GOD’S GIFTS: THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 5)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

THE STRANGE WOMAN

“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.” (Prov. 7:4-5)

The world as the “adulteress” tries to establish a long time affair with the born again believer in order to cripple their spiritual walk. Sometimes this can be done by causing the Christian to lose hope because of being overtaken in a fault and continuously stumbling concerning a particular sin or weakness.

This affair can also be established by causing the believer to choose to continue in a worldly path or practice expecting that God will overlook it, not care about it, or even bless it even though it might not be “exactly the right thing to do”.

The world as the “strange woman” (or harlot, or whorish woman) on the other hand, tries to convince Christians through various deceitful and erroneous means that they must be misunderstanding what God actually has said or wants them to do because everything else seems to point to the opposite.

One Biblical example of this would be the serpent in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit she would not “surely die”, when in reality her and Adam were separated from God and died spiritually.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)

As Jesus said concerning Satan:

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

In the same way that Satan used the serpent, he uses the world.

Thus as the proverb says, the “strange woman…flattereth with her words.”

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5)

Here the Bible is clear. If the deceit of the world is taken and followed without repentance, it will lead to destruction.

The escape from condemnation for believers has a contingency:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)

There are those who say “God is love. He will love me no matter what I do.” (1 John 4:8) This is true. God is love, and He will love you no matter what. However, it does matter what you do.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

This worldly deception that “the flesh doesn’t matter” was a doctrine held by a cult of the early church called the Nicolaitanes. They believed that as long as you had accepted Christ then your spirit was right with God and it did not matter what you did with your flesh. God speaks in The Revelation concerning this doctrine:

“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2:6)

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

By studying the scriptures in Proverbs concerning the harlot, we can further understand this deception of the world:

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)” (Pro 7:10-12)

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.” (Pro 7:13-15)

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” (Pro 7:16-18)

“For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.” (Pro 7:19-21)

Again we see, she “lieth in wait at every corner.” Satan uses the world to stalk the Christian. He will make sure that the world’s temptation will confront you face to face.

God told Cain: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” (Gen. 4:7)

God wants us to know that as long as we are in the world we will always be confronted with temptation. We will always be faced with choosing the way of the Spirit or the way of the flesh.

The harlot says, “This day have I payed my vows.” In other words she is saying that she has already given God the sacrifice in advance for her sin, so everything is alright.

In the same way, the world says, “As long as you believe in God everything will be alright.”

While God says:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

We know the devils will not spend eternity with God in heaven. It takes more than just believing in God.

The world says, “Go to Church, pay your tithe, give God his day and the rest of the week is yours.”

While God says:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)

It takes more than just one day a week.

God does not want a service. God desires a relationship. God wants you to “walk in the Spirit and fulfill not the lust of the flesh.”

And finally, the harlot says “the good man is not at home…he will come home at the time appointed.” In other words, “We have plenty of time. We don’t have to worry about being caught.”

The world today says, “I’ve heard about Jesus coming my whole life and he hasn’t come yet.” “No need to worry about that until it happens.”

The Bible says:

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27)

Whether it be today, tomorrow, or years from now, when we die then that will be our time for the coming of Christ, because that is when we will see Him face to face.

And whether it is the day of the return of Christ to this earth or whether it is the day of our time to face death, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man”. (Matt. 24:36)

The world says, “God has more important things to worry about besides me.”

But Jesus says:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6)

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:44)

The strange woman says, “…he is gone a long journey.”

This is symbolic of the Church Age. The time we are in now. The time before the second coming of Christ.

Jesus said, “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Jesus is coming for a people, a church “…not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)

The Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to running a race (Heb. 12:1). Are we running toward the world or toward the Lord?

If we are walking away from the world, then we are walking after the Spirit.

(NEXT: The Fool and the Wise)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 4)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

THE ADULTERESS WOMAN

“Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Prov. 7:27)

Although the Bible teaches that fornication and adultery are sins to abstain from and repent of, it places no greater emphasis on these than on any other.

However, in the Book of Proverbs the subject is dealt with so extensively that it becomes apparent that the adulteress, harlot, or strange woman represents more than it first appears.

In the Book of James in the New Testament we find that someone who is a friend of the world is called an adulterer or adulteress:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Thus we find out that the adulteress or strange woman represents the world. What the Book of Proverbs has to say about the immoral woman teaches us how the devil will use the world to draw us away from the path of righteousness and from walking in the Spirit.

“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Prov. 6:26)

As with the parables of Jesus, the proverbs have a practical application and a spiritual meaning.

The practical application of this particular proverb is that sexual immorality will cause an individual to lose their family, lose their honor, lose their reputation, and even lose their business and prosperity; thus reducing him or her to “a piece of bread”.

