VN520471 9-21-16 Doyle Grace And Favor
There is a reason I’m doing this and it’s because it’s been banging in my head because somebody else said something, and so here we start. 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul is instructing them and he says, “Grace and peace to you,” and in another place he says, “Grace, mercy and peace.” His form of greeting when he says grace to you; grace and peace to you; grace, mercy and peace to you, that was not the standard issued greeting of the day. In Acts 15:23 and James 1:1, they actually use the word greetings. Greetings when he would say hi, but Paul was actually giving a real blessing. He was wanting to pronounce a blessing on these people rather than just say hi, how are you? Hey, how are you? He was actually putting a blessing on them when he would say grace and peace to you. He really meant it in that way.
The Jewish people and the Old Testament people really believed, and I don’t see why it’s not true, that when the authority who was appointed by God spoke that actually a blessing would come upon these people. A favour would come upon them. A blessing from God would be manifest to them. Still to this day the parents will bless their children on Friday nights, and they’ll have their meal and then the father will say a blessing on them and they’ll put their hands on the kids. My cousin called me up. She had seen some show and it was a science fiction show explaining why Dr. Spock in Star Trek did this and how it was a rabbinical blessing. They were going on and she said that she didn’t know that and she said I’d like to see it, and the next day she got up on a Sunday morning and a guy on T.V. was talking and he turned out he was a Jewish guy who was Levitical, of that descent, and she said he was standing there like this and he was pronouncing the blessing just like the rabbis, and she goes I was so taken aback because I had wanted to see this. I wanted to see what it was like and she said and there it was just like God said well, Pam, you wanted to see it, here it is, boom. She was wowed!
She was totally blown away by it and the realization that this blessing was something that was spoken over people and they expected a result to come on the people. Like we’ve said before, the Israeli people have more Nobel Peace Prizes and patents than any other racial group, and there’s not that many of them. So, something is going on with those people. Did you know that they produce three times more milk in Israel than they do in Europe per cow? I can’t say per capita. Per cowpita. So, God is blessing these people. Now when Paul says grace and peace, grace and peace, grace and mercy and peace to you he is doing this with intent because he is trying to emphasize or focus onto the idea of grace, unmerited blessing. With grace, always with grace, which is unmerited, always brings with it a blessing or a favor. Anytime God shows you grace it’s not a neutral thing. He doesn’t just say I show you My grace and does nothing to benefit you. He says I show you My grace and there is a benefit.
With grace always flows, always comes favor, always comes some kind of a blessing. Paul is wanting to bring us gentiles up to speed. We are under grace; therefore, we are the recipients of a blessing. Also we need to understand that the concept of grace, while it is in the Old Testament and it’s reflected in the old covenant also, I want to make sure that’s there too, it’s reflected in the Old Testament covenant because of the sacrifices that’s where the grace comes in there is those sacrifices. The sacrificial system. The law part of it is just straight law. You make a mistake, you die, that’s it. You’re stoned to death. You don’t make it into heaven. But, the sacrificial system is what cushions it and gives it the grace. With Jesus Christ there’s this fundamental change. Grace is the foundation point of our life where law was the foundation point of the Old Testament life. Grace always brings blessing. Law always brings cursings. Grace is something we can’t merit and law requires merit.
So, we have grace, and that grace is given to us and it’s our foundational point. It is the place we start. If we get the grace then we can have peace. If we get the grace then we can have peace. One of the reasons why this was on my mind is a man came to the store and we were talking about ministers and people we knew and people we hear on the radio and stuff and he was talking and he said yeah, that guy, you know, grace, grace, and I said yeah. He goes yeah, you’re a grace preacher too. He goes you just listen to the grace preachers and all they say is this: well, if you just believe and have faith God is going to bless you. Your life is going to be wonderful. Everything is going to come your way. You’re not going to have any problems. Nothing bad will ever happen to you. Just have grace, that’s all you need. I said you don’t understand the guy. He said of course you wouldn’t understand. You don’t pay attention. You’re a grace man too, and he meant that as an insult and I said yes, I am a grace man. He needs to get a fuller understanding of what grace is.
