Salvation


The Wonder of God’s Grace
by Ronald W Robey

Genesis 3:16 (KJV) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Genesis 3:17 (KJV) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Genesis 3:18 (KJV) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Genesis 3:19 (KJV) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

In Genesis 3:16, we see the God of all creation, who is clearly angry because of man disobeying Him, pronouncing judgment upon the first married couple who ever walked upon this Earth, and He put a curse upon the Earth as well. One man’s disobedience affected not just that one man, but the entire world and all of mankind who would be born upon the face of the Earth

Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

God had promised earlier in the creation story, death as the sentence to be carried out should the man and woman partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And just as God promised, the man and woman died that day as a result of disobedience. The immediate death was not physical, but rather it was spiritual.

In 1 Timothy 2:14, we read: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Eve, being deceived, was in the transgression. At that moment that she partook of that fruit that God had forbidden, God could have struck her dead. He could have removed her life force from the face of the Earth and created another help meet for man. But, because of His infinite mercy, His unfailing love, and the Wonder of God’s Grace, He did not.

God allowed the woman to live. He allowed her to give the fruit to her husband. Her husband ate of the fruit, and died spiritually with her. His love for his wife was so strong that he partook of the forbidden fruit, in spite of the fact that he knew he was being disobedient to God.

No doubt, there must have been a change in Eve’s countenance after partaking of that forbidden fruit… a change that caused her husband Adam to know that his wife was, though standing before him with life-giving blood flowing through her veins, now spiritually dead.

Jesus, toward the close of His speaking to the multitudes in what would later be known as “The Sermon on the Mount”, warned of false prophets, stating, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. Adam must have witnessed something in Eve’s actions or expressions that instant that made him to know that his wife, the woman that God had told him to procreate with, had indeed spiritually died after eating of that forbidden fruit. For the Bible tells us that the man was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. Adam partook of that fruit with full understanding and full knowledge that he too, would die spiritually.

And so He ate, and subsequently hid from God. As God walked in the Garden in the cool of the day, the man and his wife hid in the flora, ashamed because their eyes had been opened to knowledge of good and evil. They realized their nakedness and were afraid of being seen by God.

God called out to Adam, and Adam answered. In His calling out to Adam, God was revealing the Wonder of His Grace. God, being omniscient, already knew Adam had partaken of the tree that God had forbidden him to eat from. But God, in His infinite mercy and great love with which He loved Adam revealed His Grace by calling the man and his wife out of the bushes and unto Himself. What a perfect picture of the Wonder of God’s Grace so early in the first book of our sacred book, God’s Word.

God, in His infinite mercy, manifested the Wonders of His grace. Instead of destroying man for his act of disobedience, God extended that grace toward man and allowed him to live in a world that was once perfect, but now was cursed with thorns and thistles. Man, through his one act of disobedience had lost the authority to tend the Garden in Eden where the Tree of Life was planted. Man lost the ability to eat of that Tree of Life and live forever. Man lost his privilege to care for and dress the Garden that God had placed him in. But the Wonder of God’s Grace allowed him to continue to live outside the Garden in the now cursed world.

The woman, as our text above shows, did not go unpunished. God said that because of her rebellion she would have great sorrow in childbirth. We are not told whether the man and his wife had any children while he was filling the position of Caretaker of the Garden. However Genesis 1:28 reveals that God did tell them to “go forth and multiply”. God had given them His blessing to have children, thereby showing the Wonder of His Grace even before the fall.

The curse God gave to woman was that where there may not have been great pain in giving birth, she now would be tasked to endure much pain… “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception” Sorrow where joy may have once been. Sorrow, not just because of the stress on her body during childbirth, but also because of knowing the life every child born to her would ultimately have to face because of her being deceived and giving in to the lust of the eyes.

Oh, how it must have torn at her heart to know what she had lost and what her children could have had if she had only been wise to the serpent s words when he beguiled her. And how she must have remembered God’s Words each time she brought forth children and experienced that “great pain” that God said she would experience through childbirth.

