Saturday, October 25, 2008

Battling Unbelief With the Small Group

Is the concept of living in the "Future Grace" of God biblical? I was rebuked through this specific study and by God's grace I will do something with what I learned. The rebuke came as a result of my failure to view God's amazing grace as all sufficient and all sustaining for every moment (now now.... you get the idea). It is all sufficient for the future not only the past. In my understanding of grace, I have always had a conception of this grace as what pertained to my salvation but not what pertained to my sanctification and holiness. Now, I am confronted with the truth, grace is not a past action of God only; it is past, but it is also present and future.

Back to my original question: Is the concept of living in the Future Grace of God biblical? Here are a few passages we covered in the lesson:
  • Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; (2 Cor. 8:1-3 KJV)

What did the grace of God produce in these churches? The Grace of God was bestowed upon these churches and the result was God glorifying Christian charity. Surely it was the continual and ever present grace of God that was experienced by this church!

  • All of Paul's letters begin and end with a reminder of God's grace. For instance, note what the letter to the Corinthians reveals about grace, "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:3, KJV)," and "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (1 Cor. 16:23, KJV)." What was Paul telling the Corinthians? What can we learn about grace from this?

  • "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:7-9, KJV)." What is important here is to understand that our sufferings are not without the grace to endure them, and in fact as the proceeding verses will help us understand, our sufferings and afflictions serve our faith; which is strengthened by the sustaining power of the grace which comes to us through them.

  • For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead...(2 Cor. 1:8-9, KJV)"

  • We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor. 4: 13-18, KJV)." Notice a correlation between faith, grace and glory?

Living in God's future grace is biblical, and it is ever present to enable our faith to grow; or to put it another way, grace feeds faith. Faith is intimately connected to God's grace.

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