Revealing God's grace through the 

finished work of Christ!

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The Grace Curriculum

"3 significant grace instructions"


As we look at the title for this lesson, we see the word SIGNIFICANT. If something is “significant”, it has great meaning, and in this case, has lasting effects. There is nothing that has lasting effects on our lives, then the revelation of grace! Many people are still feeding on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (the one Eve and Adam ate from), but God wants us to feed from the the Tree of Life, which He has planted within us by His Spirit. When the indwelling Spirit opens our eyes to God’s personalized and tailor-made help (which is feasting on the Tree of Life), things take on a new, glorious meaning! This is when our Bible reading becomes different… Our prayers become different… Our obedience to God becomes something different… Our daily living becomes free from striving… Our relationships with others become more effective and beneficial. Needless to say, our lives become extremely different!

Look at Heb 8:13-14— “When God said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first OBSOLETE. But whatever is BECOMING obsolete and GROWING old and is READY to disappear.” Why did the Hebrew writer use the word, “OBSOLETE”, followed by the 3 phrases, “BECOMING obsolete… GROWING old… READY to disappear”? Almost seems contradictory, right? The Spirit framed it this way, because so many people are bent on helping God do what He, in the New Covenant, has promised to do for us. So, to them who cling to the old way of doing things for God, it’s not yet obsolete, and it’s not yet old; for it certainly hasn’t disappeared, proved by their actions. Let’s understand this: the Old Covenant was based on OUTWARD commandments; which required one to work. But the New Covenant is based on INWARD instructions, which call for the power of God’s grace to perform, as we believe. The more we acquaint ourselves with this new, INWARD way of doing things, the more that the old, OUTWARD way becomes obsolete, grows old, and disappears (See, these words deal with our mindsets).

Let’s get more familiar with this new, INWARD way of doing things under the New Covenant (Please keep in mind that this new way of doing things, as seen from the NT letters, is not at all like the old way of doing things, as seen from the OT books, see Heb 8:9). Look at what we read in Titus 2:11-12— “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (grace is) instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age”. The grace of God, INWARDLY, instructs us in how we live and behave in this life (It doesn’t come from OUTWARD commandments that we have to read). Here’s another interesting fact from this passage. In v.12, the same Greek word used for “instructing”, (paideuo,G3811) is translated 3 times in Hebrews 12, in referring to God’s chastisement, in v.6, 7 and 10. People have seen God’s chastisement as outward experiences; sent by Him, to teach us humility and submission, to get us back on track with His purposes. However, according to the context of Hebrew 12 and the Jewish audience he was addressing, the writer specifically used this familiarity of chastisement, to relate to them and to encourage them about God’s continual care as their Father (See v.5’s word “exhortation”). 

Under the New Covenant, God no longer instructs us from OUTWARD inducements, He now teaches us by the INWARD inducement from the Spirit of grace, John 14:26 (Of course, He can use outward things. But those outward things help get our eyes on Jesus, see 12:1-4). Here’s what Heb 12 says to believers in Christ. God’s discipline, His INWARD chastisement of grace, is enjoyable to those who have been trained by it, Heb 12:11 (If you compare this “training” with the training we see in 5:13-14, you see that those who are “trained” in “the word of righteousness” are able to discern both good and evil). Grace-chastisement initially seems painful because our emotions, which are great indicators but lousy guides, give us the wrong perception about what’s happening to us (Thinking God is punishing us). But it’s as we learn to walk by faith in His grace, keeping our eyes on Jesus, our emotions eventually give way to our spirit; thus, becoming trained by the word of righteousness, or to God’s grace-training.

Look at these Scriptures coupled together— “being confident of this very thing, that He (God) who has begun a good work IN YOU will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… for it is God who works IN YOU both to will and to do for His good pleasure… Now may the God of peace… (May the God of peace) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working IN YOU what is well pleasing in His sight”. (Phil 1:6; 2:13 and Heb 13:20-21) In this New Covenant, do you see how God works IN YOU? You don’t need to be prodded by EXTERNAL sources, like obeying a bunch of rules and principles (carrot and stick method), like they did when they lived under the old way. As a believer in Christ, God has His INTERNAL sources of love and grace to motivate and lead you into the right direction. Now I want to give you 3 significant instructions that come INWARDLY from God’s grace.