It took years of arguing, and I mean that literally, years of arguing with him to get him to come around to even really come out and understand we are saved by grace through faith. Before he just no, no, no. Now you are saved by grace through faith, but your works is what keeps you there, and I’m saying no, you couldn’t save yourself, you can’t keep yourself. No, you’ve got to work on it Doyle. That’s your problem is you’re a grace person. Grace, grace, grace, that’s all you talk about, and I’m saying that’s the foundational point, the starting point of the Christian life is grace and he’s missing that. He needs that fuller understanding because when we really grasp that grace concept then out of that we can have peace. The idea isn’t we’re going to have the most wonderful, whole, glorious life and blah. You know, it’s like we’re on drugs all the time and we’re just running around throwing flowers in the air. The point is we say this, yes bad things can happen, yes bad things do happen, but because of the grace of God and it brings benefit to us, grace is in my life, those bad things are going to be transmuted, transformed into something that becomes a positive not just for me, but all the people that are around me will benefit because of God’s saving grace, God’s keeping grace, the living grace where He lets us walk in.
Now I want Jeremiah 2:13. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.” Let me read that one more time. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.” Jesus talks to us about believing in Him and out of your innermost being will flow rivers of living water. We’ll have these wells of living water. We’ll have this fountain of living water coming out of it and it’s that whole concept of grace. There’s a reference to Jesus, Titus 2:11. “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men,” and that grace of God is not just the benefit, but it’s actually Jesus Christ because He is grace to us. He has given to us unmerited favor so He is the grace of God. He is the manifestation of the grace of God. The grace of God has appeared and not just His kindness, but literally Jesus Himself appeared and He brings to all of us salvation.
This guy has finally come around to the place that he believes and understands that it’s by grace you are saved, but then he has forsaken it and has hewn out a cistern for himself, and he’s trying to gather all his water into that well. Have you guys ever drank cistern water? It’s rainwater. I just drank it when I was a kid because they said here, have some water, and I drank the water, and then we started catching the frogs and the lizards and the stuff out of the well. That cistern, I also learned later, why there was a screen on top of that cistern? Well, when it starts raining first you got to let it rain for a little while and wash all the bird droppings off the house and then you swing the spout over and it helps filter everything else that comes off that roof and goes down into the well. I never thought anything about it, I was a kid. Okay, I’ll drink that. Now, looking back on it, it’s what were those people thinking? That probably explains a lot about my mental state doesn’t it?
Grandma didn’t have any screen on hers.
She didn’t even have a screen?
Nope. It came straight to the cistern.
My grandad at least would bail it out once a year and he had to clean out all the gunk in the bottom. Wash it and then they would seal it to make sure it wouldn’t leak for another year. But anyway, so, that’s what this guy is doing, when he had this grace, which always brings benefit flowing toward him and he resents the idea that the people who believe and trust in the grace of God had this positive attitude. It’s going to be alright, we’re going to make it, it’s going to be okay. God is there for me, blah, blah, blah. He actually resents the fact that we are such a happy people because we say there’s the grace of God and it is with me, He is with me. The grace of God is with me; therefore, I will be blessed. Yes, I have hard times, and there’s times I’m brokenhearted, and there’s times that I just want to throw in the rag and say I quit and walk away from everything and whatever, but he seems to resent that concept of us being happy campers and he thinks we’re basically foolish for this kind of stuff, but the scripture says that. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water,” and in Isaiah 55 it says very plainly My ways are not your ways, and he judges the ways of God by the way he would judge people, by the way he thinks life should be. This is the way life should be.
Well, thank God it’s no, because if it was the way it should be then I would have judgment on my head so hard, so much, so often. I’d have knots all over. Instead, there’s this grace that flows to me because of Jesus Christ. There’s grace that flows to every Christian, if you’re willing to accept it and say it will be here when it gets here and it will be on time, and not that everything is going to be alright, but God will see me through and take care of it. Therefore, I can have like Paul says grace and peace. Grace and peace. I start with the grace and, therefore, I can have peace even in the time of storms. Jesus was grace. He was on the boat and they had peace in the storm. So, we can have grace and peace, and every blessing comes from that grace and peace and we don’t have to earn it. We just have to trust that God loves Jesus enough to do it for us. God loves Jesus enough to do it for us because of His sacrifice. I heard a minister, and this was the second part that kind of kicked it off in my head, He said Jesus is the Lamb of God, not the lamb of man, and that’s right when I went whoa. I had to stop and think about this.
