WALK IN THE LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH
We must learn to walk in the light of spiritual truth of all that Jesus procured for us by His sacrificial
death on the cross. We are assured of God’s love for us personally, and by His grace we partakers
here and now of the power of Christ’s indwelling presence to enable us meet every need,
JESUS CHRIST—THE DIVINE WORD OF LIFE MADE FLESH
“What [Jesus] was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--and the life was manifested [by Jesus], and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ [as we too walk in the light]. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete [by sharing it with you].” 1 Jn 1:1-4
GOD IS LIGHT
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” 1Jn1:5-10.[NASU]
In the above passage there is a mixture of spiritual and figurative words and phrases that explanatory notes help to make the meaning clear. Even the heading, “walking in the light,” the subject of our study, has to be clarified.
Walking in the Light
To ‘walk’ in this sense is to order the course of our actions in a consistent way or manner, in this case, as much as we are capable, in subjection to divine moral principles.
“in the light,” means in the light of God’s holiness and truth as it is manifested by Christ’s life in us. This will be enlarged upon in the rest of the study.
JESUS—GOD the SON, MANIFESTED HIS DEITY TO THEM PERSONALLY
The first part of John’s letter deals with two aspects of the apostles’ relationship with Christ.
What [Jesus] was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [one of the titles of Jesus] -- and the life [the life of God] was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.
1. John took pains to assure his readers that Jesus Christ who was God the Son, who had shared His eternal identity with God the Father, had manifested Himself to them, physically and personally. They had seen Him with their eyes and touched Him with their hands.
2. Jesus not only shared deity and eternal life with the Father, but had also manifested the nature and quality of that eternal life of the Father to them. That is why He is called the “Word of Life,”-- the revelation of the divine Life of the Father.
GOD IS LIGHT
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
The central revelation of the passage is the nature of God the Father. John sums up God’s nature with the mystical/spiritual statement, “God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” The very essence of this description is that GOD IS INCOMPARABLY HOLY, and is absolute TRUTH. Faced with the task of expressing God’s holiness, ordinary descriptive words would fall so far short, that John used these mystical/spiritual words, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
Some of the words or phrases that we could use to express God’s holiness are --
Light is associated with TRUTH, and darkness with deceit and deception. God is the source of all truth, and the whole universe was created through His truth and wisdom. All truth is from God—all scientific, medical, technological, and spiritual truths are from God, and dispensed to mankind according to the will of God.
As well as being perfect in truth, God is perfect in every moral attribute—in love and graciousness—He is just and merciful. He has unadulterated spirituality, righteousness, purity, and wisdom. There is no defect of imperfection -- no mixture of any thing alien to absolute excellency -- no capacity of any deterioration in His holiness. There is an absolute purity of His nature and will. He has a perfect penetrative knowledge of the hearts and imaginations of every individual. His glory and majesty are indescribable and incomprehensible by human minds. He has an unchangeable hatred of all evil and injustice. He is the source of all noble and beautiful expressions of human nature—unchangeable love, faithfulness, graciousness, kindness, purity, patience, longsuffering, humility, self-control, goodness, and gentleness
In this dark world with all of its imperfections, it is fitting that God should be represented as pure and perfect light—“God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
TO WALK IN THE LIGHT OF HOLINESS
“…but if we walk in the Light[of God] as He Himself [Jesus] is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Before proceeding further, it is necessary to distinguish between the various forms of holiness. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary describes the two basic aspects of holiness—morally above reproach, and sanctification or consecration to God’s work.
“HOLY--Moral and ethical wholeness or perfection; freedom from moral evil. Holiness is one of the essential elements of God's nature required of His people. Holiness may also be rendered "sanctification" or "godliness." The word holy denotes that which is "sanctified" or "set apart" for divine service.” from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary
1. To be sanctified and to be holy are different forms of holiness, however, they have different but related expressions. To be sanctified is to be totally consecrated or set apart, the usual sense being that we are separated from the world and sanctified to God and the Lord Jesus Christ for divine service.
