Listen to the message
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Sun am 27 January 2013 – Kobus Swart
(2 Cor. 12:10); (Matt. 10:8); (James 1:13-15); (James 2:10); 1 Cor. 15:56-57; (John 19:30);
Rom. 8:1-4; (Jude 1:4); John 8:1-11; John 20:21-23; (Gen. 39); (Acts 8 & 9)
Weakness is our introduction to the grace of God (2 Cor. 12:10). When I am weak, then I am strong, because it is no longer my strength but the grace of God that enables and empowers me to do what I could not do because of my weakness. You cannot do anything to earn grace. God’s grace has been given to us freely, and this leaves us with a challenge: freely we have received, now freely give (Matt. 10:8).
Before the Ten Commandments were given, we see Joseph (Gen. 39). The favour of God was upon him. Whatever he did prospered. When tempted, he ran away. There was no “Thou shall not…” What saved Joseph from falling into that trap? The grace of God! Paul was persecuting the Church and then had a divine encounter. Paul explains that the grace of God has been given to him in various ways. Grace is an eternal quality of God.
When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for all our sins, past and future. He does not have to die again for the sins that were committed after Calvary. He is not going to be crucified a second time. The price is fully paid for when we miss the mark tomorrow and in the future, but it did not remove our vulnerability to temptation. Do not blame God, however, when you are tempted (James 1:13-15).
The law cannot make anyone perfect, nor can it prevent you from sinning. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2:10). The law almost invites you to sin. The power of sin is the law (1 Cor 15:56,57). Jesus came to fulfill all the requirements of the law. That is why He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-4). We have been set free from the law of sin and death!
Ungodly ones crept into the early church, turning the grace of God into licentiousness (Jude 1:4). You will find people like that. Grace is not a license to continue to sin. Grace is an empowerment to overcome. Until the teaching on grace is a revelation to your spirit, you will fall back on the law every time.
The woman caught in adultery received a revelation of the grace of God and did not go back to a life of sin (John 8:1-4). The grace of God brings a restraint that is supernatural.
Freely we have received, freely give. What do you carry in your spirit? When you carry, for example, anger in your spirit, it can contaminate those around you without you saying a word. What you carry in your spirit is imparted and infects others. Are you bitter and unforgiving, or do you carry peace and grace? Can you change a conversation from negative to positive? If we had an encounter with the grace of God, why don’t we freely spread that? We must be vessels that must spread his grace. If you believe you have been fully forgiven, can you forgive? You are free by the grace of God, now you must give grace yourself. We must all become grace carriers.
If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them. I if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained (John 20:21-23). Release, forgive! You do yourself a favour by forgiving. What right do I have to withhold grace from another?
Here’s a challenge: How will we transform the next generation? “Thou shall not” is not going to change them; grace will. We need a gospel revolution or we will not touch the next generation.
The Tsunami wave created by Calvary 2000 years ago has not fully crested yet. That wave is waiting for the Church to change its message, then we will experience a final “exodus”!