1st grace instruction: 

Grace “INWARDLY” instructs us to believe in Jesus exclusively

Pick up a Bible Doctrines book, and see hundreds of doctrinal teachings from the Bible, and you don’t know what to believe or where to get started. Read annotated Bibles, such as Dake’s Annotated Bible, or pick up References Bibles, such as Thompson Chain (Nothing against Finis Dake or Thomson Chain), and you’ll see loads and loads of notes, topics and teachings from various Scriptures, all lumped together, from Genesis to Revelation, and you’ll stand clueless as to the centralization of God’s will for our lives. Go to a ministry website, and you’ll probably see a section called, “What we believe''. Go there, and you’ll probably find several things that they claim to believe in and build their ministry’s teachings on. All of this leaves us clueless as to what we should be standing for (And if we don’t know what to stand for, we’ll fall for anything.) But, if we look to Paul and the guys, and to the underlining theme woven throughout their writings, it’s quite simple what we are to believe and stand fast in. For instance, Paul said in 1 Cor 2:2— “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He expounded on this a bit later in 15:1, 3-4— “I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you… 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”. It’s quite clear what he believed in, and based all of his teachings from… it was Jesus exclusively! In John 15:26-27, Jesus said in regard to the indwelling Spirit, said— “But when the Helper comes (and He has), the Spirit of truth… He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness (of Me)”. It’s quite clear what the indwelling Spirit testifies to… Jesus, and Him exclusively! We don’t need to look at all of these other doctrines and teachings that could be formed (really, fabricated) from the Bible. The Hebrew writer tells us exactly what we are to be focused on in Heb 12:2, “looking unto Jesus”.

2nd grace instruction:

Grace “INWARDLY” instructs us to grow in the knowledge of the finished work of Christ

The gospel of grace proclaims these 4 things: 

1) the “unconditional” love of the Father, see 1 John 4:8, 16

2) the “complete” forgiveness of sins, see Heb 10:17-18;

3) your “total” change into God's righteous child, see 2 Cor 5:17, 21;

4) the “unlimited” provisions of blessings in heavenly places, see Eph 1:3

CONVERSELY, the Old Covenant based message emphasize these 4 things: 

1) God’s love is “conditional”, based on your good performances (He punishes all disobedience, see Lev 26:14!)

2) one's “continual asking” for God’s forgiveness (If you don’t, you won’t be forgiven, see Matt 6:14!) 

3) one’s “obedience and self-improvement”, based on behavior-management (You’re imperfect, but try to become perfect, see Matt 5:48!)

4) one’s “self-sacrifices and self-denials” obtains God’s faithfulness (What you put in is what you get out, see Gal 6:7-9!) 

When you see this contrast, it’s easy to see why many believers are confused. In 2 Pet 3:17-18, he said— “You therefore, beloved, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Our own steadfastness is our mental strength and fortitude in believing in Jesus, and in today’s world, it’s easy to become distracted from the simplicity that’s in Christ. Peter says that we are to grow in grace (that is, in relying on God’s help, not ours) and knowledge of Jesus (that is, in the knowledge of His finished work). It’s only by these 2 elements, can we spiritually grow, by the renewal of our minds. Throughout the NT letters, John, Paul, and the others agree.

3rd grace instruction: 

Grace “INWARDLY” instructs us to rest in Christ.

Resting in Christ is the disposition of believing in Jesus; which * always * results in us relying on His grace (I’m referring to our spiritual growth; I’m not advocating laziness). With that said, Psa 131:1-2 says— “Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” A prideful, haughty attitude thinks something like, “I can make improvements to myself; thus, speeding up my growth process. I can obey certain things and apply certain disciplines, and achieve my spiritual growth.” Having this kind of attitude, according to our text, keeps us on milk, because of a disquieted soul, v.2. Honestly, when it comes to our spiritual growth, we must “come to the end of ourselves”, and admit, “Lord, I’m not lifting another finger to help. I’m letting You do it!” This world, through its various media platforms, pumps us with messages of self-help and self-improvement. Then, when we go to church, these messages are reinforced (The only difference, most times, they attach Scriptures to them, to make it sound “spiritual”.) As we grow up spiritually, we should follow the example of Paul, who said in 1 Cor 3:6—“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. While we can certainly read the Bible and pray to God (That is always a good idea!), we let God’s grace produce the increase!

Finally, let me say that I hope you picked up on my central theme of EXTERNAL and INTERNAL. It’s this INWARD transition of grace (which works INWARDLY) that holds the key for our OUTWARD behavior; anything else works temporary, at best. Our behavior is not the result of persistently obeying a bunch of OUTWARD rules (That’s equivalent to the law), but it’s letting Christ INWARDLY rule, and this is, as we believe and rest in the finished work of Christ.


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