Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
We have been looking, since Christmas, at gifts we can really use. The greatest gift of all time, the one that started it all, was Christ Himself. “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” - John 3:16. Let me ask you a question. Is God’s love unconditional? Are God’s Blessings unconditional? Are love and blessings synonymous? Is one contingent upon the other? Have I completely lost you? God’s love is Unconditional - Romans 5:8 = “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Blessings, however, are Conditional. Over and over God would plead with a sinning Israel, and tell them if they would just quit doing the terrible things they were doing; stop chasing other gods which were no gods at all, and stop murdering their children, and a litany of other transgressions, that He, God, would forgive them AND – Heal their land, make their crops grow, make their livestock fat - etc. “But if you don’t repent”; God would tell them He would turn them over to pagan nations to be slaves. This happened many times to the nation of Israel, and happens more often than not to us.
Look at it like this. God would rather have His saints walking in the desert, than to have sinners walking Heaven. Or, OBEDIENCE IS THE PIPELINE THROUGH WHICH GOD’S BLESSINGS FLOW. That was easy. Not.
How do we obey? Really Obey. answer = Grace. Some believe and even teach that If we are under Grace, than we can do whatever we want. NOT! You know what Grace really is? It is a Supernatural Power, enabling us to Obey God’s Laws. Augustine said something for which he was heavily persecuted. “Oh God; command what you will, but give what you command.”
You see, the Bible talks about two kinds of Grace. Saving Grace, and Enabling Grace. We will elaborate on these two next week, but for now I want to put you in mind of the song “Amazing Grace”. Vs 1 talks about being saved, then vs 3 says this: “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come, tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.” Do you have a Supernatural power to endure when your friends say things that hurt? When you loose a loved one? When life doesn’t go your way? Or, are you just trying to do the best that you can do? 2nd Cor. 13:5 encourages us to “Examine yourselves whether you are in the Faith”. What are you trusting in?