First the Question: Self righteousness can be a sin far more deadly than murder and adultery. True or False?
Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 3-30-2012
Question: God helps those that help themselves. True or False?
Answer: FALSE! It is extremely difficult to understand why unsaved and saved religious church members are determined to ignore or to limit the Grace of God. In their religious lives many of them have adopted the slogan and program of “do it yourself.”, or “God helps those that help themselves”. They care not to join with the number one Christian of all times in his testimony, “by the Grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Now, out of the 741 responses we received to this question, again, ONLY 65% of you got it right! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at,
The Grace of God, part 7 of 9
THOSE THAT TRAVELED WITH THIS GRACE AND THOSE WHO WILL NOT
In 2 Cor. 8:19 the Apostle Paul mentions those who were chosen to travel with us with this Grace. Have you ever traveled from Matthew 1:1 through the Four Gospels and from Pentecost to the Apostle Paul’s final statement concerning Grace in 2 Timothy 1:9? It is next to impossible to get religious church members to travel with Grace and to sail with Paul.
It is true that Abel and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses and the children of Israel found Grace in the sight of the LORD, before the law was given at Sinai, that Israel found great Grace during the reign of law, including the several years of the earthly ministry of the LORD Jesus. Surely that penitent thief on the cross found Grace in the sight of the LORD. At the time the Son of God, by the Grace of God, was tasting death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), He prayed for His murderers, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). That was Grace. “For ye know the Grace of our LORD Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9).
When God was willing to forgive Israel’s great sin, the killing of the Prince of Life (Acts 3:12-17), that was indeed great Grace. The “why” is explained in Acts 3:18 and Acts 5:29-32.
WHAT ABOUT GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER ISRAEL’S FALL?
Note God’s work and Israel’s work in Acts 2:38, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ, ‘for the remission of sins’, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” As there was Grace for the fathers, and for Israel before and during the reign of law, there was Grace for Israel in the Gospel of the Kingdom proclaimed before the Apostle Paul was sent forth with the Gospel of Grace to Gentiles. But Grace for sinners under the law and during the years that Peter was using the keys of the kingdom was NOT “The Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles.” (Ephesians 3:1-3).
THE (temporary) FALL OF ISRAEL and THE NEW DEAL
We should note with real interest and enthusiasm the statements in Romans 11:30, Romans 11:12 and Romans 11:15; the truth that the Gentiles obtained special Divine mercy because of Israel’s unbelief, the truth that, because of the diminishing and temporary fall of Israel, God’s special riches were presented to Gentiles. When and because Israel was cast away, God sent the ministry and message of reconciliation to the Gentiles.
After the Apostle Paul said, in Acts 13:46, “seeing that you (Israel) put the Word of God from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles,” after he said to Israel in Acts 18:5-6, “your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles,” after the terrible judgment of 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 pronounced upon Israel, God ushered in a new Dispensation, and gradually changed His spiritual program. This program is to be carried on until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, until the realization of the blessed hope of Titus 2:13. With this change the Apostle Paul was directed to proclaim the truth of 2 Cor. 5:16-21, and then to make known the Divine truth concerning God’s eternal ‘GRACE’ purpose concerning the ‘JOINT‑BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. Paul was then instructed to write God’s will concerning ‘the Dispensation of the Mystery’; “To make all see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God.” (Ephesians 3:9).
Every minister of Christ is expected to be, and should be, a faithful steward of the Mysteries of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1-4). Such a faithful steward should see at a glance the great difference between the Apostle Peter’s ‘Acts 10:34-38’ message to Gentiles, ‘BEFORE THE FALL OF ISRAEL’, and the Apostle Paul’s ‘Romans 4:4-5 message to Gentiles ‘AFTER THE FALL’.
Such a minister of Christ should know why the Apostle Paul never preached the Apostle Peter’s ‘Acts 2:38’ message to Gentiles in the LORD’s ‘Grace’ program. If you will compare Acts 2:38, preached to Israel on the day of Pentecost ‘BEFORE ISRAEL’S FALL’, with Titus 3:5-8, ‘AFTER THE FALL’, you should see that there is almost as much difference as there is between Law and Grace.
THE GRACE OF GOD ENABLES CHRISTIANS
Surely we have learned by now why it has been truly said that the full meaning of Divine Grace cannot be expressed in any one English word or in any number of sentences, and why we have no way of computing, measuring or estimating “the riches of God’s Grace.”
However it is extremely difficult to understand why unsaved and saved religious church-members are determined to ignore or to limit the Grace of God. In their religious lives many of them have adopted the slogan and program of “do it yourself.”, or “God helps those that help themselves”.
They care not to join with the ‘number‑one’ Christian of all times in his testimony, “by the Grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Then there are some splendid saved religious church‑members who seem to be actually afraid of the Grace of God. Moreover the deplorable fact is, that more than 95% of even the saints of God do not understand the meaning of “the Dispensation of the Grace of God.” (Ephesians 3:1-3). Take a moment and test yourself by writing your definition of “the Gospel of Grace.”
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)