God’s Grace and Goodness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans is an Epistle of doctrine, a setting forth of things to believe in and trust. Romans chapters 1 through 8 expose the sin nature of man, and its motions (or sins) in man, and how Christ delivered us from that horrible nature. One impression you may have when reading the first 8 chapters of Romans is similar to having a feeling of yuck, followed by an over-abundance of joy (read the first 8 chapters of Romans and you will see what I mean).

Romans chapters 9 through 11 are the business end of the Epistle, showing us how God dealt with the Jews (Israel) and Gentiles (unbelievers) in times past, and present. Wrapping it all up, Romans chapters 12 through 16 is the prACTical side (of doctrine), showing what to do with the knowledge of the doctrine contained in the first 8 chapters of Romans; this combines the entire Epistle of Romans into a complete whole, revealing the threefold goodness of God.

Romans 1:5 – By whom {Jesus Christ} we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations {all people}, for his name:

The words grace and apostleship represent all seven of the Epistles given to God’s Church (us), we also know this as “apostolic grace,” and the apostolic grace (all the Epistles) combined promote the “how to” enjoy God’s grace upon our lives. The Epistles energize and give genuine life to the Christian faith and the Christian lifestyle, based not on our works, but on the believing faith of Jesus Chris, who is our substitute for sin and all its consequences. As we believe the Word of God, His divine grace will follow without restraint, confusion, or compulsion.

Romans 5:1-2:
-1:  THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
-2:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The Epistles, commencing with Romans, reveal to men and women the goodness of God (Romans 2:4). For it is the goodness of God (rather than His wrath) that leads us to true repentance, and then on to the throne of God and into eternity, to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”! When we begin relying on the grace of God we will further discover God’s goodness on our lives. God has given to us peace with Him and He gave us total and personal access to stand upon His grace.  This is an exciting daily journey in our walks before the Father as He continues to reveal His loving heart of goodness to us throughout the Epistles.

“Oh Lord, What Shall We Do?” (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After someone becomes saved and is a Christian, the first thing he or she usually does is start looking for something to practice because of one’s instinctive belief that they must do something spiritually or godly to become worthy of their salvation. Thus, the question arises, Oh Lord, what shall we do? I know that someone may think, “Oh, here it comes, this is when he will start asking for money, penance, works (tons of works), and tell you that you need to purchase something to open up the floodgates of God’s blessings.” No . . .! Sorry, I cannot and will not oblige anyone in that way.

No — and I will tell you why — these escapades have been practiced for centuries and have senselessly hurt innumerable Christians and potential Christian people, for those works will undermine and counter true godliness and grace. We may in good conscience refrain from these past notions of practicing the works of the Law to receive our justification (Galatians 3:11, and Ephesians 2:8-9), and proceed forward to what the Word of God does pass on to believers through Christ in grace.

Galatians 2:16:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

II Timothy 1:9:
Who {God in Christ} hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

Grace was given to us before the world began; we cannot change this eternal truth, but we can certainly accept it without works for we are saved by the work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God’s ultimate plan of man’s redemption and our receiving His grace was always in His thinking, even before the world began, and when and as we accept this divine grace into our hearts we will be able to experience its fullness; this is why Ephesians 1:3 says that God has “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Jesus’ work on our behalf was completed in order to display the “mercy” of God that allows us to freely accept our grace-filled salvation without works.

Titus 3:4-7:
-4: But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared {note the exclusion of wrath, anger, and vengeance, but rather the inclusion of God’s kindness and love!}.
-5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration {i.e., a new birth in Christ, I Peter 1:23}, and renewing of the Holy Ghost {holy spirit};
-6: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
-7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Well, these verses take all the guesswork and the work out of our being saved because we are justified by his grace and we become heirs of the hope of eternal life that is promised and given to all believers through the kindness and love of our God. Please notice that all this was given without our works or money, and we received by our believing what God promised all the way back “from the beginning,” as II Thessalonians 2:13 discloses the truth that, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

Psalms 49:6-7:
-6: They that trust in their wealth, and boast in themselves the multitude of their riches;
-7: None of them can by any means redeem his brother {so much for the “plenary indulgences”}, nor give to God a ransom for him {himself – because Jesus already paid the ultimate price as our complete ransom, I Corinthians 6:20, and I Timothy 2:6}:

Acts 8:20:
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God {salvation} may be purchased with money.

I Peter 1:18-19:
-18: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, {such} as silver and gold, from your vain conversations received by tradition from your fathers;
-19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot:
The Epistle of Colossians and the Book of Isaiah in the Amplified Bible contains some remarkable eye-opening statements in regard to some well-established, but unbiblical mandates:

Colossians 2:21-23 (The Amplified Bible):**
-21: Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],
-22: Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.
-23: Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]

Isaiah 29:13 (The Amplified Bible):*
And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and fear {respect} and their reverence for Me are {only} a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning].

After you have believed and confessed in your heart as Romans 10:9 and 10 prescribes, then the first thing that God asks you for is to receive rather than to pay out in some way. Honestly, our heavenly Father desires that you begin enjoying His many blessings, His grace, His mercy, His healing Word, and for His children to grow at their own pace with the intended profit, which His Prophets wrote into the Word of life. God’s Word reveals to believer’s divine promises and these are given to us with His lovingkindness for our believing, and being thankful for these is the appropriate response and conclusion for receiving salvation and the blessings that follow.

Ephesians 1:3:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Colossians 3:15-17:
-15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
-16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
-17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Being thankful and giving thanks are foundations that help the individual believer to accept, stand on, and appreciate the graces of God. In order to really begin understanding and enjoying what we have been given may take some time, so please have some patience with yourself, and allow the word of Christ to dwell in you richly as God delicately and incrementally begins pouring His true blessings into your life, heart, and soul. Yet the nature of man is to refute grace, and attempt to earn a good standing with God, a standing He has already given. Truly, a miraculous miracle has taken place in your life because you have already passed from judgment to grace, from a child of the world to a child of God.

These are some of the things that God wants you to know and thoroughly understand, and believe me this takes time and plenty of patience on our parts.

So where do we learn about those things that God would have us know, and how can we learn to appreciate them once we know of them? We learn from Jesus Christ who is the principle subject throughout God’s Word, and as we begin to accept “the manifold graces of God” in our lives, appreciation will grow from within without compulsion. This is the simplest, and best (biblical) answer I know to the question. Oh Lord, what shall we do?

I Peter 4:10:
As every man hath received the gift {of salvation}, even so minister {help and give assistance} the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God’s Word contains the knowledge of Christ (John 1:45), healing (Psalms 107:20), spiritual understanding (John 6:63), and direction (II Timothy 3:16-17). It is knowing these that we begin growing with spiritual understanding, as we begin enjoying our walks with our heavenly Father, immersed in His love for us individually.

Romans 8:38-39:
-38: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
-39: Nor height, nor death, nor any other creature {in other words, there is not anything that}, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Oh Lord, what shall we do? Today as we live our lives and go about our daily business, wheresoever we are, let us begin enjoying the truth that nothing — absolutely nothing, whatsoever shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and Christ is in us.

Colossians 1:27:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permissoin.

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.