Hello Audiences! Welcome to Return to God Forum. I am Dr. Danson Ubebe – Teacher and Author. This is Episode 13; the third of the series; “Called to the kingdom of God.” Our task is to equip you with knowledge of the word of God (Eph. 4:12-14). More so as lack of knowledge destroys the people of God (Hos. 4:6). It is known that grace and truth came through Jesus (John 1:17). The importance of grace and truth requires you to know what they truly represent and what made them special. You will only know this by hearing the message again, and again. So, our topic today is ‘grace and truth’; the mysteries unveiled – Ministry of Jesus, Part 3.
The objective is to show how grace and truth are iconic gifts.
In Episode 12, we probed the identity and functions of spirit, soul and body, and the step-by-step transformation to born-again. Today we will deepen the study of grace and truth in Parts A and B. End of intro.
Grace is an iconic gift. It is a puzzle we have interpreted and proven with scripture. Over the years grace has been described in various ways without proof. Examples are, unmerited favor, power, etc. Is God author of confusion? To single out and brand grace as unmerited favor is absurd. This is because all other gifts are unmerited. The poison of wrong description of grace could ruin multitudes of souls. You cannot be like first century disciples of Christ, who walked like Him, if you lack understanding of grace in the perspective of God (Acts 11:26)? It is when you know the biblical interpretation you can live life in the flesh for God (Phil. 1:27). “And you shall know the truth, the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Divine grace is not given to man in isolation of Jesus. This was testified to, when power left Jesus the moment the woman with the issue of blood was healed (Mk. 5:25-30). Similarly, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord to save a remnant of humanity on the surface of the earth (Gen. 6:8). It was for God to fulfil His promise (Gen. 3:15); to give eternal life to man (1John 2:25). For similar reason of salvation, grace was also given to Paul to lay the foundation of the gospel of the cross of Jesus and Him crucified (1Cor. 3:10). Grace is a fruit of administrative arm of the reign of Jesus. It stands out like a thumb among the gifts of God. Its functions are multi-dimensional. It is like the diverse functions of arm forces in human rule. Grace could trigger divine power, favor, protection, blessing, etc. Whereas favor is an earthly benefit and both God and men give it. For example, Jesus and Samuel respectively increased in favor with God and men (Lk. 2:52; Sam. 2:26).
Emphasis. Only scripture can interpret scripture with similar statement to reveal its true meaning, be it grace or any word of God. It is the Spirit of truth who dwells in man that reveals it to him (John 14:17, 26) by either intuition, or vision, or dream. or voice (Is. 30:21). Extra meanings are guesswork of people deceived and deceiving. It is similar way favor has craftily been changed to grace in some Holy Bible for selfish reasons. If you get what grace is wrong; you will not receive the full benefit of the gospel of the cross of Jesus. For grace intervenes where man’s effort ends. When scripture interpret itself, it is watertight. No option can discredit it, unlike views of man. Example, what then is the difference between grace and faith, etc. for all are unmerited. Now what is the purpose of grace? End emphasis.
Pathway to grace. For tidiness, it is necessary to first map the path to grace. God knew man would fall prey to sin. Therefore, He designed the cross of Jesus before the foundation of the world, to save man by grace through faith (Eph. 1:4-6). It means God was not taking unaware by the sin of Adam. The sin in the garden of Eden stripped man of every gift of God (Gen. 3:6-8). From that moment sin separated man totally from God (Is. 59:2). It implied his death was both spiritual and physical, which was his outward look. It was the only time God appointed for man to die once before Judgment (Gen. 2:17; Heb. 9:27). Check your scripture. View video for detail explanation at this given link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnkD0u5wd-0. Thereafter man merited only death (Rom. 6:23). This was mirrored at the temple in Jerusalem with the veil which separated man from the ark of testimony (Ex. 26:35).
Emphasis. Adam’s sin turned man to deep darkness; the nature of Satan (Is. 60:2a). It was like the darkness upon the deep before the foundation of the world (Gen. 1:2). It is why the heart of man is evil (Jer. 17;9). And man is born in iniquity (Ps. 51:5), and short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). The glory was his outward look like the physical body – Like begets like. So, it was necessary for man to be born again to live with God (John 3:3; 5), because Adam instantly died bodily and spiritually in Eden (Gen. 3:7-8). This is explained in the link shown earlier. End emphasis.
