Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do You Need To Do Anything More Than Receive His Grace?

Does God Require Anything From You As His Child?

Question : Does God require anything from you as His child? Is there anything He says that you must do as His child other than receive His grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! Once we become a child of God, we stop doing our work as a requirement and start doing it out of our love for God. That is what Jesus revealed in the story of the prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. The Lost son whom Jesus explained about was a son who returned to His Father's Presence out of sin knowing His unworthiness, but the elder Son who was saved from sin as a child of God and was serving Him did all his works as a duty to receive his reward rather than out of his love for what the Father has done for Him (Luke 15:21, 29). In the life of the the lost son we see an act of repentance to life which had led him to experience once again from the severed relationship in fellowship because of sin to an intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father which is eternal life (Acts 11:18; John 17:3). In other words, the prodigal son returns from sin nature and comes to his true self of realizing himself as God's child and then seeks out to return to the Heavenly Father's presence through the blood of Jesus to again experiences the best of heaven's riches (Luke 15:22-23), he experienced the great riches of the Father's wealth and partied in it not because he deserves it but because he availed it through his humility to come to the Father God realizing his need for Him and His unlimited wealth and His never ending mercies that never ceases (Luke 15:17-20; Lam 3:21-23; 1 John 2:1-2; 11:13; James 4:10). The younger son even though was lost from the fellowship with the Father because of his sin, he never ceased to be the son of his father. This shows that he was not a person coming from a unsaved background repenting to receive through Jesus the Father God's relationship for the first time. In other words, he was not a baby Christian but a adult son who had already experienced a close relationship with his Father and then have lost it because of indulging in his sinful fancies and then returned back to fellowship with his Father through returning to him in humility (Rom 8:16-17, 14).

The elder son was also saved and had been born in the family of God (John 1:12-13), but obeyed His Father with a sense of duty out of the realization that he ought to do these things that He requires in order to please Him and earn His reward (Luke 15:29). But following the law will lead a person to sin rather than closer relationship with God because the law was given for us to realize our need for God and not for us to keep in order to please God (Gal 3:19, Rom 3:20, NLT). The law doesn't need faith to keep it, all a person needs to do is to try to keep it by one's own strength and therefore the Bible says, "Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt." (Rom 4:4). In other words, the elder son doing his works out of a sense of requirement to his Father, has made the grace of God become void or of no use and have made the Father God to become a debtor to him. He didn't realize that God the Father who is his father is no man's debtor, but he himself as a sinner in need of grace is a debtor to live according to the Father's will for showering His mercies and grace upon his life abundantly already (Rom 8:12-14; 11:34, 35-36; Job 41:11). By the self-righteous mind set, the elder son denied himself the party time and infinite wealth of his father to be experienced by him even though his father was desiring and pleading with him to come and enjoy the best He had for him always (Luke 15:29-32). The elder son was angry against his father because of jealousy over his younger brother who was not only restored but given the best of Father's wealth to enjoy (Luke 15:28). God has so many elder sons who are working very hard to please him and many many younger sons who does nothing more than return to Him often out of a sense of unworthiness because of their sins that have worked out humility within their heart to make them avail the infinite wealth of the Father God to be enjoyed and partied, not because of their worthiness but because of their daring attitude of faith to go to the Father God boldly out of realization of the Father's worthiness to provide them through the unlimited riches of His grace and mercy in every time of their need (Heb 4:14-16).

The Jews had a elder sons attitude because they followed the law to the word and dot, out of a sense of requirement, and therefore Jesus directed this parable to them. And the younger son was the sinners whom these Jews considered to be unworthy to receive God's mercies and grace (Luke 15:1-2, 11-32). But how mistaken and deceived they have become to deny themselves the grace that their Heavenly Father wanted to give them through Jesus (Matt 9:9, 12-13; 18:10-14; 1 Cor 15:10-11). Old Testament was filled with reward for fulfilling God's requirement, but New Testament is filled with reward for those who believe in what Jesus has promised them, who come to the Father boldly believing again and again of His goodness and benevolence to forgive, give and give. No matter how many promises are there in the Bible, all are yes and amen in Jesus Christ through us as we believe and walk by faith as God's dear children (2 Cor 1:20).

Some Jews out of keeping the law and requirement to receive God's anointing and do the work of God like Jesus, asked Him out of their zeal the following question, "28... “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”" (John 6:28-29). This clearly shows that we cannot work for God in the New Testament but only let God work for us and through us by our faith and love towards Him and His promises which Jesus has made it possible to reach through believing (Gal 5:6; John 14:1, 14; 16:23, 26-27). In other words, the only requirement of God for all the believers of the New Testament age is to believe in Jesus and experience the abundant life that He gives from heaven through the living way of the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:13; John 10:10; Heb 6:9, 12; 10:20; John 6:63; 1 John 5:7-8).

There are innumerable benefits that come to us after salvation if we come to believe the promises of God, and also spiritual loses will come to us if we are ignoring them by our unbelief. One of the main gain when we believe the promises of God is that God starts to work out our salvation on earth and let us choose good things out of our godly fear and trembling that comes out of our love relationship with Him (Php 1:6; 2:12-13). Our reward from God on earth and in the future time of eternity will be based on how we have received the grace of God by faith and allowed God to work within us by keeping the right motive within our heart to do it. The right motive that God is looking for in our heart is whether we choose to work for the glory of God in all that we do (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17), when we fulfill that requirement of God it will bring the rich reward of God in to our lives now and for eternity, and then will make us choose to stay in heavenly satisfaction which God will give to us personally (1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 5:9-10; Prov 19:23).

Jesus told to all believers, "4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5). What does the above verses really mean? It means we can do a lot of work for God with our strength and effort like the elder son whom we have seen, it can earn us temporal dividend but does not make us become rich spiritually but instead will cause us to incur eternal loss of reward which ought to have been ours if we have done our work not out of requirement but rather out of love like the prodigal son did by partaking and enjoying the party of our Heavenly Father and His riches which comes to us through believing the promises of God and receiving God's grace through which God will work through us by His strength (1 Cor 3:11-15; Eccl 12:14; Prov 16:2; 1 Peter 5:10; Rev 3:11; Heb 6:9-12). The lost son sinned and lost fellowship with the Father, like that we believers many times lose our sense of fellowship with the Father because of some besetting sins. But the lost son was found by the Father when through a sense of humbleness that has come to him because of unworthiness, reached out to the Father in love knowing that He has been forgiven much again and again, but this time too his Father will faithfully receive him and cleanse him from all sins to have a spiritual party with him (Luke 7:36-50; Gal 2:16-21; 1 John 1:9). Fathers love was revealed through the lost son's faith in His unfailing love. May God help us to understand that if we will only believe in our Christian life and keep believing, all thing are possible to be easily achieved with God working hand in hand with us for His Glory, and that is the only work that will please God immensely for now and for eternity (Mark 9:22-23; Heb 11:6). In other words, Jesus has clearly told that no matter what you do for God to please Him by your strength, unless you get in partnership with Jesus by believing His promises and receive His grace to work with Him, you cannot do nothing eternally worthwhile to receive a reward from God and please Him immensely through your life now and forever. So ignoring to believe the promises of God will make you stay in unbelief or do religious work that will incur huge spiritual and eternal loss of reward even though salvation that was given to us by God in Jesus will stay safe because it is actually kept in His own safe hands (John 10:27-30; 1 Cor 3:15; Heb 9:28; 2 Cor 5:10). So the bottom line is, ONLY BELIEVE, ONLY BELIEVE, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, ONLY BELIEVE!!!!

Much Blessings....


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