2. To be holy as God is holy is to be absolute in moral perfection, without any trace of moral impurity whatsoever. Sanctification or being set apart is a part of God’s holiness in that He is separated from all created beings by His incomparable holiness. An example of the relationship between sanctification and moral perfection is illustrated in Christ’s final prayer to God in the presence of His disciples. (Jn 17). Jesus, although He was one with God in His moral perfection or holiness, prayed, “Sanctify them [set His disciples apart from the world] by Your truth. Your word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself [set Myself apart to them to minister to them], that they also may be sanctified by the truth [that I reveal to them by the Spirit].” John 17:17,19.
3. By the cross of Jesus, we are cleansed from every stain of sin, and so we have imputed holiness, in that from a spiritual point of view we are holy and blameless in God’s eyes. “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…” Col 1:21-22. And naturally, by the holiness or perfect righteousness ascribed to us through the cross of Jesus, and by our spiritual regeneration, we are sanctified or set apart from the world, and consecrated to God.
WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S HOLINESS THROUGH THE LIFE OF JESUS IN US.
Walking in the light, as He is in the light, is no mere imitation of God, but to walk in union with the essential essence of God’s being, as it is expressed by the light of the life of Jesus Christ in us. He is the light of the world. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12
LIGHT, TRUTH, and LIFE are so much a part of the attributes of Jesus Christ they are listed amongst His many titles.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [John the Baptist] This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, [Jesus Christ] that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:6-9.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of [true spiritual] life." John 8:12
“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life [the life of the Father expressed by Jesus as He dwells in us]. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“…what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [Jesus, the manifested Truth of God’s Life]--and the life was manifested…”1Jn 1:1.
To walk in the light of God is to allow Jesus to manifest His life in us. Paul says of Christ, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Col 2:8-10. It follows that to walk in the light of the life of Jesus in us, is to walk in the light of God Himself.
However, walking in the light provided by Jesus involves us in making a deliberate choice. We can walk in the flesh in darkness by surrendering to the desires of the flesh, or in the light of the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:2.
To explain this walk in the light of the Spirit further, Paul advises us that, “…those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal 5:22-26.
How do we crucify the flesh? Certainly not by our own willpower, as that would be using our flesh to try to crucify itself. It is only the Spirit who can crucify the flesh. Paul explains this when he says, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die [you will be spiritually dead]; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live [have spiritual life].” Rom 8:12-13.
How do we invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to come to our aid in putting the deeds of the flesh to death? The focus of all spiritual light and truth is the cross of Jesus Christ, and all that we have spiritually through His sacrificial death for us.
Firstly we must understand that to pay the penalty of the sins of man, Jesus had to be the representative of mankind on the cross. Consequently, He had to accept upon Himself God’s judgment on all of the sin associated with mankind. That was the only way He could pay the full penalty for the sin of all mankind. This explains why Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us [all mankind], that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor 5:21.
Secondly we must realise that if Jesus became mankind on the cross, we, from a spiritual point of view, are reckoned by God to be incorporated with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. Paul expressed this truth to the Roman church when he wrote,
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man [with its carnal nature] was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Rom 6:3-7.
Having realised our union with Christ in His death and resurrection, Paul now advises us to ‘put off’ our carnal nature by declaring it crucified in Christ. “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man [the nature you had before your salvation, controlled by the lusts and desires of the flesh] which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:20-24. In Romans, Paul clarifies what he means by ‘put on the new man.’ “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.” Rom 13:14. By faith we are to live in union with Jesus Christ, who by the Spirit, dwells in our hearts.
We ‘put off’ the ‘old man,’ under the control of the flesh by reckoning it to be crucified in Jesus on the cross. We ‘put on’ Jesus by reckoning that spiritually, as we were united with Christ in His death, we were also raised with Him in His resurrection, and now live in union with Him in His resurrected life. Practically speaking, it is to reject the demands of the flesh, declaring them crucified in Christ, and put on Christ to live in dependence on His overcoming life in us. Using an analogy, Jesus told His disciples, "I am the true vine…"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:1,5-6,&4. We are to live our new lives abiding in Jesus Christ, and He abiding in us. We live in union with Him as a branch does the vine, drawing life and spiritual growth and purity from His indwelling presence. When we reject our carnal nature, declaring it crucified with Christ, and open our hearts to allow Christ to replace our corrupt nature with the light of His life in us, the Holy Spirit makes this act of our will a living reality.
This is the very essence of walking in the light of God’s holiness. We are to walk in the light of the purity, righteousness—in the fullness of Jesus Christ who is the Light of God.
WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF JESUS THE TRUTH
The foremost Christian truths relate to Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, and all the ways in which we have benefited from it. Of course the central truth is that we have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan, reconciled to God, and are eternally saved. Behind this fundamental truth is the fact that our sins are forgiven, and that we have been made eternally righteous.
On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment due to us for our sins—sins in the past, present, and in the future. Not only are our sins forgiven, but from a spiritual point of view, we are eternally righteous in God’s eyes, and this spiritual truth has to be acknowledged by Satan and his powers of darkness.
It is important that we understand the difference between spiritual reality, and the physical reality of our way of life. From a natural physical point of view we keep on sinning. Spiritually, we are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, not by our own worthiness, but by the perfection of the sacrifice offered for our sins on the altar of the cross. When we walk in the light of spiritual truth, continually consigning our carnal natures to the cross, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid, gradually putting to death the deeds of our flesh. The gap between our physical sin natures, and our perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ becomes less and less. This spiritual walk is often called the path of holiness—a spiritual path that is essential to all Christians who desire to please God. Paul pleads with the Corinthians to maintain their spiritual path of holiness in the fear of God.
“For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate [sanctified to God], says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." 'I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Cor 6:14-7:2.
Knowing that from a spiritual viewpoint we are eternally righteous, but from a practical viewpoint we continue to sin, God has made provision for us to maintain righteousness, even though we sin. That is why the apostle John says that if we walk in the light of this central truth of the atoning power of the blood of Jesus. The key bible reading continues, “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin,”—not just our sins, but the very principle and power of SIN. We “have fellowship with one another” because we all share in this truth, and are all partakers of this grace.
Even though, spiritually speaking, we are eternally righteousness, we all have the problem of the continuing sin in our daily walk. The final part of John’s reading assures us that God has made provision for the sin that occurs in our daily lives. First we are told that we are all sinners. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”…But then we are assured that if we confess our sins to God, not only will we be forgiven, but also we will be continually cleansed from all unrighteousness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is an absolute cleansing and purification from all the defilement caused by our sinning—a cleansing of our minds and consciences of guilt, and defilement to our bodies, souls, and spirits.
WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S LOVE
There are two aspects of walking in the light of God’s love:
1. Knowing God’s love for us.
2. Walking in the light of God’s love for us
· In our relationship with God.
· In our relationship with each other.
Knowing God’s Love for Us
It is impossible to conjure up the knowledge of God’s love for us by our minds or emotions. The love of God is made known to us by the Spirit. He may implant the knowledge of God’s love directly into our hearts in response to heartfelt praise and worship, or as the ‘Comforter,’ assure us of God’s love in a time of sorrow or despair. But His primary means of our knowing God’s love is through the WORD. However this depends on how we read the bible. The very first essential is that we believe that it is the word of God given to man, and as such, it is absolutely true. If we harbour doubts about its authenticity, we can never receive it into our hearts.
Next, we must believe that it has a real spiritual power invested in it by the Holy Spirit. Unless we believe that it is of God and empowered by the Spirit, we may read it as we would as just another book, and completely miss out on its inherent spiritual power to affect out lives. Heb 4:12. “For the word of God [empowered by the Holy Spirit] is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Even knowing that the Bible is the word of God, it still requires us to have open eyes, open ears, and an open heart to believe that what we are presented with applies to us personally. Jesus warned His disciples about people who “just didn’t get it.’
“But others [spiritual seeds of truth] fell on good ground [an open heart] and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Matt 13:8-13.
“And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" “He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. [because they haven’t opened their hearts to the truth]” Mark 4:10-12.
Let the Word Reveal the Extent of God’s Love of Us Personally
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8-9.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:37-39.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11.
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:15-16.
“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…” Eph 2:4-7.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Eph 5:1-2.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom 8:28
“If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12-13.
“The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17.
"Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments…” Deut 7:9-10.
“I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.” Ps 18:1-3.
Our Response Should be to Love God With All Our Hearts
This is an act of our will—a decision of our hearts.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deut 6:5.
To Love God is to Serve Him, to Obey Him, and Love Our Brethren
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” Deut 10:12-13.
“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” 1 John 2:5-6.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:2-3.
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Heb 6:10-11.
The Nature of God’s Love Manifested Through Us to Others
The love we should express to others is selfless, putting others before ourselves, never offended or put off. It is best described by Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor 13:4-7.
