Sowing, reaping and the golden rule
From the beginning of time there have been two worldviews, two trees, and two ways live. One is karma (you reap what you sow), and the other is grace (you reap what someone else has sown).
This world runs on karma: Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. But the kingdom of God runs on grace: God is good to you. Period!
The old law-keeping covenant ran on karma: Obey and you’ll be blessed. Disobey and you’ll be cursed. But the new covenant runs on grace: You’re blessed because Christ obeyed.
Karma vs grace
Karma is about retribution and return on investment, but grace is about forgiveness and favor. One deals in payback, the other in peace.
One of the greatest poets of our time distinguishes karma and grace like this:
At the center of all religions is the idea of karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. ~ Bono
All through the Bible you will find people who trusted in karma or grace. Job was a believer in karma (he made sacrifices to atone for his kids’ behavior), but David was a believer in grace (“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your lovingkindness”).
Jesus didn’t come to remind us about karma but to reveal the astonishing good news of grace. His grace changed the world. It certainly changed the apostle Paul. The apostle of grace devoted his life to proclaiming the gospel of God’s grace. Everything he said was grace.
Or was it?
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Gal 6:7)
That’s not grace – that’s sowing and reaping – and it’s in stark contrast to the hyper-grace message that Paul preached. So why does Paul say it? Does he want us to mix grace with karma? Are we supposed to trust God for some of his blessings, but ourselves for the rest? Not a chance!
Sowing to the Spirit
Paul says it because not everyone speaks the language of grace. However, everyone understands sowing and reaping. It’s a universal language. “If this is your language,” says Paul, “then make sure you sow well lest you reap a bad crop.”
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction. (Gal 6:8a)
Sowing to the flesh is not a smart choice. It’s following Adam down the lonely path of distrust and death. Whenever we rely on our own flesh – our abilities and understanding – we set ourselves up for disaster. It’s a destructive way to live. Happily, there is a better way:
Whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal 6:8b)
How do you sow to please the Spirit? Read Galatians. To walk in step with the Spirit means to trust him. It’s living by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20). It’s relating to God as a Father (Gal 4:6).
The Goldenest Rule
Sowing and reaping is a fact of life (ask any farmer). You can use this principle to encourage giving, as Paul sometimes does (eg: 2 Cor 9:6). You can also use it to promote good behavior, as Jesus did when he uttered the Golden Rule (“Do unto others what you would have them to unto you,” Luke 6:31). But what you cannot do is use it to purchase the free gifts of God.
Sowing and reaping is not bad, and heaven forbid that I should suggest it is, but there is a better way to live. Instead of being good to get good, live in the goodness of God. Instead of waiting, waiting, waiting for your little seeds to grow, live now in the abundant harvest of God’s grace.
How does that work?
Take the Golden Rule as an example. Those who miss the grace of Jesus use this rule as a guide to a life of good karma. They invite people over in the hope of getting invited back. They help others in the hope of getting helped back. That’s not a bad way to live. but it doesn’t capture the heart of the one who said this:
Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35a)
There’s nothing special about doing good to those who are good to you (Luke 6:33). That’s ordinary. What’s extraordinary is doing unto others as God has done to you. It’s blessing those who curse you, loving your enemies, and forgiving as Christ forgave you.
Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35b)
See the difference?
To live by karma is to trust in man. It’s saying, “I’ll be good because what goes around comes around. I have faith in humanity.” You’re going to be disappointed!
But to live by grace is to trust in God. It’s saying, “My Father has been so good to me, how can I not share his goodness with others?” Live this way and you’ll never be disappointed because God’s goodness always exceeds our expectations.
And that’s the Goldenest Rule of all!
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This is great, Paul. Folk get so upset when you say it’s not about sowing and reaping. A friend of mine has been told (by someone who preaches grace) that she is listening to error! But Jesus said the birds of the air don’t sow and reap and God cares for them. How much more valuable are we?! Thank you for speaking out the truth.
