Ten Ways to Respond to God’s Grace (Part 2)

Oct. 2, 2019 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

Grace has made everything we need in life available to us. This came about because of the finished works of Jesus; now, all we need to do to lay hold of the blessings is to believe. However, although faith is the proper response to what He did, we must ask ourselves how to break it down and specifically apply faith to our lives. The motives behind our actions are important; there is nothing wrong with works as long as they are works of faith and not of the law, in an attempt to earn favor from God. We accomplish nothing by trying to do what Jesus already did; instead, we put our faith to work by meditating on God’s Word until we find the place of peace in which He wants us to be. It is real work to continue meditating on Jesus’ finished works and refuse to be moved out of our peace, especially when we feel the pressures of the world. However, this is the only work God expects from us.

  1. We do not need to duplicate what God has finished. God wants our faith, not our works.
    1. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified… I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Galatians 2:16, 20, 21).
      1. We cannot gain the provisions Jesus has already made for us through self-effort; we must have faith in what He did.
    2. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29, NLT).
      1. Our belief should not simply be an intellectual mental assent; we must have a way of authenticating our faith.
      2. We need to know what it looks like to believe.
      3. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
      4. …Be not afraid, only believe (Mark 5:36).
    3. Faith is our positive response to what has already been done.
      1. Healing, deliverance, victory, and everything else pertaining to life and godliness have been finished; however, each of these things requires a response.
      2. The devil has already been defeated and the battle is now over; the only fighting that remains is the fight on our part to maintain the victory Jesus has already obtained for us.
      3. To stand in our victory, we need to renew our minds. If we do not, we fall back into the world’s traditional way of thinking.
      4. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (Mark 7:13).
      5. Faith does not move God; it moves us. Faith takes possession of what grace has made.
  1. If we believe God loves us, we can receive what He has done for us. Love is His nature.
    1. The first way to respond to the finished works of Jesus is to believe in the love God has for us.
      1. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love (Galatians 5:6).
      2. This differs from the Old Testament commandment which focuses on us loving God.
      3. If we do not believe God loves us, we will not believe in any of the things He said He has made available for us.
    2. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us (Deuteronomy 1:25-27).
      1. Religion tells us that the bad things that happen to us are because God is displeased with us. This causes us to question His love for us.
      2. If we think God hates us, we will not accept what He wants to give us.
    3. The second way to respond is to make a decision to believe in Jesus’ finished works. A decision is an open door into reality.
      1. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world...Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (Hebrews 4:3,11).
      2. Our belief brings us to that place of rest; rest authenticates our faith.
  1. We keep Christ on our minds by meditating on God’s Word. Our thoughts are powerful.
    1. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all (1 Timothy 4:15).
      1. The third way to respond to grace is to rest in all our works. Part of laboring to rest is meditating on God’s Word concerning Jesus’ finished works.
    2. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).
      1. Keeping our minds on Christ can be labor. The promise is that He will keep us in perfect peace; this requires trust in Him.
    3. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:7, 8).
      1. The most powerful thing we can do as Christians is to think. Therefore, we must be careful what we think about.
  1. Worrying is the wrong response to grace. Being at peace authenticates our faith.
    1. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25, NLT).
      1. To worry is to meditate on the wrong things.
    2. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:5-7).
      1. When we continue to worry after God tells us not to, it is a sign that we are operating in pride. This hinders His grace. The humbler person submits to what God says to do.
    3. We validate our faith by speaking it.
      1. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107:2).
      2. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak (2 Corinthians 4:13).
      3. This is the spirit of faith: what I believe, I speak.
      4. …for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45).
      5. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways (Job 22:28).
  1. Speaking our faith and trusting God are also ways we can affirm Jesus’ finished works.
    1. That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6).
      1. The fourth way to respond is by acknowledging and admitting that what grace has provided is real and true.
      2. When something becomes effectual, it begins to work.
      3. “Communication” in this context means to transfer or release. We release our faith by acknowledging the good things God put in us.
    2. The fifth way to respond to what Jesus did is to give thanks for the finished works of grace.
      1. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
    3. Correctly responding to grace impacts every area of our lives.
      1. The sixth way to respond is to decide to be content, regardless of the circumstance.
      2. The seventh way is to trust and rely on God.
      3. The eighth way is to release our authority. Authority is the right to command.
      4. The ninth way is to posture ourselves to be led by, and to hear from, the Holy Spirit. He is the administrator of the new covenant.
      5. The tenth way is to spend time loving God through praise and worship.

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