What is the Grace Message?

"Paul, the Apostle, the Minister of Jesus Christ to the Uncircumcision"

Grace Message vs. Kingdom Message

The grace message is not the same as the kingdom message. Sometimes it is difficult to see the difference between the two messages. Why?

  1. Because both have words that are the same: Gospel, church, Apostle, baptism, and salvation are a few of the words that are the same for both the kingdom message and the grace message.
  2. Another reason is that some people are just instructed wrong.
  3. There are competing authorities. We need to be aware that the five "I wills of Lucifer are still active today.
(Galatians 4:4 KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Timing is important

Notice that it says, "when the fulness of the time was come". God understands timing. We need to pay attention to time. We ought to develop a sense for timing concerning what we are reading. God had a timetable and He sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law. When we look in the four Gospels we see that Jesus taught the people the law.

(Matthew 5:17-28 KJV) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. {18} For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus will fulfill the law.

(Matthew 5:19-22) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. {20} For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. {21} Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: {22} But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Christ is teaching the circumcision, the friends of God. Remember to keep the context of verse 22, "But I say unto you," in the context of fulfilling the law. Christ takes the heart of Abraham's covenant and intensifies it to the heart of Abraham's seed. The outward appearance may seem to be religiously correct, but what is in one's inside (heart) is what is important.

The issue of the heart

(Matthew 5:23-28) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; {24} Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. {25} Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. {26} Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. {27} Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: {28} But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In verses 27 and 28 we see that Christ took one of the Ten Commandments, an external command and brings it to the heart. The overall purpose of this is to get Israel into that Kingdom. Up until this time Israel could not enter the Kingdom because their heart prevented them from entering in that Kingdom as set forth in Daniel 2:44. In the light of Israel's heart Christ's ministry to them is bad news. Everything in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is designed to prepare Israel to enter the Kingdom.

(Matthew 19:16-21 KJV) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? {17} And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. {18} He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, {19} Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {20} The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? {21} Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Jesus tells the rich man something that is line with what was written by the prophets, "Keep the commandments." The man asks Jesus which one to keep. All the commandments are based on the 10 Commandments. Notice that Jesus did not dispute the man's answer. The 10 Commandments are possible to keep in the flesh. We see that the man had faith in the law that was given to him. In Christ's earthly ministry He was trying to go beyond the external and into the heart. In the kingdom program one had to keep the 10 Commandments in order to have eternal life. Faith + works = eternal life in the Kingdom program. Christ ministered the law to the children of Abraham in the hope that they will obtain the promised kingdom.

What is the grace Message?

Christ's Death, Burial and Resurrection

(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; {4} And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The grace message is based on the substitution death on behalf of the whole world. It is our identification with Christ. God no longer sees us "in Adam".

During Jesus' Earthly Ministry His Death and Resurrection was Not Understood

(Matthew 16:21-22 KJV) From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. {22} Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Peter rebuked Christ when he told them that He had to die. Picture this: the disciples were going around telling everyone that the Kingdom was going to be set up on the earth. Then Christ tells them that He is going to die! Peter did not understand this. Here we see that it is possible to teach the Kingdom message without preaching the grace message (Christ dying for our sins).

(Luke 18:31-34 KJV) Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. {32} For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: {33} And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. {34} And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

This passage means that the death, burial and resurrection were hid from the twelve as they went out and preached.

Crucifixion vs. Cross

There is difference between preaching the crucifixion and preaching the cross of Christ. The crucifixion was prophesied. The cross was not revealed; it was hid in the mind of God until it was revealed to the Apostle Paul.

(Romans 3:23-26 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {24} Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: {25} Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Chapters 1 through 3 tell us why everyone has sinned. Notice the tenses and reference to time: verse 24-present tense and verse 26-at this time.

Grace is the undeserved and unmerited favor of God that is delightfully and freely given since the justice of God against sin has been satisfied through Christ's death on the cross.

WE ARE TOTALLY SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH!

Grace vs. Dispensation of Grace

There has always been grace when God dealt with wretched old man. But that does not mean that God has always dispensed grace. An example would be the rich ruler, he was told to keep the law in order to receive eternal life; he was not saved by grace.

(Titus 1:1-3 KJV) Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; {2} In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; {3} But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.

God thought, prepared and began eternal life before the world began. Verse 3 says that in due times God manifested His Word through preaching, which was committed unto Paul. God has not always dispensed the grace message.