Good point, Susanna. That’s Matt 6:26. It’s not only the birds of the air that live that way, but Jesus himself (see Matt 25:24 or Luk 19:21, and this post).
I totally agree with you on salvation and the free and open connection with God through Jesus. Nothing we can do can change the connection once we are his kids. He is good and treats us graciously and “unfairly well” irrespective of how we are. Yet I would like to raise the practical side of accessing grace and encourage these practices.
There are consequences to actions, as you say. We are as close to God our Father as we choose to be. If we build friendship and connection and take time together we will be really close. That is just how relationships work. As hard as you may try to say it in a non sowing and reaping way – that is how it works. Intimacy and connection comes from spending time. How else? I do see your huge passion for “non works” yet it feels to me that wonderful truths that bring life are being battered unnecessarily to try and beat that drum. I hope I am not being too blunt but it does bug me since we do need the whole counsel of God. I completely agree and affirm that the door to relationship and connection is always open but we participate and partake by sowing our time and heart into that relationship. It is a free will thing. We do need to take responsibility for our lives and what we chose to do. I think that those truths can be lost or diminished in importance if we don’t hold to a “both and” view rather than a “only one truth” view.
The practicalities of grace are vitally important so people can connect and be given tools to help them connect. What is the point of hearing about something yet never having the tools to access that grace. Maybe I am missing the point of what you wish to achieve in these posts. If so forgive me. I suggest a post on the practicals of grace would be very helpful to many.
I agree that intimacy is the result of spending time and I guess you could think of that in terms of an investment, but when I spend time with my wife I don’t think of it as a work or sowing or a responsibility. To an outsider it may appear that I am a dutiful and conscientious husband, but I don’t think of it as duty at all. I do it because of love. It’s fun. It’s heaven. I enjoy her company and I am miserable when we’re apart. It’s exactly the same with my heavenly Father. It’s not a relationship I have to work at, but one I enjoy 24/7.
If someone hasn’t been arrested by the love of God, then all the tools in the world aren’t going to help. This is why the most practical thing we can do, is reveal Jesus.
Too true when we are in the romantic phase of the relationship but God is also way more than a lover. Even with lovers / spouses we soon have huge character challenges to work through. When it gets tough then commitment to meet and talk is crucial to go through the rough patches. Those are key times to deepen intimacy. They deepen the root of the relationship. How do we get through those? How do we access grace then?
Perhaps that’s where the analogy breaks down because the relationship issues that arise between frail humans don’t arise in the flawless love of God. Of course, we ourselves have issues and this may affect our perception of our relationship, if not the reality, but in grace the cure is always the same: Behold Jesus. We are changed by nothing else. Again and again in the New Testament we are exhorted to fix our eyes on Christ, to see ourselves seated with him in heavenly places. There is no formula that can substitute for knowing God who loves us with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. All the exhortations of scripture flow from this proper starting point.
You didn’t ask me, Mark, but I’ll weigh in if you don’t mind. We access grace by reminding ourselves constantly that God’s love for us doesn’t change based on our performance. We feel distant from God not because he has removed himself from us but because we believe the enemy’s lies that God is angry or displeased with us. When we mess up the best thing we can do is remind ourselves of our Jesus-bought righteousness and act (by faith) as though we are perfect in him, because we are. We have to stop being sin conscious.
I think this article will answer your question:
Thanks Ina. That is a very helpful post.
Intimacy is not the result of spending time, spending time is the result of intimacy. No one spends time with someone who is distant, does not answer, instills fear, needs you to beg, demands your good deeds or temple gold,keeps you guessing about the relationship.God is not for purchase, his intimacy is not bought with time, good deeds or conquests. When you have been away for a long time , his intimacy at your return is even more intense.Intimacy is the result of trust and transparency.
Thanks Chris. Good point, for sure there needs to be an initial connection and trust before a relationship can even start or be restored. I like those thoughts. My grappling is related to daily deepening the relationship in trust and transparency and doing it in a non-works mentality.
