Daily Tidbits 5/8 – Grow in Grace

Daily tidbits grow in grace

The Scriptures admonish us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

The word for grace is χάρις ‘charis’ which is used to translate numerous words in the Greek Septuagint. One of the words is גדולה ‘gedulah’ which means to grow in size. We are to grow/mature into the image of Messiah, from glory to glory.

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Messiah is the Grace of God.  The Grace of God is the Gospel.

Act_20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

The Grace of God is the Word.

Act_20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

The Grace of God is His Gift.

Rom_5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Jesus is the Gift of God.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The Grace of God comes through Jesus

1Co_1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
2Co_13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi, a city of Macedonia, by Titus and Lucas.

Jesus is the Grace of God that brings salvation to the world.
Tit_2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

We are to be molded into the image/character of Christ.  Jesus is THE image of God (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8). He revealed God’s name/character to mankind (John 17:6, 26).

Joh 17:6 I revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your Word.
Joh 17:26 And I made known to them Your name, and will make it known, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.

Interestingly, the English word ‘grace‘ traces back to the Hebrew word חרות ‘charot’ which is also the origin of the English word ‘character.’ חרות ‘charot’ means to engrave or chisel, as in the engraving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 32:16).

Exo 32:16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven {חרות ‘charot} upon the tables.

 

In Greek, the word χαρακτήρ ‘charakter’ means to stamp or carve out. This word is used in only one verse of Scripture, translated as ‘express image’ (Hebrews 1:3). The connection to חרות ‘charot’ is easy to see in this case. The connection to grace is a little harder but no less significant. חרות ‘charot’ also has the meaning of freedom in the sense that stone chiseled from the rock is ‘set free.’ Grace and freedom are synonymous.  The Hebrew word חנם ‘chinam’ means freedom and comes from the root word חן ‘chen’ which means grace.

 

Grow in Knowledge

We are to grow in His grace and knowledge. We are not called to grow in knowledge about Him, but knowledge of Him.

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

“It is very possible to have a wonderful grasp of the scriptures, a comprehensive and intimate familiarity with doctrine; to stand for cardinal verities of the faith; to be an unceasing worker in Christian service; to have a great devotion to the salvation of men, and yet, alas, to have a very inadequate and limited personal knowledge of God within. So often the Lord has to take away our work that we may discover Him. The ultimate value of everything is not the information which we give, not the soundness of our doctrine, not the amount of work that we do, not the measure of truth that we possess, but just the fact that we know the Lord in a deep and mighty way.”  {T. Austin Sparks}

Joh 17:3 And this is everlasting life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

Eph 3:17 that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and founded in love,
Eph 3:18 that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
Eph 3:19 and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Christ came to earth in the very image of Almighty God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), who is love. His life displayed that love and He calls all those who believe in Him to display that love as well. This is the essence of the concept of ‘Christ in us.’ It is through His love that man is formed into His image (Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:29) where there is no longer Jew or Greek, Barbarian or Scythian but Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11).

This is the message of the Gospel. Love. Love is the foundation of God’s grace (Acts 20:24; John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

2Co_13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

His Love breaks down the barriers and walls which man has set up to divide (Ephesians 2:1-22; 1 Corinthians 12:13). His Love that breaks down the wall of sin which has separated man from God (Isaiah 59:2; John 3:16; 12:32; Isaiah 49:6; Revelation 5:9). This love is revealed in our actions towards our fellow man, not in our intellectual proclamations. All of us see through a glass darkly which keeps us from seeing eye to eye (1 Corinthians 13:12). The only remedy for this is love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 4:7-21), love and patience towards one another until the Lord returns and His salvation is fully revealed (Isaiah 52:7-10). Love allows man to understand that we can have differences of opinions but ultimately if we abide in love we can dwell in peace and unity (Ephesians 4:2-16, 32; 5:1-2; Colossians 3:9-17).

The true intent of the law/Word of God is not to make men religious but to reform men into the image of their God who is love (1 John 4:8). It is this love that unites us and perfects us (causes us to grow in maturity). It is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14) which sets man free (Galatians 5:13-14). This love is not intended only for a certain group of religious people, but for all mankind. Scripture declares that in the Christ shall the ‘gentiles trust’ (Matthew 12:21; Romans 15:8-12; Isaiah 11:10). For Jesus is the true Light which enlightens every man (John 1:9; 12:44-46; Isaiah 49:6), sent to restore all of mankind back to God (Isaiah 45:22; Romans 3:29; John 1:12; 3:15-17).