There are operating principles which we need to distinguish:

  1. Operating principle of the law-If you do...then I will...
  2. Operating principle of Grace-Free gift.

Offense and the Free Gift

(Romans 5:15-21 KJV) 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. {16} And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. {17} For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) {18} Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {19} For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. {20} Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: {21} That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notice the words "offence" and "free gift" in these verses and see how they contrast one another. The offence is the offence of Adam.

(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:
(1 Corinthians 1:23 KJV) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Freely Given

When we preach the grace message to save people it delights God. God is delightfully and freely gives. God only wants us to believe the truth of the grace message. We do not have to do anything else.

(Romans 3:22 KJV) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

All a sinner has to do is believe that Jesus dies for his sins and freely accept the grace of God. We do not have to ask God, to plead and bargain for the things that He has freely given us. To do these things is either an act of ignorance or unbelief.

(Romans 8:32 KJV) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
(1 Corinthians 2:9-12 KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. {10} But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

The grace message embodies all that God is free to do for those who believe the cross. God freely gives us all things.

(Romans 5:5 KJV) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
(2 Timothy 1:14 KJV) That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

In the grace message we do not have to ask God to give us the Holy Spirit. He freely gives us the Holy Spirit the moment we believe. This is consistent with the operating principle of grace-freely given.

Paul, Minister to the Gentiles

(Romans 15:14-16 KJV) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. {15} Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, {16} That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

The grace that was given to the Apostle Paul is given for a particular ministry. (See verse 16.) Paul received the ministry of apostleship to take the message of grace to the Gentiles.

(Romans 11:13 KJV) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Paul speaks to the Gentiles because he is the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. The newer translations will read an apostle, which changes the meaning, but it was to Paul that this ministry was given.

New Message Given to Paul

(Romans 15:15-18 KJV) Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, {16} That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. {17} I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. {18} For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

Paul says that he only speaks the words that Jesus Christ gave him. He received his message through visions and revelation. (See 2 Corinthians 12:1, Galatians 1:12 ) Paul would not speak anything other than what Jesus Christ told him.

(Ephesians 3:1-2 KJV) For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, {2} If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Jesus Christ's ministry was to confirm that which was spoken by the prophets. Paul's ministry is not a confirmation ministry. It is completely new. Notice verse 2 says that the dispensation of grace was given to Paul to you-ward (Gentiles). The Gentiles are involved in the dispensation of the grace of God.

The word dispensation simple means to dispense. In Paul's ministry there is a dispensation of the grace of God.

Mystery Now Revealed

(Eph 3:3-9} How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, {4} Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) {5} Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; {6} That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: {7} Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. {8} Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; {9} And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Here we see that the revelation of the mystery was revealed by revelation to Paul. We can know which portion of the Scriptures are written by Paul because he always tells us, the first word in all of Paul's Epistles is the word "Paul".

In verse 5 we see a word describing time-as it is now revealed. The holy apostles and prophets are those for those who are now hearing the message of God's grace. This was an unsearchable message, not found in the Old Testament writings, but it can be understood as Paul teaches.

Verse 8 is a doctrinal issue of the mystery, Paul was less than the least of all saints.
Verse 9 talks of the fellowship of the mystery, this brings it to where we are living today. It is a practical message. In past ages the sons of men did not know it. It was a mystery until Paul received the revelation of it. Paul was first and then it went to the Gentiles.

Gentiles in Time Past

(Ephesians 2:11-12 KJV) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called circumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; {12} That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Notice the characteristics of the Gentiles in time past:

  • They were without Christ (no Messiah).
  • They were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (no involvement in the governmental structure).
  • They were strangers from the covenants of promise (Gentiles had no part of the covenants)
  • They had no hope.
  • They were without God in the world.
(Romans 5:6-10 KJV) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {7} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. {8} But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. {9} Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. {10} For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Verse 10 also states the condition of the Gentiles: enemies of God. It is while we were enemies of God that we are reconciled to God by the death of His son. These verses say that Christ dies for us while we were ungodly, sinners, and enemies.

Paul's message deals with the enemies of God.

CIRCUMCISION UNCIRCUMCISION
ABRAHAM NATIONS
HIS SEED GENTILES
FRIENDS ENEMIES
KINGDOM MESSAGE GRACE MESSAGE
CHRIST AND THE TWELVE PAUL

Under the Kingdom message Christ came to His own, to His friends.

(Matthew 10:5-7 KJV) These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: {6} But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. {7} And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(Luke 9:5 KJV) And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them
(Matthew 24:14 KJV) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Here it says that they will preach to all nations (Gentiles).

(Matthew 10:18 KJV) And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

We see that here there is a testimony against governors, kings and Gentiles. Paul's message goes out to the enemies of God.

   

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