2019 Grace Life Conference (Session 16)

by Taffi Dollar | 11 Jul 2019

Summary

Grace can be many things, including a person, a divine influence on the heart, and an enabling from God; in this context, grace is also a gift. The grace we see now under the new covenant did not exist under the old covenant of the law. Only a few select men could be part of the priesthood and receive an anointing from God, and no one had the opportunity to receive new spirits and become God’s children. It took Jesus to change all that; now everyone—men and women alike—can be equal members of God’s royal priesthood and receive from Him as His beloved children. Because of Jesus, we do not have to qualify for blessings from God; we simply receive by faith, like Paul did. Things begin to happen when we learn to think humbly like Paul and throw ourselves on the mercies of God. Accepting the gift of grace enables us to show mercy and forgiveness to others in the same way Jesus showed it to those He met during His ministry.

  1. Grace allows us to receive good things from God; it is all-inclusive.
    1. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made 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 1:12-14).
      1. “Grace” refers to charisma and endowment. It is an ability to receive from God.
    2. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name (John 1:12, AMPC).
      1. Under the law, the opportunity to become God’s children did not exist; Jesus made this possible by giving us the opportunity to be born again.
    3. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread (Leviticus 8:1, 2).
      1. Under the old covenant, the priesthood was limited to certain select males; they were the only ones who could receive God’s anointing.
      2. There is a difference between the old-covenant priesthood and the new-covenant priesthood we now have because of Jesus.
    4. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ…But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:5, 9).
      1. Now, everyone—not just men—can be part of the priesthood when they receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
      2. When we are in Christ, we have been accepted into the beloved. We do not have to qualify based on Old-Testament standards.
  1. God offers us grace not based on our performance, but on our faith in His Son.
    1. Jesus Christ, not Old-Testament qualifications, has elevated us to kings and priests. This comes by faith in Him.
      1. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:6).
      2. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10).
    2. For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles…Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:1, 7-9).
      1. Paul was the least likely person to be a minster of the Gospel of Grace. He was enabled to preach by the gift of God’s grace; he did not do this through his own abilities.
      2. We do not need to qualify to receive the same anointing that Paul was given. He received it as a free gift; we can receive it the same way.
    3. Grace teaches us humility. The gift of grace is extended to each member of the body of Christ.
      1. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith…Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching (Romans 12:3, 6, 7).
      2. For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use, So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another] (Romans 12:3-5, AMPC).
  1. Under the new covenant, Jesus restored equality. All are now welcome in God’s family.
    1. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).
      1. Jesus places a high value on being in a relationship with us. He values us so much that He wants us to be a part of His plan and part of His family. We can only be a part by the grace of God.
      2. When Jesus went to Samaria, it was part of a deliberate plan to extend grace to the Samaritans, even though the Jews went to great lengths to avoid it. When He met the woman at the well, He was able to give her the gift of grace (John 4:4-29).
    2. As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it) (1 Peter 4:10, 11, AMPC).
      1. God endows us with the gift of grace so we can serve others. We should employ the gifts and talents we receive from Him, not let them lie dormant.
    3. When the Holy Spirit descended during the first Pentecost, He did not fall only on the men, but also on the women. God was fulfilling a prophecy that He would do a new thing and include everyone.
      1. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit (Joel 2:28, 29).
      2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy (Acts 2:17, 18).
  1. Under the law, male domination was common. Grace replaced this with equality.
    1. When Jesus came, He leveled the playing field and restored the equality that the covenant of the law lacked. He offered mercy and grace in place of condemnation and punishment.
      1. And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:11).
      2. If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel (Deuteronomy 22:22).
      3. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:2-11).
    2. God made man and woman equal, but male domination came into being in the garden of Eden. When Jesus came, He eliminated domination and restored men’s and women’s roles back to God’s original plan.
      1. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden…And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Genesis 3:7, 8, 14-16).
      2. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
      3. In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively] (1 Peter 3:7, AMPC).
  1. Grace frees us from our past, accepts us as God’s children, and makes us all one.
    1. Onesimus is believed to have been a slave because of his non-Jewish lineage, yet Paul referred to him as his son. Onesimus was therefore no longer an outsider, because Paul extended the gift of grace to him.
      1. Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds (Philemon 1:9, 10).
      2. I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains. Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me. I am sending him back to you in his own person, [and it is like sending] my very heart. I would have chosen to keep him with me, in order that he might minister to my needs in your stead during my imprisonment for the Gospel’s sake. But it has been my wish to do nothing about it without first consulting you and getting your consent, in order that your benevolence might not seem to be the result of compulsion or of pressure but might be voluntary [on your part]. Perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated [from you] for a while, that you might have him back as yours forever, Not as a slave any longer but as [something] more than a slave, as a brother [Christian], especially dear to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer] (Philemon 1:10-16, AMPC).
    2. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).
      1. “Equal” does not mean the same. Although we are all different, we are all equal in Christ.
  1. God’s unmerited, undeserved favor, as modeled by Christ, reconciles us back to Him.
    1. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-22).
      1. “Gentiles in the flesh who are called Uncircumcision” describes us in the past.
    2. [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near. For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us, By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace. And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end. And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and [peace] to those who were near. For it is through Him that we both [whether far off or near] now have an introduction (access) by one [Holy] Spirit to the Father [so that we are able to approach Him]. Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household (Ephesians 2:12-19, AMPC).
      1. There are now no more walls dividing men and women. In Christ, we can now be heirs together.