Grace ushered in new creation; born-again. At Calvary Jesus was crucified as the sinful nature Adam became when he believed Satan instead of God in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:7-8). Instantly the veil mentioned earlier, torn from top to bottom (Mt. 27:51). It meant removal of barrier of separation between God and man. The blood of Jesus set a door in our hearts (Rev. 3:8). The door leads to the new way through His flesh for man to pass and be saved and find pasture (John 10:9). Next God who commanded light out of darkness (Gen. 1:3) shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus (2Cor. 4:6). As the light of God shone in our hearts, the Lord arose over us and the glory seen upon us (Is. 60:2b). Then, God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for our offences and He forgave man the sins he committed previously (Rom. 3:25). People generally omit referring to the phrase “previous sins” when discussing forgiveness of our sins at Calvary. So, mankind was saved (from past sins) by grace through faith of God (Eph. 2:8-9). God was in Christ, reconciling men to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. He dedicated to us the word of reconciliation (2cor.5:19). So, the Sprit gave gifts to men (1Cor. 12: 3-11). As Jesus resurrected, complete born-again mankind was raised together with Him, shown by bodies of saints who rose (Mt. 27:51-53). This is known as our common salvation by our common faith (Jude 3). It set a stage for all things to gather in Christ (Eph. 1:10). It gave access to the spirit man by faith to live with God and for the dust to return to dust, when man sleeps on earth (Eccl. 12:7), till the Day of Judgment (1Cor. 15:52). In the interim, everyone must work out the salvation of his soul (Phil. 2:12). The work is made fruitful by living grace through faith in Christ daily (1Cor. 15:10; Heb. 4:16).
Emphasis. Now each believer runs looking at the glory of the Lord upon him and is steadily being transformed to the same glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2Cor. 3:18). This will go on till he receives the end of faith and the soul receives salvation (1Pet. 1:9). The common salvation by grace happened once for everybody. It suggests once you believe stay abided in Jesus, which is the only condition to be saved forever (Mk. 8:34). After that, he would require daily saving grace to work out salvation of his soul (Phil. 2:12). End emphasis.
God revealed the source of grace. Same Spirit gave general gifts to men (1Cor. 12:4-11). Besides Him, is the “Spirit of glory and of God.” It is He who rest on a man blessed when he is reproached for the sake of Jesus (1Pet. 4:14). But only the spiritual (inner) man gets the direct impression. The natural man is not aware. This is because natural mind cannot perceive the things of the Spirit of God. Neither can natural man receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually decerned (1Cor, 2:14). So, there is a puzzle here. To unveil the mystery, God used the occasion of the prayer of Paul to Him to remove the thorn in his flesh to tell him: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2Cor. 12:9). What does this mean? By examining the statement God made, it means; when the “Spirit of glory and of God” rest on the inner man, the fruit of grace of God is produced to safeguard the natural man.
Emphasis. It shows the relationship between the spiritual and natural man is by divine relay in form of either insight, or vision, or dream, or voice (Is. 30:21) like Paul heard. This is generally facilitated by the Spirit of truth who dwells in us (John 14:26). Every gift is unmerited, regardless of the source. So, what is the difference between the gifts of the “Spirit of glory & of God” and of the Spirit? End emphasis.
Finding what made grace unique, an iconic gift. As shown before, the “Spirit of glory and of God” produces the fruit of grace to reveal the identity of the producer Spirit. Now Jesus is God (John 1:1) and the glory of God (Heb. 1:3). Therefore, the “Spirit of glory and of God” is the “Spirit of Christ Jesus.” It means it is the Spirit of Christ who rest on man reproached for the sake of Jesus’ name to produce grace on His behalf to help the natural man in time of need (Heb. 4:16). What is the purpose of the grace of God? The Spirit of Christ is part of the reign of Christ. Therefore, the Spirit produces grace as mark of Christ’s mediation for man before God. Regarding the flow of grace, it comes from God to Christ, and to man. Therefore, grace is “intersession of Christ for the Saints” (Rom. 8:34). This fixed link of grace to the reign of Christ makes it iconic and different from favor. WOW!