Way of Life

We are not called to be followers of religion, we are called to be followers of Him. Its not about religion, its a way of life.

Act 5:20 Go! And standing in the temple, speak to the people all the words of this Life.
Act 9:2 Saul asked from him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, so that if he found any being of the Way, both men and women, having bound them he might bring them to Jerusalem.
Act 18:25 This one having been taught by mouth in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things about the Lord, having understood only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 And this one began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And hearing him Priscilla and Aquila took him and more accurately expounded the way of God to him.
Act 19:9 But when some were hardened, and did not obey, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, departing from them, he separated the disciples, conversing day by day in the school of a certain Tyrannus.
Act 19:23 And about that time there was no little disturbance about the Way.
Act 24:5 For having found this man pestilent and moving insurrection among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect;
Act 24:14 But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say is a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets,
Act 24:22 And hearing these things, Felix put them off, knowing more accurately about the Way, saying, When Lysias the chiliarch comes down, I will examine the things as to you.

In Acts 24:14 it is seen that early believers in Messiah were called followers of the Way and were considered a ‘sect.’ The Greek word translated as sect is αἵρεσις ‘hairesis’ which is source of the English word ‘heresy.’ Isaac Mozeson traces this word back further to the Hebrew word חרות ‘charot,’ the same Hebrew source for grace and character.

We are called to follow God, being ‘imitators’ of Him, walking in His love.

Eph 5:1 Then become imitators of God, as beloved children,
Eph 5:2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell.
1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
1Jn 2:6 The one claiming to rest in Him ought so to walk himself as that One walked.
1Jn 5:1 Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been generated from God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the one who has been born of Him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love having been perfected is in us.
1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because of His Spirit He has given to us.

 

The true intent of the law/Word of God is not to make men religious but to reform men into the image of their God who is love (1 John 4:8).

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

Messiah “imitated” God, He was the express image of the Father.

Heb 1:2 in these last days He spoke to us in the Son, whom He appointed heir of all; through whom He indeed made the ages;
Heb 1:3 who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high, Psa. 110:1
Joh 14:7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you do know Him, and have seen Him.
Joh 14:8 And Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, Am I so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one seeing Me has seen the Father! And how do you say, Show us the Father?
Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words which I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me, He does the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves.

 

Christ manifested the image of the Father because of what He did (His works). He imitated the Father in order to reveal Him to the world.

Joh 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son is not able to do anything from Himself, except what He may see the Father doing; for whatever that One does, these things also the Son does likewise.
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows to Him all things which He does. And He will show Him greater works than these in order that you may marvel.

So too, we are to imitate God by what we do (our works) by walking in Love.

Eph 5:1 Then become imitators of God, as beloved children,
Eph 5:2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell.
1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
1Jn 2:6 The one claiming to rest in Him ought so to walk himself as that One walked.
1Jn 5:1 Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been generated from God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the one who has been born of Him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love having been perfected is in us.
1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because of His Spirit He has given to us.

Messiah said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love. He did not say they would know us by our understanding of doctrine/theology.

Joh_13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1Jn 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

When the Lord returns, He will judge us according to our service in love (Matthew 25:31-46). Serving in love is the true path to ‘theology’ or knowing God (Jeremiah 22:16). Scripture declares that love of one’s fellow man is equated with love of God (1 John 4:11-12, 20-21) and is the fulfillment and purpose of His Word (Matthew 22:39-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 6:2). It does not say love of one’s fellow religious counterpart, but of one’s fellow MAN (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 1:11), even our enemies (Luke 6:35). This love is manifested in service to one another (Galatians 5:13-14; 6:2; John 13:35; 1 John 3:16-19), in particular the poor and weak amongst us.

 

The work of the Holy Spirit in the process of purification is to lead us to love (1 Peter 1:22). The goal of the Word is to lead us to love (1 Timothy 1:5; Galatians 5:14; 6:2). Love is the fruit which reveals that we are growing in maturity in Messiah (2 Peter 1:5-8). Love is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:14).

All religions are based upon this Golden rule of love. Almost everyone in the world follows a religion so why is there so much hate? The problem is that we cannot keep the golden rule by our power or understanding. The Golden rule can only work if we are following by the principle of seeking His Face. If we treat others as we want to be treated, not by other men, but by God this is the key. We want forgiveness and mercy and grace from God…this then should be given to others.

blessing 4

 

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