Romans 5:20-21 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
20 But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,
21 So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.
The title of this blog is a bit tongue in cheek, I get it. It might even offend some people’s religious sensibilities but I have never been in the habit of making religious spirits feel comfortable.
This past Sunday, my pastor preached on some things that got me stirred up and while his sermon was not on this specific topic, it hit on a lot of things that got my mind to thinking. I am so thankful that I have a pastor who understands the grace of Jesus Christ because that revelation put my feet on the path that has led me to the place I am today and continues to motivate me to my higher calling.
As a pastor myself now, it is so important to my heart to see others realize their vital importance, significance and unique and beautiful niche in the body of Christ and the heart of God. Second to trying rob people of a relationship with God, the enemy tries to rob those who have come alive through Christ from unfolding the depths of their unique story and the treasure that they are to the rest of us. I hate religious spirits especially because of this.
If you take anything away from this as you read it today, walk away knowing that there is nothing that can any longer disqualify you from experiencing the fullness of all that God has dreamed for your life and your purpose.
Sin is no longer a problem for you. There will be battles, there will be struggles but there will be victories and there will be promotions. Jesus has fully qualified you to live the life He and the Father imagined for you and Holy Spirit has for you everything you need to be victorious in every situation and every circumstance. Jesus has already given you the fully “all inclusive” deal.
Jesus expects us to live a life full of experiences. This means making decisions and choices and being a direct representative of Jesus Christ to the world and to the other kingdoms residing in this world. Real leadership as an overcoming achiever and as one who rules and reigns is full of trial and error and learning. Sometimes epic failures, sometimes epic victories but always and never changing in the way you capture God’s heart.
How can God expect us to overcome things if He does not avail to us those things we so desperately need to be successful or have victory in our lives? How can we earn God’s favor if we inherently are broken or struggling in weakness in an area in our lives? This theology while seemingly righteous is merely religious and does not reflect the heart of God.
When you get a real revelation of the freedom found in the grace of Jesus Christ, it does not give you a desire to indulge in sin it gives you power OVER sin. The freedom we discover does not increase a desire for the flesh. It creates a desire to go deeper into the things of the spirit. The revelation of grace gives you freedom from the condemnation of sin and the lies, deceit and guilt that the enemy uses against you to keep you from embracing the truth about grace.
That truth in grace is this; that you can have complete freedom in Christ and complete confidence and boldness that your identity and position with Jesus are secured despite any and all mistakes you may make. That your wrong decisions or your besetting sins and struggles are not a disqualifier and they do not diminish your identity, your calling and anointing.
God is going to give you room to grow, change and learn to practice righteousness and holiness. He loves to see us gain victory over these areas in our lives. He loves to see us being transformed into His likeness as we walk with Him and behold him. He loves to see us conquer and defeat these things in our lives and He is not taken aback when we fail or slip or have to try many times with His help to achieve victory.
In addition, we can have full confidence and boldness to ask ANYTHING of God in the midst of these experiences and growth. Not only can we have confidence, it is what He desires of us! That we would trust Him wholeheartedly and would choose to bring Him into every area of our lives and struggle. He truly wants to be our loving, giving and providing Father!
God does not want to make every decision and choice for us. He wants us to make choices and decisions based on His character at work in and through us but He is always ready to help us, empower us, bless us and give us wisdom. He wants a partnership with us in our lives and in our hearts. Grace is God trusting His Kingdom work to us in spite of our apparent lacking of abilities, power, and strength because His grace becomes all that we cannot be in of ourselves. It is a process, it is growing, it is surrendering, it is learning and becoming.
We cannot expect to be about kingdom business and releasing the love, goodness and power of God through us when we finally “have it all put together” because we would never be able to truly be about kingdom business! We have to be about kingdom business in the middle of our mess, our failures, our weaknesses and shortcomings. It is in middle of the struggle and the mess that Jesus stands with us. His hand on our shoulders, his lips to our ears speaking words of love, affirmation and encouragement.
I want to leave you with this final thought. I once read somewhere that Jesus so loved us and so valued us and saw so much in us that even for those who he knew would refuse to ever accept Him as their Lord and Savior, He still chose to die for their chance at salvation.
Some people would say that is a waste but that is still grace. We can’t change the dynamics or the characteristics of grace. They remain despite how we feel. That grace is not based upon our value system, but it is based on God’s. If Jesus was willing to die and make grace available even to those who will reject him, how much greater is his grace to those of us who accept Him?