"I have learned by experience that God hath blessed me for Thy sake"
The truth that we are blessed in accordance with the person and merit of Christ is not without complications. Some will misunderstand and misapply this gift of grace because all of God's truth is subject to those who "wrest... the Scriptures to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:16).
Some will see an opportunity for irresponsibility in the truth that God so graciously works in our lives. False professors of true faith will believe and proclaim that our own doings are insignificant in the light of such truth. "Let us do evil, that good may come" was the cry of the Apostle Paul's day by those who forgot or never knew that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:8; John 1:17; emphasis added). God's freely given favor in Christ is never administered apart from the light of His nature, character, and way. It can be misunderstood and misappropriated, however, if we are not wary of Satan's ongoing efforts to deceive. Even genuinely born again believers can be led astray by the error, especially in a generation wherein the Christian Gospel is too often corrupted by compromise in order to make it palatable for the masses.
As with Paul, even a faithful presentation of God's grace and truth will be wrested by some to their destruction. Therefore, we must not fear the bold acclamation of the scope and magnitude of the freest gift ever given. We state the truth in the clearest Biblical terms possible, trusting the Holy Spirit to rightly interpret it to needy hearts We stand strong in the joyous presentation that the person and work of Christ are the primary issues whereby He redeems us unto God. "Look and live" declared Moses to the poisoned children of Israel, directing their attention to the brass image of the serpent on the pole whereby they were healed (Numbers 21:8-9). Born again believers in the Lord Jesus commend the same attention to our Savior, who was "made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). We "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," and are "changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (Hebrews 12:2; II Corinthians 3:18).
Grace is not a license to sin. It is rather liberty to trust and obey God in the power of His indwelling Spirit. The more we understand the holy means by which such Divine favor is bestowed upon us, the more we will live accordingly. The Lord Jesus is the means. His person and His past, present, and future work for us ensure our salvation from the condemnation of sin. Growing understanding and application of such a gift will also ensure an increasing deliverance from the power of sin as our attention is diverted from ourselves to our Savior. We will consider this redirecting work of grace and truth in tomorrow's message.
"Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."