So, the gospel of grace is to preach Jesus as the man who died for our sins, who was buried, and who resurrected to save us and now intervenes for us (1Cor. 15:10; Gal. 1:6-7). It is same as, but the reversed order of, the gospel of the cross of Jesus and Him crucified (Gal. 6:14). It is the only valid gospel which incorporates the full counsel of God (Acts 20:24-27).
Emphasis. Grace comes by plea of Christ to God for man to get help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). Unlike favor, Christ is a participant in every situation for the gift of grace (1Pet. 2:21). Hence, as law entered that offence might abound, even so when sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Rom. 5:20). Grace is the companion of truth – Part B. End of emphasis.
This is first ever proof of what truth signifies, using scripture to interpret scripture. It is truth that upholds gospel of grace. Truth has eluded man because he sidelined the Spirit of truth who alone God gave authority to remind him of word of Jesus (John 14:26). People rather chose to accept the mistake of fathers of the church who gave less attention to the iconic gift of truth. By the grace of God, the lid which had covered truth has been removed for man to know what truth is. Like grace, truth also stands out like a thumb in the knowledge of the gospel of salvation.
To unveil truth, Jesus began by likening who hears His word and does it, to a wise man who built his house on a rock. The house was lambasted by ferocious storm and flood, but it stood firm (Mt. 7:24-27).
On another occasion, Jesus asked His disciples who men thought He is. They gave wrong answers (Mt. 16: 13). So, He asked them; who do you say am I? Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). Jesus said Peter was right. And that it was not revealed to him by flesh and blood, but by His Father who is in heaven. Then Jesus said to him too; you are Peter. Translated as a piece of stone in Greek (John 1:42).
Next, Jesus declared the puzzle: “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16:18). “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:19).
Emphasis. Has this puzzle been really solved till now? Let us interrogate the prevailing opinions: Catholics believe it is Peter. Non-Catholics believe it is: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Is any of them correct? Let us find out. End emphasis.
Interrogating the views: First the Catholics. They believe Peter is the rock- insert left bottom. We found following – Jesus is the Rock (1Cor. 10:4) – insert bulk. He is also eternal. He proposed to build His church on the rock- insert left bottom. But Peter is a creature prevented by death from continuing in office, like the priest under the law (Heb. 7:23).
Also, Peter means a piece of stone (insert – right), which is not the same as a rock (left insert bottom). Indeed, Jesus did not commit Himself to man for He knows all things (John 2:24-25). But He fingered Peter to be the rallying point if he lived (John 21:15-17). If He committed not Himself to man, why would He commit His church to man? Was Peter not a man? Therefore, Peter is not the rock Jesus promised to build His eternal church on.
In Jesus’ dialogue with His disciples, He referred to ‘you’ as who He would give the keys of heaven (Mt. 16:19). On the face, it would suggest it is Peter. Really? Instead, the ‘you’ refers to he who hears His voice. And the ‘keys’ refer to the Holy Spirit. This, He confirmed when He gave the Holy Spirit (the keys) to His disciples (hearer of His voice) after His resurrection (John 20:22-23).
Second, Non-Catholics believe the revelation: “You are the Christ; the Son of the living God” is the rock. But this was known before Jesus posed the question to the disciples. Quote: “…You are My Son, today I have begotten You (Psalm. 2:7).”
And: “… For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).” Also, rock is specific to His body, but Christ Jesus refers to the entire Rock (ref. insert). Moreover, the view suggest Jesus promised to build His church on Himself. That would not sound well to the ears of decerning persons. Therefore, the Non-Catholics is not correct too.
Emphasis. It means views of men are wrong. So, what did God who knows all things (Isaiah 40:26) revealed to Peter? God made Peter to look at Jesus through His prism (pinhole). So, he saw who truly He is. It is how to know what truth of things by His word and His Spirit is. A wrong verdict of the rock will produce wrong church. Can you see why there are so many differences in world churches? End of emphasis.
