Jesus; if the blood of Jesus was not up there speaking for our sinful and wretched souls.
I contemplated what life would have been if the blood of the lamb had not taken away the sins of the world. It completely took the judgment that was in the hand of the evil one to execute and returned it to where it belonged – the great white throne and the bema seat.
If it had not been taken away our judgment, Satan would have set our lives on fire the way he did the generation of Noah and made the earth a realm that can be described as a huge sea of filth, demons, and all forms of wickedness.
But the blood of Jesus prevented all that. If there was no shedding of it, if there was not amazing grace, there would have been no me, no you and no us!
This morning I want us to thank God for the blood of Jesus. Let us season this day with thanksgiving; thanking God for His amazing grace made possible by the spotless blood of Jesus Christ.
For most part we do not understand how God’s amazing grace works. Many take it to be an excuse for sin. They say, there is no longer judgment for sin. It has been taken away in Christ, so it does not matter how we live.
To this school of thought and breed, sinning before excepting Christ is eternal fire but sinning after accepting Christ is no judgment.
By accepting Christ, they mean, reciting the sinner’s prayer.
To them salvation comes by reciting the sinner’s prayer even if you do not renounce the sinner’s life. They define grace to be God’s riches at Christ expense, so one does not need to worry anymore about how he or she live after the recitation.
They say Christ paid it all. We should not try to be good, because no one can be good.
WHILE A PART OF THIS SCHOOL OF THOUGHT IS CONSISTENT WITH SCRIPTURES, THERE IS A PART THAT IS NOT.
That is why teachings like this are called heresies. Heresy is when you mix one lie with many truths, or when you capture many lies intelligently in one truth. People collect the lie because of the truth it is wrapped in.
Heresies like this work because they align with our desire to satisfy the passion of the flesh and still be in Heaven.
For instance, if you are a lady and someone say to you, “Christ paid it all. You should not try to live right because you cannot. That is why Jesus died” and you are having a man you sleep with, to satisfy your flesh and maybe enjoying his money, you will accept the teaching.
If we have any sinful habits we do not want to do away with, we will accept teachings like that because they align with the kind of Christianity we live.
One of the most polluted doctrines in Christianity is the doctrine of God’s grace.
We are on the 21st day of our 31-day journey with the Cry of the Spirit on practical Christianity. One way to be practical with your Christianity is to walk in grace, that is why we should never be tired of hearing anything about God’s amazing grace.
Sadly, those who believe that you are still saved even if you have not renounced the sinner’s life despite reciting the sinner’s prayer, calls that kind of living “walking in grace.” A woman once attended where teachings of righteousness where going on and she left saying “there is no grace here.”
What she meant was “there is no recitation of the sinner’s prayer without renouncing the sinner’s life here.” She left, and prosper economically and finally died suddenly.
There are so many believers who have reduced themselves to food to be eaten by devils by not understanding and walking in God’s true grace. They work in the adulterated grace and get their lives filled with the darkness that sin brings.
Walking in grace is part of practical Christianity, and it has nothing to do with keeping the sinner’s way of life and still claiming you are saved. Our devotional text today is one of the many scriptures in the Bible about God’s grace.
ONE OF THE MAJOR LINES OF THE TEXT SAYS;
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you ONCE WALKED according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
Mark the word I capped. The phrase “once walked.”
This scripture was written to the Church or the saved and sanctified ones in Ephesus. It was written to people who have renounced the sinner’s way of life. The scripture established that walking in God’s grace involves renouncing the sinner’s way of life.
The people our father Paul wrote to where not living a life of sin and claiming grace. They were people who once lived that way but no longer do because of the dynamic work of GOD’s grace in their lives.
If you look at the story of the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8, you will realize that Jesus demonstrated what grace is in his response to the Pharisees who had carried stones to stone the women according the law of Moses, which Jesus Himself authored when He worked in Moses as the law giver.
He did that because He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.
In other words, to help them obey the law but in another way. Not by irrational punishment but by showing mercy and giving people the pardon and power to sin no more. That was why He said to the woman “neither do I condemn thee, go and see no more.”
There are two definitions to the word condemn. It is important that we know which one was applied here when Jesus said to her “neither do I condemn you…” because a lot of people stand on this scripture to say “do not condemn” whenever you disapprove something evil that someone is doing.
