Saturday, January 30, 2016

Directional Commentary 1.30.16

Grace and Peace

This week, let’s take a look at Revelation 1:4 which says,“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;”

We can quickly determine from this verse that John is about to write to the seven churches which are in Asia. We will discuss each of these churches in detail as we get into chapters two and three. For now, just know that they were seven literal churches in Asia Minor.

Notice the second part of the verse that says, “…Grace be unto you, and peace…” I want to focus on that statement today. Did you know that of the 27 books that make up the New Testament of our Bible, 17 of them began with this phrase? Also, if you carefully look at each time this happens; never is peace before grace. It’s always grace and then peace. Why does grace always come before peace?

Well, first of all, we need to understand what grace is. Grace is God’s unmerited favor.  Some have used it as an acronym for “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” In other words, you can do nothing to earn it or deserve it. It is given by God as a free gift. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Grace is given, not earned. No Christian can ever boast that they did something that so impressed God that He saved them.

The reason that God must give grace is because we are all sinners. To sin means to miss the mark. It’s an archery term. The archer pulls back his bow and he aims for the bull’s-eye, but the arrow falls short; therefore he sins. So too, no matter how desperately we desire or try to hit the bull’s-eye, we fall short as well. This is because we are sinners by our very nature. We inherited that nature from our Grandparents, Adam and Eve. That’s why the Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
As such, we are deserving of punishment. The Bible calls that place Hell. Whoa! That’s not good! No, it’s not, but that’s where grace comes in. The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, God gave us grace, through His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we would not have to go to Hell because of our sin. Of course, the question of the day is, “What have you done about it?”

Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." Did you see that? If you will call upon the name of the Lord, you can be saved. You can accept the grace, the unmerited favor that God has given to you through His Son, Jesus Christ. However, it is up to you to take the first step.

Here is the conclusion of the matter. Grace always comes before peace, because without grace there can be no peace. One person said it this way; “No Grace, No Peace. Know Grace, Know Peace.” It is true. Once you come to understand this grace. Once you’ve come to rest and relax in this grace. Then you will have peace with God. One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”Do you want peace? You can have it, but you must accept God’s grace first.  Come to Jesus today!

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