My Big Dad did remind me of a scripture today that helped me. Hopefully it helps others who have similar questions:
“Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honour and reward anyone who serves me.”
John 12 v 24-26 (The Message)
What I got from that was – reckless love expresses itself by daily giving up the worthless stuff of my own way and the temporary pleasures that pretend to fill and pursuing the greater joy and satisfaction of being with Jesus and doing it his way.
You have a different way of seeing things that I believe is a gift. I would love to hear from you more often. Thanks
Hello from Hungary! I have 2 little boys, 2 and 3yr old. The only thing I can teach them is what they sow is what they reap. But how cold I teach them grace?
I have four children and this is an important question we ask too. It’s good for children to learn about consequences, but it’s also good for them to learn about unconditional love and forgiveness. Our kids need to know we love them no matter what. They need to know we are quick to forgive and that we will never hold a grudge against them. They need to know that the rules are important for their safety in a lawless world, but that the rules do not define them. This is a huge subject and I still have much to learn. Ask me again in ten years!
The Law (do good, get good; do bad, get bad) is important for training a child as Galatians 4 explains: “Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world (law). But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
Grace is truly appreciated after experiencing the agony of having to keep rules imposed. Comprehending the mystery of grace comes in the fullness of time for each of us, when we grow up in Christ.
another good one Paul,Bono nailed it, Grace does not compute.It takes awhile to understand it. another golden rule for the world is”He who has the gold makes the rules.”
I’m so grateful to the Lord that I now *somewhat* understand this grace thing. NO credit to me! Because I’m coming to see, after a few years, that it just bounces off of most Christians. They find objections to it or (worse) they say they agree with it but do not let it change their life 1 iota. No additional excitement. Not daring to think that God would give them something extra when they don’t deserve it: “Just keep on sowing and hope for the best. Salvation by Grace alone, but Jesus needs YOU to work now to get his blessings.”
You can’t give what you haven’t received! That’s why so many of us were (are?) such judgmental a******s! We’re the older brother standing outside not understanding why there is dancing and music in there.
“Grace bounces off most Christians.” I like that phrase. The indifference of some Christians to grace never fails to amaze me. My favorites are those who say, “Grace? I’ve known about this stuff for years.” Really? Then why didn’t you tell the rest of us!
Grace is offensive to the natural mind and to the religious. If your preaching of Grace isn’t offending some people than it probably isn’t undiluted grace. Grace things in the Bible that are offensive:
1. The prodigal son getting the fatted calf, while the hardworking son is outside and angry. The younger son’s repentance was mostly that he just ran out of money and got hungry.
2. The guy who worked 1 hour getting 100 bucks, the same as the guy who worked 10 hours.
3. The rich young ruler, who really is a great guy, going away unjustified when in the next chapter in Luke that swindler Zachaeus is forgiven for everything.
4. Abraham lying (again!) to the king about Sara being his sister and God getting mad at the King! Abraham walks out with the King’s gold, silver and livestock.
5. God doesn’t impute sin to me.
That last one is really offensive to some Christians.
Hurray, Paul! Grace and Mercy TRUMP sowing and reaping, every time!
Grace is getting good we don’t deserve; Mercy is not getting bad we do deserve:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Again amazingly explained Paul …it doesn’t take much hard work to confuse people with sowing and reaping ,as many believes what goes around , comes around..they bring karma in this verse unknowingly…. CROSS made all the difference..Thank you Jesus
Awesome unveiling of Gods Love and Grace as usual Paul.
I would like to submit also that, even when we try to sow possitivley in the flesh it is counted as dead works, because we are selves are already dead, Galatians 2:20, how beautiful is our Gods goodness. He leads us to a point of utter reliance on His Spirit. As John the baptist so perfectly put it John 3:30 “He must grow greater, but I must grow less” This is the mindset us believers should have, but instead we have a mind set “i must choose to do better” the problem with choice is that there are really only 2 choices in life, 1-Flesh 2-Spirit
But since You are DEAD and Jesus is living, the only “choice” should be Spirit, which Jesus Himself , will lead You to choose (Philippians 2:13 “For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire.”)
