God’s Unmerited Favor

21 Aug
By Jonathan Doctor

Mark 11:28 (Message)

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Mat 11:29

Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
 
Mat 11:30    

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
 
            God’s Unmerited Favor will  set you free from the deceptions of the “religion” of works and trying to earn God’s favor and acceptance. The Good News of the Gospel is that it is called a Gospel of Grace. The Bible is a book of covenants, and as Christians we are included in the Covenant of Grace.
 

            God is a God of Grace, the Spirit of God is called the Spirit of Grace, The Word of God is called the Word of Grace, the Gospel we  preach is a Gospel of Grace, and the Apostle Paul declared; “Let him be cursed” who preaches another Gospel. The Bible says that we can “fall from Grace” and that we can actually become cursed if we try to keep the law and earn our way with God.

 

            The good news is that the promises of God are a free Gift of God to Us in Christ. The good news is that we have inherited thousands of God’s promises and more good news is that we don’t have to earn them. As people learn this Gospel truth about God’s unmerited favor, they will stop burning themselves out trying to earn their salvation blessings through their religious efforts. As people learn to receive by faith and grace what Christ died to earn them they will enter into rest, peace, security and a blessed richness of Abundant Life.

 

            God has said in Psalm 111:5 that He will ever be mindful of His Covenant. The Covenant of Grace that we are included in is a Covenant between A Perfect and Holy God and a Perfect and Holy Man. The problem is that we can NEVER live up to the conditions of the Covenant, man can never be that perfect. That’s where Jesus – the Christ came as a Holy God-Man – the last Adam and the second Man. Jesus did our part of the covenant, he fulfilled all righteousness on our behalf, he took our place on the cross to take the punishments we deserve for being covenant breakers. Jesus also took our place as a Man fulfilling all the obligations of the law and covenant, that’s why He said “It is Finished!” Once for all thank God it is finished.

 

            This Covenant is between Perfection and Perfection, it is a Holy Covenant and without Christ we cannot take part in it. Galatians 3:16 says that as God was making Covenant with Abraham He was actually making covenant with Christ – the seed. If we belong to Christ we are included in the Covenant. If we don’t belong to Christ than we are as Ephesians 2 describes; cut off from the covenants of promise and without hope and without God.

 

What is Grace, what is it NOT


            
      Grace IS simply a Free Gift. In most cases Grace in the Bible refers to God’s Unmerited Favor; In other words, unmerited is another way of saying Free; or you get it even though you didn’t earn, merit or pay for it. I want to point out that God’s Free Gift of Grace and Favor is NOT a LICENSE to sin.
 

      After study of the Word of God I am a firm believer that Once your saved YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS SAVED. Unfortunately people CAN walk away from Christ After they received Him. Why anyone would want to walk away from their Salvation I don’t know, perhaps it is because they have been taught that God’s Grace justifies their sinning. In fact God’s Grace does not justify you to sin. God’s Grace is part of God’s Character,

 

Jesus is a perfect example of the Character of Grace. Lets look at the Word to see my point.

 

 

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in ery; and when they had set her in the midst,

 

John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

 

John 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

 

John 8:6 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].

 

John 8:7 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.

 

John 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

 

John 8:9 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.

 

John 8:10 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?

 

John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 

 

John 5:5 NLT One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty- eight years.

 

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, He asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

 

John 5:7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

 

John 5:8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

 

John 5:9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,

 

John 5:10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

 

John 5:11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'”

 

John 5:12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

 

John 5:13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.

 

John 5:14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

 

 

     I want you to notice that Jesus Restored the woman in ery and forgave her and did not condemn her but said “go and sin no more“. You see Grace will Forgive and Restore a person BUT Grace also says “Go and sin No More”. Also notice the paralyzed man who was made whole, Grace Healed him but Grace also said “Stop sinning or something worse will happen“.

 

     You see the problem in some churches today is that they go too far to the right or too far to the left. They either Condemn a saint for their sins, or they make Grace a License to sin and do whatever because they believe that “Once saved Always Saved”. The True Meaning of Grace is Restoration, Healing and ‘Go sin no more’, live a Holy life.

 

 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

 

Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly s, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

     So the balanced teaching and definition of Grace when related to sin is to Restore, Heal, Deliver and then Go and sin no more. Correction has its place, but don’t let Condemnation keep you or anyone else from Restoration, Healing and every other benefit of Grace. Grace Teaches us to Live Holy Lives.