The proof of what God revealed to Peter. The Rock equal to Christ is a mass of rock (ref. insert). Similarly, Jesus said He is the truth (John 14;6). But scripture did not corroborate Jesus elsewhere. Now wait! The word of God is truth (Ps. 33:4). And Jesus is the Word of God (Rev. 19:13). Comparing the Rock and Jesus, in turn, the rock which formed the mass of Rock is equal to the word of God or the truth which formed the body of the Word of God, who is Christ.
It means the rock is to the mass of Rock, what the truth is, to the body of Jesus. Therefore, what God revealed to Peter is that Jesus is the truth (Mt. 16:16); to affirm His claim of being the truth.
If custodians of the law had known Jesus is truly who He said He is, they would have accused Him of usurping the status of the son of king David, who they believed God anointed as king forever (2Sam. 7:12-16). So, He forbade the disciples from disclosing it to the people (Mt. 16:20).
Now the word, the rock and the church, which is the body of Christ and His flesh, are of the same composition – The truth (Lk. 22: 19-20). Thus, truth is the bread which came from heaven. It gives credit to the saying of Jesus: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Man and drinks His blood, you have no life in you… “This is the bread which came down from heaven… “(John 6:53-58). So, the iconic meaning of “truth” is the “rock (Mt. 16:18),
and “he who hears His voice (The church which is the body of Christ),”
and vice versa. WOW!
Emphasis. The church is assembly of truth and is the body of Christ (Rom. 12:4-5).
So, each unit of truth is of His body (1Cor. 12:27).
But assembly of His church is made up of people who hear the voice of Jesus (John 18:37).
So, in Lord’s Supper, the bread man eats as His body affirms his choice to follow, or hunger for Him. And the wine he drinks as His blood affirms his thirst for, or believe in, the word of truth which is the body; the bread from heaven (John 6:35). End emphasis.
The Church is incarnation of truth. So, a church is the personification of truth. The Head and Shepherd is Christ Jesus. He came in form of man to bear witness (Is. 55:4). First to the law fulfilled (Mt. 5:17). Next, to testify as a Messiah to truth and unveil it as the new covenant in His blood (John 18:37). It is a man who is of God that hears His word (John 8:47). It is hearing that gives power of God to continue in the doctrine, fellowship of apostles, in the Lord’s Supper, and in prayers (Acts 2:42). Truth is the common thread that bond all members worldwide (1Cor. 10:16-17). It is the symbol of faithfulness and oneness in an assembly at every location and across all locations of the church Jesus founded. Jesus knocks always on the door of every heart. Those who hear His voice will open the door for Him to come in and sup together (Rev. 3:20). Such men are His sheep (John 10:27-28). They shall be separated from the goats someday (Mt. 25:32-33). It is the shepherd who enters by the door the sheep hears and follows. Equally, the shepherd only opens the door for his sheep (Mt. 10:2-5).
Emphasis. The church is known by all round morals through adherence to truth.
Truth is the universal language which binds all members together.
The Church is not a building. It is also not the congregation. The church has same mind of Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5). Like the rock, a church must be free from all forms of corruption.
So, run from itching fingers, and ears; predicted by scripture (2Tim. 4:1-4).
Examples Any gospel besides the gospel of Jesus and Him crucified (Gal. 6:14).
Namely, doctrine of sectorial traditions and beliefs not backed by scripture, material prosperity, and motivational message, fables, and everything else emotional. All of them could trigger untruth. End emphasis.
Extracts. This teaching answered frequently asked questions like,
what is grace, what is truth, what is the rock Jesus built His church on, and what is the church? All proven with scripture interpreting scripture.
Acknowledgment. All credit goes to the Spirit of truth who spoke through me as a servant of the people for the foregoing interpretations of grace and truth. They form the lifeline of the church of truth founded by Christ. It is futile to deny them by human logic, orthodox tradition, or emerging vanity.
(All references are from New King James Version (NKJV) of the Holy Bible. All rights Reserved).
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