Everything bad You do and ever will do has been paid for by the Precious Blood of God Himself , Jesus. Everything Good You do is also Dead, in fact its not You doing it at all, its Jesus doing it through You. So how can You take credit for this? God sees everything good Jesus has done for You and is doing through You.
That My friends is Grace not choice…
Thank you Paul! Love it, learning more and more with each post! Not just from you alone but everybody who posts here! Thanks all!
Great comment from Bono “Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”
Haven’t we all!!!
Great commentary as always Paul and you write about the coolest Bible subjects that provoke interesting thoughts. The undeserved, unearned favor of God truly makes belief in the Lord Jesus Christ so unique to any other ‘belief system’ on earth. Its becoming more apparent that the Lord is showing more and more believers a greater understanding of what the Gospel of Grace is and isn’t. Its pretty exciting to see that the Lord has restored the truth of the Gospel that Paul preached. Btw, I wonder how many karma believers actually keep notebooks where they write down every evil deed, evil thought, evil word and evil desire they are responsible for each day? I mean how else can you keep track of those coming harvests if you believe in karma? lol
Paul, I love your blog and enjoy your posts frequently. I feel unsettled in my spirit though, with your use of Bono as the Christian example and “great poet” of grace. Supposed “believers” who actively affirm sin (in Bono’s case homosexuality and abortion) while claiming to follow Christ make it exceptionally hard for Christians to distinguish between the Gospel of Grace and antinomianism.
Those who claim that sin is sin, yet try to merit their way are unjustified, but on the other extreme, those who claim grace over their lives, yet claim that their sin is not sin are equally unjustified, correct?
Works-righteousness is one delusion, and antinomianism is another. The Gospel of Grace stands in the middle saying we are completely forgiven (like the antinomians) through faith alone, but sin is still sin and let us not deny it (like the works-righteousness crowd).
“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,” (sin is real and we had a real need for forgiveness for all of it)
“And grace my fears relieved” (yet through faith in Christ all of our sins are atoned for)
Just wondering, but how do you feel when I quote old covenant laws written by a murderer or psalms written by an adulterer? I am a one-woman man yet I’ll quote Abraham the bigamist. Indeed, I’ll even call him the father of the faith (Rom 4). No doubt there are things in my own life that offend, such as my choice of friends and the people I quote. Seems to me if you expect perfection from those you read, then you won’t read anything, not even your Bible.
Such a great reply, Paul. I like Bono because he is totally genuine, has no agenda when he talks about God’s love. And he talks about it more than a lot of his fans would care for. He’s been changed and can’t help himself. And often he comes up with a totally transcendent song about grace, which is pretty difficult to do unless it is just given to you.
Point well taken, Paul. I appreciate your response and I think I agree with the heart of what you are saying. However, I think you are misunderstanding part of my point. Abraham and David were men of great sin (as am I), yet when confronted with their sin had a heart of humility towards God causing repentance because they recognized their sin as sin once they were made aware.
In other words, I’m not concerned with broken Believers (like you and me) who recognize their need for forgiveness for all of their sins, I’m pointing out supposed Believers who actively affirm sinful behavior as not sinful, causing Christians to live lawlessly. And in that regard there is a vital distinction between two examples you have used: Joseph Prince and Tony Campolo. That is–Joseph Prince preaches that sin is sin, while Tony Campolo of late has said certain sins are not really sins or are subjective.
We are not preaching the Gospel of Grace if we say we are without sin (1 John 1:8) or if we use grace as continual, purposeful license to sin…
Thank you brother Paul for your posts. I might be incorrect in my assessment of Bono, but hopefully you can hear my heart: not everyone is a role model just because they fight against perceived self-righteousness and Phariseeism. The Gospel if very offensive. It offends the lawless by telling them that they need forgiveness of lawless deeds and it offends the self-righteous by telling them their efforts to earn salvation or “keep” salvation are useless.
