Grace and Power are two steps
to Eternal Life
"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Grace and Power are two steps to
What is grace? "2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." So grace is the power of Jesus Christ that will rest upon a weak believer to make his strength perfect. What is the power of God that God gives to men? "John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." God gives the power to man to make him the son of God, only if he is born again (born of the spirit by God as in verse 13) believer. The sons of God will become like their Father and they will see Jesus Christ as he is (glorified) at his coming. They will have eternal life. What is eternal life? It is the everlasting life, which will have no end. It is inheritance in the kingdom of God. Eternal life is the rewarded life after our life on Earth, which will be heaven. There are two places. They are paradise and heaven. We can also say that they are New Earth and New Heaven. God mentions the name New Jerusalem also, but it not a location or a place, but it refers to a group of people, who are called the Bride of Christ. So, who will go to paradise, which is New Earth, and who will go to Haven, which is actually New Heaven? We will study this here through the sub-topics.
"Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." If you will allow grace to reign over you, and if you humble yourself before God, then only God give you grace. God will rule you through righteousness and so, you will become righteous. Now, you have received Jesus Christ as your ruler, master, and king. Now, he will give his power to you. "John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,.." If we have received him, and if we are born again (received the holy spirit), God has given you the power to become the son of God. It is up to you to use the power and become his son. But if you do not use your power to become holy, you will not become his son. In that case you may not go to New Heaven, but you may go to New Earth, which is also eternal life. "Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." But if you sincerely serve him as a good servant, you will have fruit unto holiness, and so you will become his son. The sign of the son, is he/she will be holy. Sons go to New Heaven, which is eternal life, with inheritance. Born again is a process, you will begin by receiving the holy spirit, and you may grow up to receive the TriOne God to abide in you, that is his seed will remain in you. It is up to you to grow, and God will help you all the way.
We use the word 'justified' in two different ways. One is that if a person did something wrong, we may consider the situation in which it happened, etc, and conclude that it is okay, and we use the word 'justified' to mean that his actions are okay, or his fault is excused, etc. But, when God use the word 'justified', he does not mean this at all, even though preachers use it to please the congregation. It is deception and it is a lie. God converts a sinner into a just person and calls his action as justification. A person, who went through this conversion, is a justified person. False preachers, or those who want to please sinners, use this technique to juggle their deception to sneak through. If a person is made righteous, we may say that he is justified, meaning that he is now a just person. But, if we call a sinning person as justified, it is the deception of the devil, which the false preachers use. Sanctification is also the process of making a person pure or holy. The next step to righteousness is to become holy, and we may say that the next step to justification is to be sanctified, or it is to become holy.
"Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." So, Jesus Christ says: 'love God' and 'Love your neighbor' are the two commandments of God. But the false teachers, who are the enemies of God, used to throw a curve on using the emphasis "with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." But, what all it means is that we must love God very sincerely, but not the way the religious people love God for a profit. Common people do not have this problem, but the clergies do. Now, God became flesh, a man like us, he even died for the world as propitiation (sacrifice), became the author of salvation to save us sinners. He is Jesus Christ and we all can love him for what he has done. If anyone hate Jesus Christ, that person must be a pervert and insane. All the rest will love him. The second commandment is to love our neighbor. Love our neighbor is not to do ill to them, that means not to hurt them. "Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." So, it concludes that if we do not do harm to others, then we have fulfilled the second commandment. We don't have to give them money, but do not owe them money. You don't have to be the brother's keeper as some preachers say, but don't rob them. Anybody can do this commandment. So, these two commandments are not hard to do. If we do these two, we will at least go to paradise, which is New Earth, and so we will have eternal life. However, remember that it is not New heaven. But, we have escaped hell. This is one way.
The other way is more harder and it will give better result. It is up to you to decide. Some of us are very happy to be a witness or just to be a believer. Some of us are more excited and want to press on further and to be a disciple to Jesus, or to serve Jesus Christ. The Bible says that if you desire to be a disciple, you have to endure more suffering and hardships in this world, But you will reap much better eternal dividends, as joint-heir with Jesus Christ with the same glory as he has. If you want to pay the price, let us see how you can reach it. Let us look at the same two commandments one more time. The first one is to love God. We saw above that we should love him sincerely in honesty. Now, how to love him more? You may read John 14:15-31, but let me quote just a few verses only. Jesus Christ tells his disciples in verse 15, "15 If ye love me, keep my commandments." In verses 16-17 he says that the Holy Ghost will abide in them, if they continue to obey. In verse 18-20 Jesus promises them his comfort and the presence of God the Father, etc.. "21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him... 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." That is, if we obey his word, then Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and God the Father, will abide in them. If so, they will be either sons of God, or bride of Christ. They will inherit the kingdom of God, in New Heaven. This is better.
We just saw that we may go to New Earth (paradise) if we obey God superficially, and to New Heaven if we obey God with sincerity. But if we are rebels and do not obey God, our reward will be in hell and in the lake of fire. "1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." The work we do for reward in eternity is equated to the work of God's husbandry or God's building. Let us continue. "10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;" So, the reward depends on how we build upon the foundation, that is, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we build upon Jesus Christ. But what are the "gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;?" Our reward depends on what these things are. "13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." If our work is as gold or silver or precious stones, we will get a reward, that is we will be in New Heaven. But, if our work is as wood or hay or stubble, we will get no reward, but we will escape hell and be in New Earth. So, it is good to know what these are so that we may try to go to New Heaven. "2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." The only way to receive the full reward is, if we abide in the doctrine of Christ. So the "gold, silver, precious stones" are our abiding in the doctrine of Christ. If we abide in the doctrine of Christ, we will have the Father and the Son abide in us and we will be in New Heaven. But, Matthew 5:19 says, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." So, the "wood, hay, and stubble" are the preachers in Matthew 5:19. Further, 1 Corinthians 3:15 says, "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." Even they go to New Earth (paradise), the bear fact is that they barely escaped the lake of fire, we say it is hell fire. But, God will destroy those, who preach wrong doctrines, in the lake of fire.
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God Bless You