I checked my dictionary and discovered that the word condemn first means “to express complete disapproval of something or to censor something.” From the original translation of the word “condemn” in that scripture, Jesus was not referring to this definition of condemn when He said to the woman “neither do I condemn you…”
HE USED THE SECOND DEFINITION WHICH MEANS “TO SENTENCE SOMEONE TO A PARTICULAR PUNISHMENT, ESPECIALLY DEATH.”
You can see that clearly if you read that scripture within context. The woman was about being stoned to death after been sentenced by the Law of Moses voiced by the Pharisees. If you look at it the Pharisees where, in their view doing no wrong but just implementing the law of Moses. But they never knew that the one who gave the law to Moses was the one they were standing before.
Christ came full of grace and truth not to execute the law but to abolish it in His flesh through death burial and resurrection, and still help us live right using another system. That system is the system of God’s grace. The Pharisees where used to the system of God’s law given to Moses and where now face to face with a fresh system.
In the statement Jesus made to the woman that day, we find grace and truth in a beautiful alignment. Grace was “neither do I condemn you” and truth was “go and sin no more.”
Authentic grace, therefore, will be full of truth. It will be full of teachings, secrets, anointing, insights and impartations on how to sin no more. Walking in it will free one from a life of sin. It will help one fulfill what the Bible says in Psalm chapter one.
In Psalms chapter one, the Bible says;
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law, he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV
IT WILL HELP ONE NOT TO WALK IN THE COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY, STAND IN THE WAYS OF SINNERS, OR SEAT IN THE SEAT OF THE SCORNFUL.
It will stir one’s heart to lead a life of meditation in God’s word, and bring one to the realm of being planted by rivers of God’s presence, making it possible for one to bear seasoned fruits of righteousness.
You can see why practical Christianity involves walking in God’s grace.
There is the power to bear seasoned fruits of righteousness in God’s grace. I believe that woman left the presence of Jesus that day and never went back to adultery. I also believe that her marriage never packed because whenever grace speak, it silences every tongue calling for punishment for sin committed.
That is why God’s grace should not be misunderstood, rejected or mocked at but understood, accepted and embraced fully and completely.
You will never see the power of God’s grace at work in your life if you are part of the generation that misunderstand it, or mocks at it in any way. You will only see it if you are part of those who accept and embrace it unconditionally and unadulterated.
It is unadulterated if it is as defined and demonstrated by Christ.
The mockery of God’s grace is when we go back to our sins again and again hoping God will keep forgiving us. The true grace of God does not allow that kind of Christianity. We must understand the definition of God’s TRUE grace in what Jesus said to the adulterous woman that day and align our lives with it.
Let me reiterate again; He said “Neither do I condemn, go and sin no more.” Meaning, “neither do I sentence you to death for committing adultery, but I strongly disapprove that kind of life, so go and sin no more.” I hope you understand me!
IF YOU WANT TO WALK IN GRACE YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT GRACE CONDEMN AND GRACE DOES NOT CONDEMN.
Yes, am not making a mistake. I said to walk in God’s grace you must understand that grace condemns and grace also does not condemn.
Genuine grace will strongly condemn our sinful deeds by disapproving it completely, using the voice of truth. That is why it comes full of truth. But it will not condemn us by sentencing us to any punishment at the immediate. It will show us the destination of continuing that way and urge us to discontinue the sinful life. That is why the Bible says;
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” Titus 2:11-12 NKJV
I believe the LORD has spoken to us this morning.
Yes, our GOD who is rich in mercy has spoken to us. He has shown us bits on what it means to walk in grace. It has nothing to do with keeping the sinner’s way of life after reciting the sinner’s prayer. That will be a mockery of God’s grace.
The rest of our devotional text says;
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
As We bring this to a close, I want to submit that We have been saved by grace, we should spend our days walking in it.
Among other things, to walk in grace is to walk in the pardon of GOD by walking in the power to sin no more. It means to condemn what grace condemns and not allow it to find a resting place in our lives. It also means to approve what it approves and allow it to grow in our lives.
For instance, Grace condemns a carnal life and encourages a Spiritual life.
A carnal life is a life led by the evil and sinful passions of the flesh. But a Spiritual life is a life led by the righteous desires of the Holy Spirit living in a saved and sanctified human spirit.
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR US TODAY!
“So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.
Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is [f]deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].
In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].
But you did not so learn Christ! Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],
Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24 AMPC