Thanks Gary. I hear you. I trimmed your comment to get it closer E2R’s 250 word limit.
Thank you, and sorry about that.
wow! pure grace, nothing we have done that we are blessed but what Jesus has done that we are now blessed. thanks i am refreshed.
Nice teachings Dr Paul.
but I think believing in the grace too much mounts to believing in doing wrong always & expecting God to forgive you & give you good things while sinning.
I suggest we should try to do good always so that we will reap good
If you think grace leads to wrongdoing, you have an unbiblical perception of God’s grace (which teaches us to say no to unrighteousness). Grace will never lead you to sin anymore than love for your spouse will lead you to adultery. Trying to do good, on the other hand, will often lead to the sin of self-trust.
Hayford, Your comment “expecting God to forgive You” would in tail, He needs to keep on forgiving, wether it be intentional or unintentional , and if we need God to keep on forgiving our unintentional sin, then we truthfully cannot be at peace through with God. the truth of the matter is, He has once and for all time, forgiven You of sin, Past Present and Future
Hebrews 10:10 10 – “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” By Your comment “I suggest we should try to do good always so that we will reap good” ,would lead me to think You still think that there is this do good get good , do bad get bad mentality. But God Loved us so much that He came and took all the bad for Your actions against His Holy Law and full absorbed the Punishment for them Himself.
God would be unjust to punish Your sins twice , on Jesus and on You… I would be lying if I told You I didn’t struggle with this Grace thing when i first started coming to grips with it, and throw my hands up in the air and say no , I need to contribute , I need to do better , God did His part i need to do mine, to much grace is causing me to sin, because its giving me lisence. But press on, thats the flesh, the (old self), trying to comprehend Gods goodness. the truth is , its not about us anymore, its all about Jesus… Bless You
This is my first ever comment since I started following your teachings. It’s been a blessing to me. I can’t keep silence anymore. I have to express my appreciation and gratitude. I always bless God for people like you sir. You’re a great blessing sir. Thanks a million.
Thank you, Kofi.
Awesome post Saint Paul. I will endeavor to use/quote Galations 6:7 in context with Galations 6:8 from this day forward (repent) :-).
Warren, (South Carolina, USA)
Wow, wow….I was broken at some point as I read the article and the various contributions…God literally melted my heart. I was overwhelmed by His love, His goodness, His kindness, I had to repent for trying to earn His love and His goodness.
I am a changed man…..and God will use me more than ever before to impact other people’s lives as well. Thank you Paul Ellis and everyone who contributed for and against, everything helped me to fully understand and appreciate God’s Grace in a new dimension. Thank you all
Thinking about the time that David sacrificed an animal every few steps that he took in an extraordinary act of worship.
I read this article the night before my pastor preached a message on how obedience opens the door to blessings. My brother and sister-in-law, who were in that service, have been trying to have a 3rd baby, but can’t get pregnant for some reason. So after church, I texted them to encourage them to just look at God’s goodness (not their own or lack thereof).
My brother said he knew there were things they had to overcome before God would bless them with a baby. He said they needed to be more at peace with the 2 kids they have. He said there are some things that God won’t open the door for if you’re in disobedience. Like if you’re cheating on your wife, your marriage won’t be blessed. And he seemed to think unless his wife didn’t stop getting stressed out with 2 kids, she wouldn’t be blessed with another. I have 4 kids, and I know I wasn’t blessed with them because I was obedient enough (or never stressed with the prior). But I was still all sorts of confused.
Then I posted from this article on facebook. And I got a text from my pastor saying he wanted to talk to me about obedience opening the door for blessings. I met with him , and shared some of the things I’ve been studying here, Paul (and my pastor preached a sermon on it, and people got saved). But he told me about how sinful he was before he got saved- stealing, adultery, Etc. Then how God radically saved him by grace. God started working on his sins one by one. And every time he overcame a sin, a blessing would open.