The spiritual truth lies in the statement that “…the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”

You need to understand that you are precious in the eyes of God. Jesus said:

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)

You are special to God. Jesus has said that no man would come to Him unless the Father draw him. (John 6:44)

The Bible says that you were chosen in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4) When you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you and loved you and even called together the parts of your body in the way that He wanted them to be fashioned. (Psalm 139)

He chose you and called you, and you answered His call, and now you are precious in His sight:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Peter 2:9)

However, in the same way that the Lord wanted you, chose you, and called you, the world that at one time had you does not want to give you up. It will try to draw you and entice you with all that it has if you will only choose to follow its way.

Jesus understands:

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

The devil used the world to tempt Jesus and he will use it in the same way to tempt you:

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-6)

Jesus said you cannot serve “two masters”. (Matt. 6:24)

You cannot walk towards the world and towards the Lord at the same time. You cannot concurrently walk in worldliness and walk in the Spirit.

Many a man and woman of God has lost the anointing because they chose profit margins, attendance records, social recognition, and building a ministry over walking in the Spirit.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10)

The message to learn from this proverb is that the world is stalking the Christian.

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

We cannot ignore the world. We cannot separate ourselves and have nothing to do with the world.

But we can resist the world. We can be aware that the world and all of its ways are not designed by the devil for the sinner, but they are designed to draw away and entrap the believer from following the ways of the Lord.

And the world has targeted you to make sure that its ways are always presented as an option for you to choose.

We must always ask ourselves, “Is this the way the world would have me do it or is this the way the Lord would have me do it? Is this what the world does or is this what the Lord would do?”

If we choose the still small voice of our new nature, if we choose the voice of our born again spiritual man who is being guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, even if that voice goes against the rationality of our mind, then we are walking in the Spirit.

(NEXT: The Strange Woman)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 3)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” (Prov. 1:5-6)

Many people believe that the Book of Proverbs is just a book of lessons on the practical principles of daily living.

But here we read at the beginning of the book that it says of itself there is an interpretation to these dark sayings.

The Hebrew word for dark sayings literally means puzzle or riddle. So we see that just as it is with the parables that Jesus told, so it is with the Book of Proverbs.

On the surface they seem like practical stories or instructions concerning the natural world around us, but underneath the surface there are deeper spiritual meanings.

Although there are many subjects touched upon in the Book of Proverbs, there are two main and prevalent themes written about and woven throughout the book.

These are the comparison of the wise and the foolish, and the warnings concerning the strange or adulteress woman.

By understanding the spiritual truths underlying these two themes, we can better comprehend how the flesh and the world operate to deceive us into yielding to temptation and hindering our walk in the Spirit.

(NEXT: The Adulteress Woman)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 2)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1Peter 5:8)

It has been said that a good general knows his enemy.

Our enemy is that old deceiver and liar, the devil. But he works with two associates to tempt us and keep us from the victory. These companions of the devil in his endeavors are the world and the flesh.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

“Because the carnal mind (carnal: pertaining to the flesh or the body) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7)

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1John 2:16)

When we become a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God has “…delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col. 1:13)

Satan no longer has any direct power over you. He can no longer force you in any way to do his will. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that as far as the born again child of God is concerned, the devil has been paralyzed.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)

The word in the Greek that is translated destroy in the King James Version literally means paralyzed.

That is why the Bible tells us in 1 Peter that the devil goes about as a “roaring lion” seeking “whom he may devour”.

Naturalists and the Bible tell us that it is the young lion that is quiet and stealthy as he sneaks up on his prey (Psalm 17:12). It is the old lion that is slow and weak and roars to frighten off the other predators so that he can eat the wounded prey that they have attacked.

Since the devil cannot physically attack you or stop you from serving the Lord, he works through the things and people of the world and through the flesh to tempt you to sin and wound yourself so that then he “may devour”.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

The Bible says to “…resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7), but it also says to “…neither give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:27)

The word translated “place” here in the King James Version literally means scabbard in the Greek. A scabbard is a covering or a place for a sword. The sword is ineffective when in the scabbard. The Bible says the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17)

In order to be effectual in resisting the devil with the sword of the Spirit, we must first remove any “place” in our life that Satan may have gained through the world or the flesh, so that we may then be unencumbered to walk freely in the Spirit.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Heb. 12:1)

This is done by understanding the way that the devil uses the world and flesh together to deceive us and draw us into sin and iniquity.

The enemy’s goal is to wound us to the point of losing hope and faith, so that we give up and our sins become presumptuous to the point that we are unable to be used of God.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18)

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Ti 2:21)

(NEXT: Hidden Truths)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 1)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

The Bible teaches us that when we come to Christ and are born again, we become “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

God creates within us a new spirit, a new man, a new nature, born in His image, in the likeness of the Spirit of God.

He gives us new desires. He gives us a hunger for righteousness and holiness and a longing to please our Heavenly Father.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within us, the Comforter sent by God helps alongside and empowers our new man to walk after and seek after those things which are right.

However, we still dwell in the same old fleshly body with the same old sin nature. And therein lies the war.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Rom. 7:18-19)

“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Rom. 7:20-21)

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom. 7:22-23)

“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Rom. 7:24-25)

The Apostle Paul says that it is God through Jesus Christ our Lord who shall deliver us in this war between the flesh and the spirit; however we seem to find ourselves many times taking two steps forward, yielding to temptation, and taking one step back.