Despite All Circumstances
Sooner of later, in times of grief or deprivation, we are prompted by Satan to harbour resentment, and even rebellion towards God. It is at these times that we determine to have the heart of Habbakuk, who prayed,
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls --
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Hab 3:17-19.
WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S GRACE
Various Meanings of Grace
Paul condemned those who ordered Christians to abstain from marrying and eating certain foods, “…forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Tim 4:3-5 This reading is important to those who belittle the importance of saying grace before a meal, as it shows that our grace sanctifies the food we eat, and blesses it to our wellbeing.
A second point to be noted is that if our food is to be blessed, it must be received with thanksgiving in our hearts, without grumbling because we don’t like that particular kind of food.
2. Grace in Our Deportment.
A person is said to have grace, or be graceful, if they have elegance and beauty of movement or expression.
Having grace, or a gracious demeanour, is to have an attitude of kindness, compassion; and consideration for others. Because the Lord displayed graciousness to all, it should be a mark of Christian growth and maturity.
“And the Word became 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 1:14.
For example, a gracious man shows sympathy and discretion when he comes into the knowledge of another man’s indiscretion.
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.” Prov 19:11.
“Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
So they will be life to your soul,
And grace [as an ornament] to your neck.” Prov 3:21-22.
Compare those with grace and discretion, with talebearers who can’t wait to spread out another’s indiscretions, unmindful of the dangerous hurt they are creating.
“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell [by Satan].” James 3:5-7.
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.” Prov 21:23.
4. God’s Grace
The rest of this study will be devoted to examining the blessing of God’s grace towards us. Let the word of His grace find a place in our hearts.
“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.” Ps 116:5-7.
The association of walking in the grace of God and entering into His rest will be enlarged on later.
“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” Ps 86:15.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Ps 103:8.
“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.” Ps 130:3-4.
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” Ps 86:5
Thankfully, the Lord does not punish us in the light of the measure of our iniquities, but is gracious, merciful, and quick to receive a repentant appeal to the blood of Jesus.
“Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.” Isa 55:7.
Our thoughts are a fertile ground for hatred, lust, envy, pride etc, even to resentment at our circumstances, which is in fact resentment against God.
Eternal Righteousness Through God’s Grace
Grace is the free and unmerited favour of God towards us despite our corrupt natures. Despite our sinful natures, we are saved by grace—by the merit of Christ’s sacrifice instead of our good natures or works.
“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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:4-10.
Even the faith for our salvation is by grace—a gift from God which allows us to believe in salvation and receive it .
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom 5:1-3.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence [insight and understanding which results from wisdom].”…Eph 1:7-8.
“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace [literally, grace heaped upon grace]. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-18. The more we mature spiritually and look back on our lives, we see that we have been recipients of God’s grace, over and over again—in truth, grace heaped upon grace.
Sanctified by the Grace of God
Paul was commissioned by God to minister to unbelievers, “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'” Acts 26:17-18. To be sanctified to God is to be set apart to Him to receive the full measure of His covenant blessings.
“But you were washed [cleansed from sin by the word of salvation], but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11.
“By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb 10:10.
The State of Those Under the Divine Influence of Grace
Christians are delivered from the curse of the law of sin and death, and now live in a state of grace and blessing.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ…” John 1:17.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Rom 6:14. By grace we have been delivered from the power of sin.
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift…” 1 Cor 1:4-7.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Cor 9:8-9. By the grace of God we are assured of not only being provided with sufficiency for all our needs, and still more to minister to others.
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.” Eph 4:7. By the grace of God, we are granted gifts of the Spirit, and faith to use them.
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” Cor 1:12.
How Should We Respond to the Grace of God
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” 2 Cor 6:1
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Eph 4:29
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Col 4:6.
“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess 1:11-12.
“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter 3:18.
Enter into God’s Rest by the Virtue of His Grace
To walk in God’s grace is to walk in the established truth in our hearts, that God’s grace, love and faithfulness, apply to you personally. As you grow spiritually, you learn to trust in God’s love, faithfulness, and grace, more and more, so that you are able to relinquish more and more of your needs into His hands, assured in your hearts that He will fulfil them in perfect wisdom. This relieves you from anxious striving and establishes you in His rest.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:16.