So ever since, I have been battling this: If we choose to take the road that without sin, we will steer around the entanglement sin brings. But what if we choose the path with the sin, and we see that where we are weak he is very strong. He then brings redemption and makes the outcome even better. So which is it? Obedience opens doors to blessings, or redemption opens the door to blessings- it gives God the opportunity to reveal it’s only by Him (like Jesus coming from the line of an adulterer)? Or is it that God is so good, He can bring blessings from both scenarios? Blessings no matter what we choose. His grace is previous!
Which is it? It’s the one in the Bible – we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3). Of course, if we sin we will reap trouble. Committing adultery will not bless your marriage. But it is an old covenant mindset that interprets God as variously rewarding and punishing us for what we do. I read your pastor’s story differently: he stopped sinning and as a result he no longer ate the fruit of sin. That’s a good thing! But that has nothing to do with God handing out gold stars for good behavior. Your heavenly Father doesn’t work like that. The cross is the proof. Was there ever a greater blessing than Jesus?
Paul, I don’t know how to ask this, in my mind people put there lives in our hands and then it’s goodbye for them. why is this happening. my parents are fine, but there’s arrogance and it’s no fun. I meant to ask this question sooner, but it seemed like you know something, but that knowing I realize is not enough for me. I need to know that people aren’t being stupid because I don’t have the forsight to ask YOU hard or seemingly insignificant (in light of all your understanding) questions. It’s not safe. it’s not fun. I need to ask you questions at the slightest hint and there the gospel goes seeming like it’s boundless life for everyone so it never gets asked. DON’T post this publically. but I hope the internet will cooperate. it’s death every day. and it’s new life everyday. but people i care about don’t value their lives enough or I don’t value my mind enough to ask you why. why can’t we ask you any questions? why do you think you know better than us?
Appreciate your thoughts.
For me, choosing a grace based ministry over my previous works/grace model (If that is even possible) resulted in rejection of my beliefs by many friends and ,sadly, family. We still love spending time together. But any discussion of beliefs result in them telling me (incorrectly) what I believe, rather then them asking me what I believe. Nonetheless, I am so secure with my new path; that I am never going back. Listen to teachers like Paul, read, study, then find your own journey.
Here is the problem: the skeptics (though with good intention) are trying to fit the message of grace in their puzzle of works; and the grace puzzle piece simply can not fit without modifying it. A religion of justification in the future can not comprehend justification in the now.
I no longer covet the counsel of said teachers. Even when they are in my family.
Best to you,
Thank you very much Paul and Jimmi! I started this grace journey 3 years ago when I was Google searching for answers to the book of Job. I just knew in my heart the things I was learning in church couldn’t be right. My spirit was saying “no, look elsewhere, there’s got to be more to God than this.” My search led me to this blog and christianity finally resonated with my spirit, and I’ve never been the same! We even switched churches shortly after I discovered Escape to reality.
But the truth is, even with our church switch, I know no one personally who believes in grace like this- much less a whole church. So it is a constant battle to coincide what I’m hearing around me with what I’m learning in my own study time. I get so confused. To tune out some of the voices, I stopped listening to most preachers. I read from here and I listen to Jospeh Prince every night (but sometimes his sermons confuse me too).
I hope to one day be as secure in grace as you are, Jimmi and Paul, even if my whole world around me is shouting, “you’re wrong.” I should say, my husband does support me though and that is huge!
I love this “was there ever a greater blessing than Jesus”. God gave us Jesus while we were still in disobedience, it was not because we had obeyed, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. And He did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Talking about obedience opening doors, we need to know that it’s not about our obedience but one man’s obedience, that is Jesus obedience. It is the obedience of Jesus Christ, His works that has opened doors and Grant us access to the throne of grace, holy of holies, that has made us rightous , blessed us, gets us accepted . The focus is on Jesus obedience not yours, this is where the battle is, the devil tactics is to get your eyes off the one man’s obedience (Jesus). Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of
Christ.Everytime there is a thought in your head saying you cannot recieve because of the things you have done , bring everythought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Remind the devil that you are made righteous, greatly blessed, and are highly favoured because of Jesus obedience. You are the rightousness of God in Christ Jesus. We are not under law but under grace. And under grace we are blessed because of Jesus obedience not our
own. Sin shall not have Dominion over you for you are not under law, but under
grace. Your Pastor needs to preach aboundance of grace, for it is through the aboundance of grace that people reigh. Rom 5:17.