Jesus is the Lamb of God, not the lamb of man because when man went out and picked out his lamb to sacrifice he did the best he could. He was doing it properly, but even with the best that the High Priest could pick out and they’d have all these people looking at it and the High Priest looked at it, and doing the best they could with the best lamb that they could possibly get out of the fields of Bethlehem, they would bring that little lamb in, they would sacrifice it, and the best that it could ever accomplish was to cover the sin and shove off the judgment of God for one year. That’s the lamb of man. That’s the lamb of man being picked out right there. It was the best they had and all it could do is cover and shove it off. There are even places though where God says I reject and I do not like your sacrifices. I reject your sacrifices. Now, it didn’t matter what kind of a lamb they brought that year. God was going to reject it. We don’t have a lamb picked by man. We have, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” the Lamb that’s picked by God Himself. Therefore, under God’s scrutiny, under God’s focus and lens and microscopic looking the lamb that He picked out would be of such high quality that it didn’t just cover our sins, it washed our sins away, and it didn’t just remove them for one year and shove them back for one year and then they had to do it again. It removed it forever and always all of our sins.
See, this guy has this idea of grace. You’re saved by grace, but really the Old Testament was better if he would sit down and think about it under his viewpoint because you’re saved by grace and then your works keep you. So, you’re saved by grace but it doesn’t even shove your sins off for one year. He believes you would lose your salvation when you commit a sin; therefore, you had to [go back]. The only good thing about his idea is you don’t have to buy a new lamb every time, you just had to go to Christ and pray for it and ask forgiveness. We’re not against asking forgiveness, but he’s saying the Christ, the Lamb of God isn’t good enough to take away your sins for even a whole year, that you only had to sacrifice once a year. You had to go back every day and every day and every day and every day and every day and every day because the Lamb of God can’t take away your sins. You have to keep it all up to snuff. You have to live a good enough life or you ain’t going to make it. He’ll save you, He will forgive you, but you got to keep yourself in that grace, and we’re saying no, He saves me, He forgives me, He is the source of that grace, and out of that grace the rivers of living water will come out of me, and out of that grace will come the good works that I so strongly desire.
Paul himself says the works that I wouldn’t do those I’m doing, and those that I would do, I am not doing those. Who’s going to save me from this body of sin? Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I’ll take that verse. I’m in Christ Jesus; therefore, there is no condemnation, but because of that grace I’m lifted along and He is going to make sure I get there. Because of that grace the blessings will flow to me and the blessings will flow out of me, and I’m not trying to gather it all in a cistern to have enough water to get me through because I’ve got this spring of living water coming out of me which is the grace of God. The man needs to grasp a fuller understanding of the grace of God. He’s got the salvation right, but now he needs to go farther and see that it’s the grace, it’s also the keeping. His understanding of Psalm 23, he’s never come out and said this but this was the way it would function, is I read it at the last, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Doesn’t that sound good? Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
His understanding of it, the way he approaches his life in practice, though he will not admit to it, in practice, he should rewrite it surely judgment and condemnation will stop all Christians in all the days of that Christians life because that’s the way he views it. God is always there looking to judge you and to condemn you and He is right there on your tail all the time going you should have done better, you should have done better, you should have done better, you should have done better. I am a grace person. I’m saved by grace, I’m kept by grace. God likes me because He likes Jesus Christ, and Jesus said these are Mine. My blood has washed away their sins. We’re getting to the prayer meeting part. Therefore, because of all the goodness of Christ and all the things that He has accomplished, and because His grace always brings us favor and blessing, God hears, and God answers our prayers, and sometimes He just gives us blessings just because He is blessing us. I don’t want to say sometimes. God is always blessing the Christian.
Even when we’re saying this is a hard time we can still say with joy because joy comes from the grace, with joy saying it’s a hard time for me, but God is with me and this is not a stopping point. This is something He is going to take me right on through and there’s more blessings coming, and that guy can’t see it. You can’t have those blessings unless you earn those blessings, but we have them because Christ earned them and He gives them out to us with an open hand. Just gives us blessings and favors and He hears and answers our prayers. So, with all of this in mind, remember your prayer requests that we want to see God move on?