But after nearly 1,440 years of the the Wonder of God’s Grace being displayed in the dispensation of the Law, in an even greater demonstration of the Wonder of God’s Grace, God sent His Son, whose life, death, burial and resurrection would be the catalyst for a New Covenant with Israel. And not with Israel only, but with every nation upon the face of God’s Earth.

Throughout His life on this Earth, Jesus Christ was manifesting the Wonder of God’s Grace everywhere He went. At twelve years old, the child Jesus amazed Rabbi’s in the Temple, answering questions concerning the Holy Scriptures. At twenty-nine He performed the first miracle man had ever seen Him do at a wedding feast in Cana. The wonder of God’s Grace is seen in His raising Lazarus from the dead, His healing blinded eyes, His casting out devils, in multiplying a few loaves and fishes for hungry crowds of thousands who had come to hear Him speak, and in the countless other miracles He performed while walking this Earth as the Son of man.

The Wonder of God’s Grace is seen in His restoring a servant’s ear after Peter had cut it off with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And then, we come to Golgotha, that horrible hill on which the Saviour was hung. As He was dying, He revealed once again the Wonder of God’s Grace when He said, “It is Finished!”

It is true, as He said in Matthew’s Gospel, that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. And fulfill it He did. He did what no other man was able to do, He kept every aspect of the Law that applied to Him as an Israelite, born of the lineage of David.

But, we are told in Ephesians 2:14-15 that Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection, abolished the ordinances written in the Law.

Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Cancelled out. Completely! Man, who has trusted and is now married to Jesus Christ, no longer has to be governed by the Mosaic Law.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

In Romans 7:1-4, the Apostle Paul likened a person who submits to the Law, while married to the One who has risen from the dead, to an adulterer married to a spouse, but living in the home of another.

My Brethren, The Wonder of God’s Grace has called us out of the bondage of the Mosaic Law. We have been freed from not only the law of sin and death, but we are told that we have been brought into a New Covenant. The old is ready to vanish away, as the author of the Book of Hebrews said nearly 2,000 years ago.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

Where Grace abounds, there is liberty. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The Word of God has indeed freed us from the Law, never to be entangled again with its yoke of bondage. We needn’t wear that yoke, Christ wore it for us. We needn’t submit to the ordinances, Christ took them out of the way, nailing them to His cross. As the Apostle Paul wrote in the third chapter of Galatians, it is foolish for one who has begun in the Spirit to subject himself to the Law. How are we to expect Grace and Mercy from the Father, when we turn our backs on the price his Son paid for our freedom and choose to walk in ordinances that God’s Word said belonged to national Israel alone?

So many today are being told that they are lost and in need of a Saviour. This is true. So many are told that eternal life is a gift from God to man, and that the only things man has to do to receive this wonderful gift is to believe on Jesus Christ. This also is true.

The problem arises when we get the new Convert into the Church, the Convert quickly finds that, according to the pastor, there is a price to pay. The new Convert is told to keep certain of the ordinances that were given to national Israel. That God requires these ordinances to be observed by the Church members today. My Brethren, nothing could be farther from the Truth.

My Brethren, cast out the bondwoman and her son. Break away those chains that cause you to be unfaithful to the Lord. It is only when you walk away from the Law, that you will truly know the fullness of the Wonder of God’s Grace.

What is the Wonder of God’s Grace? It is all that I have mentioned this day, and more. It is the recognition of where God found us, what God offered us, what He has given those of us who have accepted that offer, and what He has prepared for us… despite the fact that we are a fallen race, despite the fact that we fail from time to time, despite all of our shortcomings.

The Wonder of God’s Grace assure us that we are accepted in the Beloved.
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For those who read this article, if you are unsure of your eternal state after this short existence on Earth, do not hesitate to trust Jesus Christ today. Our Lord’s return is more nigh us than it has ever been. If you should die without Christ, you will miss the Wonder of God’s Grace, If you should die without the Lord, your only hope is to face Him in His wrath.

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Among many denominations, there is a doctrine that one can be lost and heading to hell, hear the Gospel, make a profession of faith in Christ, be saved, remove oneself from the hand of God and be lost and heading to hell again.

