The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Acceptance With God: Achieved Or Received?"
Part 6 - Grace Attacked
From the moment we trusted in the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, our spirtiual enemies began an all out assault on our continuance in God's freely given grace. They cannot steal our secured relationship with our Heavenly Father through Christ, or the fact of our righteousness in Him. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (John 10:27-28). However, the devil, the world, and the flesh are allowed by God to challenge our experience of grace and the subsequent life that reveals Christ's righteousness in us.
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7).
That which originated our relationship with God - the reception of His grace by faith - serves as the means whereby we live a life reflective of His freely given presence. Our spiritual enemies know this better than we do. Thus, they seek to "bewitch" us by distraction and deception regarding the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 3:1). Through numerous means of doctrinal and practical distraction, our foes tempt us look away rather than "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Rather than "rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith," the devil seeks to divert our focus to anything and everything other than the Person and work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf. This includes seemingly good and noble things, as well as obviously wayward paths of the flesh. As referenced in a recent message, Satan will even tempt us with the Scriptures (misapplied) if somehow it moves us away from Christ as not only the Savior of our hearts, but as the very Life of our lives (Matthew 4:1-10). "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:21). Nothing else is, or can be.
"Heavenly Father, for the adventure and challenge that this day brings, I am no less able of my own abilities to bear fruits of righteousness than I was to spiritually birth myself in Christ. I must be strong in the power of Your might. I must access by faith the grace wherein I stand and rejoice in hope of Your glory. I must trust Your promises, believe in the truth of Christ's enlivening presence, and walk by faith in Your faithfulness rather than my own futile attempts at dedication and determination. I can do nothing without the Lord Jesus, but I can do all things through Him. I therefore trust You to lead me accordingly, and I will join the Apostle Paul in his affirmation of long ago: 'We are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.' Thank You, Father, for Your perfect faithfulness that calls me to the trust of "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Psalm 39:4; Ephesians 6:10; Romans 5:1-2; Galatians 3:11; Galatians 2:20; I Thessalonians 5:24; John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 3:3; Hebrews 12:2).
Let us expect ongoing assaults against our ongoing reception of God's grace in the Lord Jesus. Thereby we will be prepared to respond by remembrance and affirmation that the Christ who began our relationship with God serves as our only hope to live in a manner worthy of our privileged responsibility to "walk even He walked" (I John 2:6). There are many adversaries" declared Paul long ago (I Corinthians 16:9). Indeed there are. We must know the challenge we face regarding grace, and arise to "fight the good fight of faith" whereby our freely given righteousness in the Savior bears the freely given "fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (I Timothy 6:12; Philippians 1:11).
"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
(II Timothy 2:1)
"Continue in the faith, grounded and settled."
Conclusion: The motivation of righteousness
Weekly Memory Verse
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.