 

     The Once saved Always saved teaching cannot be a correct aspect of Grace. Just like a man and a woman come together in Holy Matrimony; as they do, they make a commitment to be together until death if need be. Unfortunately many marriages end up in divorce even though they made a commitment to be united forever. Someone in that marriage walked away from that Covenant, in the case of Marriage, sometimes they both walk away from their Covenant and Commitment to God and each other. Our God does not walk away from His Covenant with us; man always is the one to walk away from God. 

 

The Covenant of Grace Defined

A covenant is: a mutual, binding obligation between two or more individuals, who, contingent upon certain conditions, promise certain things to each other. Between God and man there is therefore such a covenant of grace in the true sense of the word.

 

      This COVENANT OF GRACE is a holy, magnificent, well–ordered, and eternal agreement or treaty between the all–sufficient, good, omnipotent, righteous, faithful, true, and immutable God on the one side, and on the other side with man, who by nature are born sinful, condemnable, impotent, abominable, with a ful nature.

     The New Testament Word for Covenant carries the meaning that God fulfills both His and our requirements of the demands of the Law. He not only took the Punishment for us being covenant breakers but Also Fulfilled the Righteous requirements of the Law for us… making us Righteous and worthy to receive the Blessings of the Covenant.

            In this covenant God promises deliverance from all evil and the bestowal of full salvation by grace through the Mediator Jesus Christ. Man, fully delighting himself in these promises, with all his heart accepts the way revealed in the Word of God, whereby these promised benefits are to be obtained.

            In doing so, the sinner, by way of the covenant, surrenders himself to God and becomes justified by faith through Jesus Christ. God, for the assurance of the covenant seals the Covenant by His own shed at the cross and remembered by means of Holy Communion, all this to the magnification of His free and unfathomable grace.

            In order for someone to have dealings with God by way of a covenant, and to get the proper advantage from this established covenant of Grace, this person must be clearly convinced in his heart that:

Ÿ         God establishes a covenant with man;

Ÿ         Invites man to enter into a covenant with Him;

Ÿ         That man is permitted to have and can have, and does have covenant dealings with God.

Scriptural Evidence for the Existence of the Covenant of Grace

            Genesis 15 describes, along with various noteworthy circumstances, the covenant transaction between God and Abraham. In it God, accommodating Himself to the manner of men, commanded Abraham to slaughter animals, cut them in half, and place the pieces opposite each other. Abraham was obedient, agreed, and prepared everything. God then allowed a smoking furnace and a burning lamp to proceed between these pieces, and thus established a covenant with Abraham.

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Gen. 17:7);

“. . . I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . this shall be the covenant . . . I will put My law in their inward parts . . . and will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer. 31:31, 33);

“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them” (Jer. 32:38–40).

 

     The New Testament also makes frequent mention of this covenant. Among others, this is confirmed in the following: Galatians 3:16,29 “To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant” (Luke 1:72);

“. . . being aliens from the covenants of promise . . .” (Eph. 2:12);

“By so much was Jesus made a Surety of a better testament” (Heb. 7:22);

“the Mediator of a better covenant” (Heb. 8:6).

Consider also those scriptures which speak of men entering into that covenant.

“Yield yourselves unto the LORD” (2 Chronicles. 30:8);

“And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul” (2 Chronicles. 15:12);

“and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant” (Ezek. 20:37);

“And because of all this we make a sure covenant” (Neh. 9:38).

This is also the meaning of Isaiah 44:5:

“One shall say, I am the Lord’s . . . and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD.”

      All these scriptures clearly confirm that there is a covenant transaction between God and believers, and that it is initiated from God’s side by way of promise, and from the side of man by acceptance and surrender.

 

            As a person repents and turns and surrenders their life to Christ they are entering this covenant, as they commit themselves to Christ and to live a New Life they will receive their New Heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34  Ezekiel 11:19-20 Ezekiel 36: 25-28). This New Heart is a Circumcised Heart (Col. 2:11) circumcised by Christ Himself. As a believer goes through water baptism they are showing by outward manifestation an inward change of heart having their new circumcised heart. 

 

            This New Heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34 Ezekiel 11:19-20 Ezekiel 36: 25-28) has now the new nature and Love of God (Romans 5:5) they are New Creations (2 Corin. 5:17) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) as their outward proof of their salvation experience. They are now living for Christ as a Covenant People, no longer living for themselves, like the Apostle Paul they can say “I am crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ Living in me.

 

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One Response to “God’s Unmerited Favor”

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