They take passages that, when read alone or out of context, would seem to prove one can lose one’s Salvation.   We ourselves, who believe in the eternal security of the believer, tend to do the opposite, citing key verses to prove we cannot lose our Salvation.

So, who is right? Why, the answer is God, of course. His Word says we are sealed until the day of Redemption of the purchased possession. He cannot lie. So that seal must stay secure until the day of Redemption.

So what is the purchased possession?  It is the Church…

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Given the passage in Ephesians 1, and what we read in Acts 20, we can come to no other conclusion than that we are sealed until the day that Christ redeems the Church… of which we are a member.

Once we are a member of the Church, can we forfeit our membership?  Of course not! We are sealed until the day that Christ redeems the Church. In order for us to forfeit or lose our membership in the Church, we would have to cut ourselves from the Body of Christ which is the Church.  Christ would be an amputee survivor and not complete.

Do they serve an incomplete God? I don’t.

Among many denominations today, there is a rising belief that repentance is nothing more than a change of mind about who God is. In other words, the general consensus is that when God tells us to “Repent” it only involves a change of mind.

But is that what repentance is? Or is it something more? I submit that it is something more.

Let’s look at it in this way. Suppose I wanted to to to McDonalds to buy a Filet-O-Fish. I ask my wife to drive me as I don’t have a license. Half-way there, I have a change of mind and decide I would rather have a Meatball Sub from Subway. Now, if I had a change of mind, would I continue to McDonalds?

Of course not!

I would tell my wife to drive to the Subway instead.

Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

We see this in the book of Revelation. In Chapter two, we read:

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Now, was God saying to have a change of mind about her fornication, but to continue in that direction?

Absolutely not!

And the very next verse reveals that God does not just want a change of mind…

Revelation 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

He wants a change of action as well. He wanted those in allegiance with the woman to repent of their deeds… their actions.

If one believes that repentance is merely a change of mind about who God is, that one is deceived into believing a lie.

In the last half century, an increasing number of professing Christians have been teaching and embracing a doctrine that is not supported by the Word of God.  That doctrine is the teaching that one does not have to repent of one’s sins in order to receive Salvation.

The fact is, the Word of God does teach repentance of sin.  In the book of Ezekiel, we read:

Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Ezekiel 33:14-16 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

The Hebrew word “shuwb”, is used for both the word “repent” and the word “turn” in the above verses.  In other words, the two words are interchangeable.  Repentance from sin is taught and encouraged by the prophet Ezekiel.  One must repent of (turn away from) one’s sin.

Jesus told the Jews in Luke 13:3,5 “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  Jesus Christ Himself taught a turning away from sin.

One might argue, “But Ezekiel was before the cross, Jesus told the Jews to repent prior to His crucifixion; now we need only believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to receive Salvation; repentance is not necessary.”

Again, that one would be wrong.  The Apostle Paul taught the Church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

The fact is, one must repent of one’s iniquities.  Paul told the Church at Galatia that the works of the flesh would cause man to miss out on being in the kingdom of God.  And the Apostle John wrote in the book of Revelation that those who do not repent of their abominations will have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone.

The doctrine that tells one they do not have to turn away from one’s sin is a doctrine of devils.  Repentance from sin is necessary if one hopes to live eternally in Christ Jesus.  Those who teach and preach that repentance from sin is not necessary are deceiving those who believe their false doctrine.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

In Revelation 2, we see how Jesus (God) gave Jezebel time to repent of her sins, but she would not.  And because she would not repent, God’s wrath was upon her… and still is to this day.

Now, some would say, “O, but God repented many times in the Old Testament.  Are you trying to tell me that God sinned and had to repent?  You are accusing God of being a sinner!”  No, that is not what I am saying at all.

The Hebrew word used for when God repents is an entirely different word.  When God repents of something, He is not repenting of sin.   The Hebrew word used for when God repents is the word “nacham”.   While “nacham” does mean to “turn”, it is not used in conjunction with “from sin” when relating to God.

1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

Paul admonished the Church at Corinth, telling them to turn from their sins.  He reminds them that they cannot serve both God and the flesh.  Like Paul, I encourage all to turn from their sins and turn to God.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

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