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.

Our Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted and stumble even after salvation, and it is at this point that all too many believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been totally severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness. This is a major component of our God-given ministry and word of reconciliation.

I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We can say, it just cannot be that easy, but the Bible says it is because God is faithful! The word, confess means to agree in our minds that yes, we indeed have made a mistake. God allows us to honestly admit to Him personally that we have made an error. This is the way God designed our continued forgiveness. God knows that we will blow it from time to time, so He has given to us an easy way back into fellowship with Him. When we become honest within our hearts and simply say something like this: “Yes, I blew it. I am truly sorry. I will try my best to walk with You today. I am honestly thankful that You have cleansed me from any and all unrighteousness, and I thank you for this in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.” Then our heavenly Father instantly and faithfully forgives and cleanses us from our shortcomings and again shows us that we have His righteousness to walk with Him in His divine love. The reason that our God can completely forgive us is because of what the Savior from sin has accomplished for us.

Through your continued forgiveness, you may honestly believe that you are never alone, you are not an island unto yourself, you have God in Christ in you, you are a fellow worker with God, your Savior, and with fellow believers. You will never be separated from the love of God or from the love of your Savior (Romans 8:35–39). You are a member in particular of a unified body (I Corinthians 12:27), a “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). You are in Christ, and thus YOU are GOD’S BEST!

II Corinthians 5:17–18:
-17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-18: And all things {that have become new to us in Christ} are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God by what he accomplished for us back in the times of the Gospel period. Now in this time of God’s divine grace that we live in and enjoy, the Epistles make known to us that God has given to us the actual ministry of reconciliation. Indeed, we may help inspire others into their own salvation, and thus show others the ministry of reconciliation they themselves can enjoy in Christ. However, this ministry is primarily given to the individual believer so we may continuously have our own reconciliation that is confirmed before our heavenly Father. When Jesus was physically here he reconciled people back to God, but today in grace we live in the completed work of Christ, enjoying our own reconciliation. This is a God-given right, and we can always walk within our reconciliation before our God.

II Corinthians 5:19:  To wit {to know}, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them {not charging their sins back to them}; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

With the word of reconciliation does not come the permission to impute sins to others; we do not condemn anyone as per instructions from God’s Word ― rather we bless and love one another with the word of reconciliation. All too often in Christian circles, we become proficient at fault-finding and being critical of the sins of others, but God in Christ did not do this ― they did not impute or condemn us, rather they forgave and loved. The Bible says in Romans 2:1, he who “judgest doeth the same thing.” We have been given the word of reconciliation to love, to encourage, to bless, and to instruct people into the ways of God’s love and forgiveness. We should be so thankful that God accepted us and that we have received the grace of God and His forgiveness, and reciprocate these blessings. This is the fountainhead of Christianity, of love, of life enjoyed with our heavenly Father. In the Old Testament we read, “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth” (Psalms 94:1), and the New Testament also says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Vengeance is never given to man to dispense ― ever, in the Bible. We repay “the kindness and love of God” to one another (see Titus 3:1–7), and Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We owe God’s love to one another; this is what we may repay to our fellow man and in doing so we will have fulfilled the law.

I Corinthians 3:9 informs us that “we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry {garden}, ye are God’s building.” What an awesome privilege! God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, and today He considers us His very own garden, and we are His building. We walk with God in a very unique way and with incredible privileges because we are labourers together with God. “We then, as workers together with him {God}, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1). To receive the grace of God in vain is to never acknowledge Him and all that we are to Him in grace as His beloved children.

Every time we confess our sin to God, every time God cleanses us from unrighteousness, we are using the ministry of reconciliation, and by being in fellowship with Him, we may help others into this wonderful, cleansing ministry. God has, “quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5–6). This is God’s elevated view of you and me because we are His garden and His abode; we are members of “the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21–22). Can you imagine that we are the actual habitation of God? Well, the Bible says so, so this must be true!

The word committed in II Corinthians 5:19 above, means to put into ― us, and what God puts into us is His Word, the Word that gives us the God-given right and permission to continually be reconciled to God. The Word of reconciliation would almost be totally worthless if it came without the ministry that allows us to use it. The word ministry means to have a service for benefit that can be fully applied. It also comes with the God-given permission to walk within our calling of God in this ministry.

Within the ministry of reconciliation that each of us has, we also have been given the Word, placed within our hearts, and this is what gives us the ability to be reconciled. You see, we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and he is the Word (John 1:14), and thus we have the Word in us. Spiritually speaking, we are inseparable from God by being in Christ and by being heirs of heaven itself (Romans 8:16–17). The more we learn about the Christ within, the more of the Word of reconciliation we can aspire to for daily use as we become ever more gentler, Christ-like people, and certainly more happy in our daily travels.

II Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you {call you} by us {the Apostles}: we pray you in Christ’s stead {place}, be ye reconciled to God.

With the ministry and Word of reconciliation, we have been given an appointment, a God-given ambassadorship to live here on earth in Christ’s stead, enjoying the true reconciliation that Christ made available for us. We being ambassadors for Christ today represent his completed work not only for ourselves, but also for the people we know and talk with, and we may witness to them with all the authority God has commissioned and given us as Christ’s own ambassadors who “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15–16).

We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6–12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.

II Corinthians 5:21: For he {God} hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus took our sins, becoming sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ, who is now in us, with the Word and ministry of reconciliation. This is what allows each believer to maintain their fellowship with God; we have the ability to continually be renewed in the spirit of our minds by the Word that we have received, and that Word becomes manifested as we believe that we have been given the ministry and Word of reconciliation. Thus, we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

II Corinthians 5:17–21 (The Amplified Bible)**:
17: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18: But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19: It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
20: So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
21: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

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

The Purpose for Receiving the Grace of God

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ– I Corinthians 1:4. Each time Paul thought of his fellow believers throughout the day – he thanked God for the free and open access to God that they had (and we have) made available to all of us by the grace of God through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace means, God’s divine favor given to us with the abundance of His spiritual blessings, and these blessings are truly unmerited, undeserved, and unlimited. This grace is from God Himself and is given to men and women by (or on account of) Jesus Christ, by his own sacrifice on our behalf. I Corinthians 1:5 continues, That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge. The purpose for receiving the grace of God is to enrich our lives, therefore, I thank my God!” ~LMJ~

Anticipating the Hope of Christ’s Return

“Anticipating the hope of Christ’s return brings to the heart and soul of believers great understanding as it continues to enlighten our knowledge of ‘the grace of God in truth.’ This wonderful hope can become the first thing that we think about when rising from bed (Psalms 63:6), and hope can give us comfort even at night. The hope of Christ’s return rejuvenates our love and our believing faith. The hope is inspiring and exciting, and when we recall our hope throughout the day, it reveals to us the hope of our Savior’s speedy return! (The return is most definitely closer today than yesterday: Romans 13:11) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you- I Peter 1:3-4. When the hope of his return becomes a reality within the heart, it will bring to our souls spiritual fruit, fruit that we can currently receive that will enlighten the human heart with wonderful godly qualities of reassurance and inspiration that we are blessed of God with His pure, lively hope, and that we will be blessed of Him forever more. God has given you a lively hope that no worldly circumstance can ever change or take away from you (Romans 11:29), because you are already God’s child and heaven-bound.” ~LMJ~

The Abundance of God’s Grace

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus Christ came to redeem Israel from the Law and all of humanity from the curse of the Law, and to present to us the abundance of God’s grace which is His divine favor, and this favor emanates out from the actual throne of the Creator and into our lives. Yet today the Law with the unbearable burden (Acts 15:7-11) is still carried around by so many thousands of professing Christians who have never understood the beauty and gracefulness of Jesus Christ’s complete mission on our behalf. Listen, since we were not born two thousand years ago and part of the children of Israel, then the Law was not even written to us anyway, and most definitely those Laws and commandments cannot even apply to us today who live and enjoy the abundance of God’s grace (period)!

Quite often laws are disguised as fear and rituals that make us feel inadequate and unworthy to accept God’s grace and blessings. When we feel this way, something is most definitely amiss because God loves us just as we are. All we can really do in grace is accept God’s love and learn to enjoy our lives with the Father in the abundance that His Word reveals.

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

When anyone continues practicing and trying to obey the Law, God’s divine grace will become totally nullified in their life. The word “frustrate” means to reject, and this is what people actually do to the grace of God when trying to practice laws that we “think” will make us acceptable to God. Galatians further states that “then Christ is dead in vain.” The reason the Bible says “is dead” rather than “has died” is because the accomplishments of Christ are as good as dead to the individual who is trying to earn their already God-given righteousness accompanied with His abundance of grace. As Galatians corrects doctrinal error from the Epistle of Romans, Romans displays that Christ did not die in vain and that we already have righteousness and grace, and when we believe God’s Word the results will become a reality.

Romans 5:2 – By whom {Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

By the faith of Christ, we have complete access into all of God’s grace and therein we are encouraged to stand, with a further view that we can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. This hope of the glory of God is the return of Christ in which we can genuinely rejoice and anticipate with a yearning desire. As we stand in the abundance of the grace of God we can live without the fear of future retribution because we have the hope for Christ’s return to receive us up into the heavenlies to be with God for eternity.

Have a great day in the abundance of God’s grace as you continue looking forward to that great and glorious day, the hope of Christ’s return for you!