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Grace Empowers Us 4

Grace Empowers us Part 4 As we continue our study of grace, we can understand it is much more than unmerited favor from God, but also the empowerment of God. It is the Divine influence upon the heart and soul of mankind to will and to do the purpose and plan of God (Phil 2:13). In part 3, we learned Paul the apostle, the one who spoke of grace more than any other New Testament writer, fulfilled his ministry by relying upon the grace of God. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, Rom 1:5 In this passage, we see how grace and calling work together. Without grace, you and I will not be able to fulfill our calling, ministry, or purpose. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Rom 12:6-8 According to this scripture we all have been given grace. It is up to us to find out what that grace is and then to apply it for the benefit of the Body of Christ and the work of the ministry. This can only come through spending intimate time with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer and reflecting upon the Bible, God’s revealed Word to mankind. The apostle Peter wrote: As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1Pe 4:10 Peter did not say, as SOME have received the gift, but as EACH one HAS received a gift. This is a fascinating revelation and one that would change most of our church gatherings if it were truly applied. The word used for gift in this passage is the Greek word charis which in Strongs Concordance is G5486. It is the word in which grace (Strongs Concordance G5485) is derived and is used here in 1 Peter 4:10. That is powerful and encouraging because we can begin to understand how God wants to us EVERYONE of us in the Body of Christ and not just a few superstars. The Lord allowed me to understand our church gatherings are not “A one man show, but a corporate flow.” Paul understood this well and wrote a good portion of his first letter to the Corinthians addressing Body ministry. In 1 Corinthians 14 he said, How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1Co 14:26 Again, he mentions gifts and grace in Ephesians 4. The word for gifts in this passage is a different Greek word but carries a similar meaning of something given freely. Anything God gives us, is alive and powerful. He is the God of all grace. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore He says: "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." (Now this, "HE ASCENDED"—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:7-16 You and I have a vital part to play in the plan and purpose of God; not only to reach the lost, but to minister grace to other believers in the Body of Christ. In part 5 of this series, we will discuss how to receive more grace and our responsibility to employ it for the benefit of others and the Kingdom of God. Until then, may God richly bless you and keep you in His love and grace! James Brown CST 01/12/2021 All Scripture References are from New King James Version (NKJV) Thomas Nelson Publishers
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