I recently learned that the word “obedience” in the Greek (new Testament, i.e. Christ Testament) according to Strongs (g5218. ὑπακοή hypakoē) is “attentive hearkening”. The first use of “attentive hearkening” is in Romans 1:5 “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience (“attentive hearkening”) to the faith among all nations for His name”. Meditate on this and the whole issue of “obedience” moves away from the Law (by works) and toward the fulfillment of the Law (through Christ by faith). I have found that listening attentively to Christ BY FAITH typically separates me from the wisdom of the masses and is a comparatively “narrow way which leads to life”. I still love by brothers and sisters of course in any denomination, but as Jimmi brilliantly says “the skeptics (though with good intention) are trying to fit the message of grace in their puzzle of works; and the grace puzzle piece simply can not fit without modifying it”. All the denominations I know largely preach works. Even some faith preachers are apt to preach works and indeed I even find myself doing it… just last week I realized that for years Id been saying “you reap what you sow”. THANK GOD WE DON’T HAVE TO!!!
I went to college and they laughed about this “just stop sinning” talk. it’s not like you put it. it sounds so reasonable here. but sin keeps happening. that’s not love. that’s anemic or stupid or something. my fault for not trying to say this to you.
Hi Paul. I loved this post and the preaching of grace but I still can’t seem to connect grace with natural consequences. Where do these feature? If God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve but rather as Christ deserves, if there’s no curse for a believer because Christ was cursed on our behalf, why are there natural consequences? I’m not saying believers should be encouraged to sin. It is obviously wrong, but when we do sin, Joseph Prince says we shouldn’t expect bad things to happen because Christ has paid for that too. That makes a lot of sense to me, but then why natural consequences? Natural consequences make sense from the karma point of view, not under grace. And I see a lot of examples of no natural consequences in the Bible with Abraham being one of them. He should have lost at least something when he lied about Sarah being his sister only, the Pharaoh should have at least taken back the riches but instead Abraham got away with that. On the other hand, if a Christian murdered someone, it would be unreasonable to say he’s under grace and should not be jailed. What are your thoughts about it? Many thanks in advance.
Natural consequences are not karma. God built them into earth’s system so that unwise choices would have penalties to help steer humanity from destroying itself.(you won’t find that directly in scripture but it makes a lot of sense) They are the natural result of having broken either a physical “law”(overeating makes you fat) or a human law(like commit murder and go to prison). Jesus would have to remove us from our earthly bodies and also remove us from earth itself in order to not face the natural “laws” of sowing and reaping or from being under some form of human government. Yet He needs us here to accomplish his will on earth as it is in heaven. So that includes human laws and natural consequences.
Can’t agree, momzilla76. many so called natural laws are part of the curse on the earth, eg storms, earthquakes etc. Jesus defied natural laws and let others do so too, eg He walked on water and invited Peter to do so. Many human laws also are in direct opposition to God’s law, eg homosexualism is sin but in many countries is now upheld by the human law. Overeating/smoking etc is wrong, since it is idolatry, but the results are not set in stone: not all who overeat are fat, not all who smoke die of lung cancer. My impression is that many Christians accept the curse that the devil is trying to bring into their life, eg lung cancer, as the “natural consequence” of their choices, ie reaping of what they sowed, and agree to pay a death, which the devil is happy to oblige. Hence the question to Paul.
Excellent way of explaining sent to my children thank you.
Paul, I love how the Holy Spirit uses these posts of yours to cheer me up. Thank you for writing them! 🙂