THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (9)

Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching on the theme “The Power of the Gospel”. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” … being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 1:16, 17; 3:24; 5:18-21; NKJ).

What is God’s method in dealing with men? It is His Grace! Grace is unmerited favor to those who are unworthy of such gift. We merit death! We merit going to hell! But for Grace… Grace is God’s gift, full and free! There is a general grace and call (for all men) and there is a specific ‘irresistible grace’ and effectual call (for God’s children). When men hear the Gospel, they react differently: some hear and remain passive to the call (in other words, they reject it). Others (God’s children) hear the voice or Grace and are attracted. Their heart is softened. They believe and repent! They produce fruits of repentance and conversion. They love God’s Word, God’s people, and the Holy Spirit! Once born again, the child of God becomes fearless and bold thru the faith in the Gospel and the assurance of his salvation! Apostle Paul said: “I testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Ac 20:24).

King Sin is king (in Adam)

Sin is disobedience, rebellion, breaking God’s law, and God’s heart! In Greek, sin is ‘missing the mark’ (failing to achieve the intended purpose). Men are born to have fellowship with God, to be like Jesus and to give God all glory. But sin has destroyed that. Sin is ‘falling short’ of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The effect of sin is increased sin (until it becomes bitterness of life) and death. Men are born sinners and they all die. This is a universal law. In Adam, all men sinned. Sin is more than deeds. It is positional. All men are born sinners and enemies to God. Man cannot save himself. He needs a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only Savior! This is the Gospel of Grace that we preach and believe!

KING GRACE IS KING (IN CHRIST)

Sin came thru Adam. Grace came thru Jesus Christ! As a King, Grace is sovereign in its domain, totally free and independent from anything of man, his works, and contributions, good or bad. Man does not merit grace. Man cannot bribe, buy, work for, or manipulate grace!  Grace is stronger than sin and death! Both Sin and Grace are Kings in their domains. In Adam, sin was king in the kingdom of death. Sin was so powerful that it killed all men. But in Christ, in the Kingdom of God, Grace is now King leading to Eternal Life. Grace is the only alternative to sin. You are either ‘under sin’ or under grace’. Where are you? A child of God may be deceived and fall into sin, but sin cannot be his king anymore. He is under King Grace. King sin used to be above but now, is under his feet. A believer may sin occasionally, but he can never love sin. Grace leads to repentance, to reconciliation with God and the Body of Christ. This is a test: if you steal or fornicate, and you feel good about it, even boast of what you have done, it means that you are not saved. Pray for mercy! The reign and power of King Grace is in Christ alone. King Grace is stronger than all sin and death. The sure eternal victory of King Grace gives power to the Gospel of Christ!

Grace was enthroned as King in the eternal council of the Trinity before the foundation of the world. Grace was revealed in the Old Testament. But grace became manifested full and free thru God’s Son Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace is not just offered to us. Grace is active, acts and reigns as a king! It is grace that pursues, locates us, and calls us to the Cross to be saved. Adam hid behind the trees, but God (His grace) pursued him. When Adam sinned, death entered; man fell into unspeakable tragedy, into the darkest night of humanity’ soul. When man was at his lowest, King Grace entered the scene and brought the unmerited favor of promised prophetic hope. The power of the Gospel was announced! The God of all grace, addressing to the devil, said this: “I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel… I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel” (Genesis 3:15; NKJ; GNT)

King Grace is a sin killer. Even when men did their worst, the Seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, was born! King Herod (the devil’s agent) killed the boys, but he failed to kill the Seed that will crush the serpent’s head! Lesson: Grace covers your destiny! Even when men were weak and foolish, Grace made a way for their salvation. Grace can never lose! Grace is not a weak emotion. Great is royalty! Grace is King that rules and reigns in the Kingdom of God. Sin always kills, steals, and destroys. Grace always gives abundantly! Our Salvation is by Grace! King Grace always ends in glory! This Victorious Powerful Grace gives us the assurance of salvation and the boast we have in Christ!

How do you recognize King Grace? When you are at your lowest, Grace will come and pick you up! Grace strengthens and settles your soul! Grace helps you to experience both the pain of the Cross and the power of Resurrection. When you are weak and almost defeated by trials, when men give up on you, King Grace always manifests with power and victory that you do not merit!  God told Apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). Apostle Peter said: ”May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1Peter 5:10). Worship the Lord!     

Prophetic scriptures

“Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their labor” (Isaiah 3:10)

“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:57, 58)

“To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)

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