The key to being an overcomer and winning the victory over the flesh is to walk in the Spirit.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16)

If walking in the Spirit is the key to victory, ignorance of knowing how to walk in the Spirit is the pathway to destruction.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hos. 4:6)

God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but has promised that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).

The Lord has provided the answers in His Word to those who are willing to search, but like the parables that Jesus told, they are hidden to those who are without.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” (Prov. 25:2)

Since the Bible says that we shall reign as kings and priests with Christ, it is our honor to search out the hidden truths.

(NEXT: Three Enemies)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: GRACE (Part 4)

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

We see by the Word of God that Jesus rejected the blessings. How can we be sure that God accepted this offer to transfer His obedience for our disobedience? How can we be sure of the place with God wherein we stand?

Because the new covenant has already been established.

“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” (Heb. 8:8)

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:24)

Since the new covenant has been established, then the old covenant has passed away. And if the old covenant has passed away, then it had to have been fulfilled.

Part of that fulfillment was the issuing of the blessings. If the blessings that Jesus obtained have been issued, where are they now?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

They have been issued and placed into our account to be drawn upon by faith.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6)

When we become a believer in Jesus Christ, receive Him into our heart, commit our life unto Him, and are born again, God bestows His grace (unmerited favor, acceptance) upon us and places us in the position of grace.

He then gives the power of His grace within us to begin to empower change in our life.

As we yield to the power of this grace and allow our lives to be transformed by His power, we begin to become the vessels through which God can touch the lives of others.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2Tim. 2:19)

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” (2Tim. 2:20)

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Tim. 2:21)

God has already placed you in the position of His grace. He has already placed within you the power of His grace. Now by believing that this has all been done because of what Jesus Christ purchased for you at Calvary, you can walk in the grace of God, sufficient in all things, dependent on His power, unto every good work.

(NEXT: God’s Gifts: His Spirit)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

GOD’S GIFTS: GRACE (Part 3)

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

To those of us who have accepted Christ and been born again, God has bestowed upon us His unmerited favor and put us in the position of grace because of the blood of Jesus Christ.

And because we are in this position of grace, God wants to manifest the power of grace so that we can abound to every good work.

He wants to give “grace for grace”.

This is helped by our understanding and having faith in the “atonement”.

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom. 5:11)

In the Greek, the word translated “atonement” in the King James Version actually means “the exchange”. This “atonement” or “exchange” happened at Calvary.

The Bible teaches us that before a new covenant can be established, the old covenant has to be fulfilled. Jesus said that He came to fulfill the old covenant which was the Law of Moses.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Mat. 5:17)

The Bible says that sin is “the transgression of the law”, but that Jesus committed no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, Jesus fulfilled the law in all points.

The Law of Moses promised that there would be certain blessings bestowed upon anyone who kept or fulfilled the law and did not transgress it.

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deu. 28:2)

Among the blessings that would be given to those who fulfilled the law were long life, prosperity, health, and righteousness.

The law could not be fulfilled and blotted out of the way in order that a new covenant could take its place until these promises were bestowed. God says, “If you do this, then I will do this.” This is what constitutes a “covenant” or “contract”.

And yet we see Jesus, who rightfully earned these blessings by fulfilling the law, but not receiving them.

The law promised long life, yet Jesus gave His life at the young age of 33. The law promised prosperity, but Jesus said that “the son of man hath nowhere to lay his head.”

The law promised health and sickness removed from their midst, yet Jesus “took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses”.

Jesus earned these blessings but did not receive them. Why?

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor. 5:21)

Because all of mankind had transgressed the law, man deserved the curses of disobedience. By being the only man to fulfill the law, Jesus deserved the blessings.

Jesus willingly rejected the blessings contained in the law and accepted the curses, so that He could transfer the blessings of His fulfillment to those of us who have believed on Him through the cross.

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Gal. 3:10)

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” (Gal. 3:11-12)

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal. 3:13)

This is the atonement, the “exchange”.

This is where faith for grace lies.

I am not blessed because I was faithful to pay my tithe or give an offering. I can expect to be blessed because Jesus fulfilled the law for blessings but rejected the reward for that fulfillment in order to pass it to those who believe.

I cannot expect to be healed because I have been faithful to work for God and now He owes it to me. I can expect to be healed because Jesus earned it by fulfilling the law and rejected it so that I can receive it.

I am not righteous because of my holy lifestyle, but I am righteous in the sight of God because Jesus became cursed so that I could have His righteousness. 

What freedom from all self- dependency! This answers all of my questions:

Why does God love me?

Why would God hear me?

Why would God answer my prayers?

How could God use me?

The answer is because of the atonement, because of the exchange done through Calvary.
As the Apostle Paul said,

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Php. 4:13)

(NEXT: God’s Chosen Vessel)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices