The New Song of Grace

AussieThis week our baby girl received her Australian citizenship certificate in the mail. She just became a little Aussie. This despite the fact that she has never been to Australia, she can’t name the six states or the prime minister, and she doesn’t know what a lamington is. She’s never read “The Man from Snowy River,” never enjoyed a Vegemite sandwich, and never seen an AFL Grand Final.

She has done none of the things that Australians do, yet she is, by law, 100 percent Australian with all the rights and privileges that entails.

The day you were placed into Christ, you became a brand-new citizen of the kingdom of God, with all the rights and privileges that entails. But like my daughter, you may not be enjoying all the benefits of your citizenship. In Christ you have received forgiveness, righteousness, and holiness, but you may not know that you are forgiven, righteous, and holy.

This is why the scriptures exhort us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). That’s another way of saying, “Change your thinking. Discover who you truly are. See yourself as heaven sees you, as a beloved child of God.”

My daughter is already an Australian, but if she wants to live as an Australian, she will have to learn how to be one. Similarly, we need to learn how to walk and talk like citizens of a heavenly country. The Bible calls this working out our salvation and acknowledging every good thing that we have in Christ. We do none of these things to become citizens, but because we are citizens.

One day I may take my daughter to Australia and help her explore that amazing country, but that is nothing compared to the adventure of discovering who we are in Christ.

I met Jesus when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I fully began to appreciate all that he has done for me. Several years ago I had what can only be described as a grace awakening. For the first time I understood what made the new covenant new, and I began to see myself as my heavenly Father sees me—as pleasing, acceptable, and dearly-loved. After that, everything changed.

Before my grace awakening I interpreted much of Jesus’ teachings as hyperbole. “Jesus is exaggerating to make a point. He’s not seriously suggesting that we chop off our hands.” That’s the thin edge of a bad wedge. Dismiss some of Christ’s teachings as hyperbole and we might as well dismiss them all. Grace has taught me to value everything that Jesus said (including his audacious message about chopping off hands).

Before I got grace I interpreted much of the Bible as dire warnings for misbehavior. “If I don’t heed this scripture, I may be punished.” That’s the thin edge of another bad wedge. It’ll lead you to trust in your own moral performance and fall from grace.

Before grace changed me, I was intimidated by many of the hard scriptures in the Bible. I didn’t know what to do with them so I filed them in the too-hard basket. But grace has caused me to view that basket as a treasure chest. Tough scriptures like Matthew 10:28 (“Fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell”) and Hebrews 10:26 (“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, expect raging fire!”) no longer frighten me, they thrill me.

Before I got grace, Bible study was a drudge. Now it is a delight.

Before I got grace, used to dread preaching because I never knew what to say. Now I have much to say. In the old days I used to leave my sermon preparation until late Saturday night. Now I leap out of bed each morning keen to write about all that God is showing me.

God has given me a new song and it is a remix. It’s the timeless truths of scripture as seen through the lens of the new covenant. It’s the ancient and eternal gospel of grace as seen through the eyes of the new man.

Extracted from Grace Remix.

31 Comments on The New Song of Grace

  1. So true. I was held by a ridiculous lie that said trusting Jesus more would produce sin. Ha!

  2. Anita Sheridan // October 14, 2015 at 12:43 am // Reply

    I get at least 50 emails a day on my yahoo account and delete most without even opening them. I’m always happy when I see yours, and always read it. It truly is an enjoyable Escape to Reality!
    Thank you and I thank God for your ministry!
    Sincerely,
    Anita Sheridan

  3. The grace of God continues to shine through you Paul. Well written. A reflection of my very own heart and I’m sure many many more. Before Grace it seemed we were just going through the motions biding her time until heaven. Now we experience the person Jesus through the understanding of grace moment by moment day by day. Truly a new creation! No fear! No judgment! Love, kindness, understanding for our fellow man. Being judged but never under condemnation!

  4. Wonderful Paul! A great analogy about our right standing as sons of the Most High. I didn’t get it until I heard Andrew Womack explain spirit, soul, and body. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; my spirit, the true me–my true identity–can’t get more righteous. The union of Holy Spirit in me with my spirit is a union of oneness, forever sealed and identical in the Spirit of His love and grace. Right believing of our citizenship, our oneness in Christ, is the doorway to abundance and freedom in Him. Blessings!

  5. Paul, detailed research over decades has confirmed what we have long suspected.
    NO ONE has ever “enjoyed” a Vegemite sandwich.
    Not if real food was available. 😛
    I’ll show myself out…

    • Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.🙂

    • Vegemite must be like what we in the USA referred to as Spam. No it’s not the emails you don’t want. It’s a can of Mystery meat that mom would serve when you ran out of real food. The problem is is you actually can start enjoying it the more you’re forced to eat it! I feel A spiritual comparison coming on…

  6. Are you suggesting that Matthew 5:30 is intended to be literally translated?

    • Please see the Archives > Scripture Index for my thoughts on that passage.

      • Thanks Paul, I never looked at it like that before. Do you think what Jesus said about cutting off the hand or plucking out the eye was almost sarcastic? I’m just thinking, here these people are demanding that things be done a certain way and Jesus is not getting through to them, having eyes to see kinda thing, so he turns around and says okay, well, if your hand causes you to sin then, cut it off, I just noticed to you and I it would make a difference where the comma was placed in how to interpret the sentence, when the passage was written and in the language it was written, there were no such things as comma’s. Just an observation. BTW, I’m reading “A better Way to Pray”, good stuff.

  7. That was beautiful.

  8. Paul writes:
    Before my grace awakening I interpreted much of Jesus’ teachings as hyperbole. “Jesus is exaggerating to make a point. He’s not seriously suggesting that we chop off our hands.” That’s the thin edge of a bad wedge. Dismiss some of Christ’s teachings as hyperbole and we might as well dismiss them all. Grace has taught me to value everything that Jesus said (including his audacious message about chopping off hands).

    Gary: Seriously, Paul, where in your writings do you explain how you feel Jesus wasn’t using hyperbole in this passage? Was Capernaum literally in heaven?

    • Hello Gary. You started out your comment to Paul with “Seriously”. How serious is Jesus in Matthew five about heaven and the requirement of the law. The law is black and white no mercy. If your eye is causing you to sin, if you are lusting after a woman, The Law leaves no place for gray. The law requires sin to be ripped, torn, cut out from among the people! Under the law not only is adultery under the death penalty but Jesus was declaring that even lust was under the death penalty. He did this to show The impossibility of keeping the law to get to heaven. That we might come to the ends of ourselves and cry out “we cannot do it!”
      Under a mixture of Law and Grace, the only conclusion you can have is that Jesus is using hyperbole. However when you see the division of law and grace you see clearly and seriously that Jesus was serious about the consequences and extent of the law. But the wonderful part of that is under grace all is forgiven, Mercy rules and love prevails. You couldn’t, can’t, do it on your own Jesus did it for you! So let’s get serious about the “unable to earn favor, blessing and gift of heaven” that Jesus has for all who will receive (Believe).

      • This brings the point that we are citizens of heaven – does this mean we will never die then? What if we make mistake or get angry or suicidal? You say of course no christian is cut off. If the unbeliever is, what is the difference between them and us? Some people wonder whether there’s a difference, when put in the language of Solomon “I see all alike perishing, the righteous and wicked, the poor and rich, etc.” How wonderful the new covenant. I think Romans 8 especially in the despised Message translation makes a good case because it’s not hidden in spiritual language but plainly states Paul’s gospel.

  9. Glory to God!!!!
    This amazing!!!!!!!!

  10. Agree God is good we are so blessed Thank you Paul

  11. Peter Marshall // October 14, 2015 at 10:15 am // Reply

    Hi Paul
    I’m new to the abundant grace message and am enjoying what I read. I presume you minister from somewhere in the States, I’m in Christchurch NZ and if you know of a church that preaches the same grace message in my hometown, I would love to know.
    Peter.

    • Hi Peter, send me a PM via E2R’s FB page or post your question on E2R’s FB wall and you’ll get a response. Thanks.

    • I’m from Auckland and asked Paul the same thing a couple of months ago🙂. Haven’t changed church yet. Just been annoying the pastor at our current church with questions about grace and righteousness. Bit like kicking a dead horse…but fun haha

  12. Ooh lamingtons. Drooling happening. After living in the USA for so long I had forgotten all about them. Guess I’ll be baking tomorrow. It’s what citizens of heaven do.

  13. Outstanding blog! Love it!

  14. Re the literality of Jesus’ words: In real life, if our finger, hand, foot, or eye was gangrenous and threatened the life of our body, none of us would hesitate to agree to the surgery! So if your hand or eye REALLY DID cause you to sin, then wouldn’t cutting them off be the logical thing to do? And which of any of you, reading my words, would skip over the word “if” (like what many seem do with Jesus’s words in the passage in question) and chop your hand or finger off without asking the rather important preliminary question of “Is my finger/hand REALLY infected with gangrene?”

    So when it comes to sin, is it REALLY your hand or foot that causes you to sin, or are you just blaming them to deflect blame from the REAL source? When he talked about the Pharisaical obsession with clean and unclean, Jesus pointed out that what defiled a man was his “inner man”, who produced evil thoughts that produced the corruption. Following Jesus’ logic, that would have to be “cut off”. One would think that the earlier verses about a man committing adultery when he looks at a woman lustfully would kinda pre-condition the discussion that followed on the REAL cause of sin. If you REALLY believed that what you do in the flesh would earn you righteousness, then you should live up to that belief and blame your flesh for any performance shortcomings, no?

    Of course, cutting out your “heart” would cause you to die, so the trick is doing so without actually dying, at which point what Paul said about spiritual circumcision and being in chirist when he died on the cross starts to make sense…

    • Thanks Gerald. What an interesting perspective! I have never read the passage that way but it brings a new level of meaning that rings with truth. Thanks for sharing!

      • If I may elaborate a bit Karen on your words, Ephesians 6 tells us about God’s armor with the helmet of salvation being that to protect the mind for such things as you mentioned above, which I’m sure you already know. In II Corinthians 10 it is explained that though we have our lives in the flesh our battles are in the spiritual. As Paul has recently pointed out to me the hand and foot deal in Matthew 5 was a pun on the law with those wanting to live in in. I thank in Christ for revealing this to me and the other blessed children of his such as yourself. Everything in this life stems from the spiritual world, which is why we should live by faith and not by sight. Just thought I would throw a little of what I recently learned in there to compliment your words. Bless you Karen and thanks

  15. Gerald, your comment is simple but profound here…..thank you.

    Jesus is not actually saying to cut off your body parts at all, but is making people think about what the root cause of sin is.

    Our body parts do not make us sin any more than they should take credit for good deeds. Jesus is talking to religious people who can only see the external so He uses the cutting off of body parts to make His point to them as a kind of metaphor. To us who understand spiritual things, we can see that “heart surgery” is the only cure.

    Eze_36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

    Naz

    • It seems the most powerful revelations are simple. Jesus is always leading us to life (Himself) in a way that never requires a theology degree. Our tendency is to look to self. So how is Jesus leading us to Himself by suggesting that we cut off body parts? For me, when I see a religious law thumper who still has his eyes and hands, I know he doesn’t practice what he’s preaching. It also tells me I’ll never find life by looking to the law, I need to keep my eyes on Jesus.🙂

  16. Imee Grace Ngo // October 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm // Reply

    You are truly one of God’s gift of grace to us..love this “old, boring scriptures became nEw & full of life”, praise Jesus for the Grace awakening..the Lord bless you and your family along with your God given ministry..much love to you and to ptr. Joseph Prince with the love of the Lord always..
    P.s. always excited to read your emails.. ♥♡♥♡♥

    From Philippines/Saudi Arabia with love
    #noneofselfAllofChrist #toGodbetheGlory

  17. Brother Paul Ellis, I want to thank you for your well written books. They have been a big blessing to me. I like Joseph Prince, but I was hungry for something more (no offence to him), and I felt I was missing something. Than I accidently stumbled unto you, and I am happy to report that I have a new song in my heart. I feel alive and excited about life and my future. I am watching all the baggage and problems that I have been dealing with fall off. As a denominational leader, I feel I can face my tomorrow. Grace does not give a reason to sin, it gives me a reason not to sin. It gives me a reason to serve the Lord with honesty. I now know that he is my first love, and I know he loves me. This is what the Christian faith is all about – Christ.

  18. Dear Paul,Thankyou my Brother for teaching undiluted Grace.All I can say about the Grace of God is wow!.Gods Grace is mind blowing,I am so glad Jesus is not religious but real.Please Paul don’t ever stop writing Gods Love and giving dehydrated Children of God pure undiluted Grace.God bless you Paul and may the joy and peace that you bring to people with your books and posts sky rocket.

  19. Konda Nayak Mudavathu // October 20, 2015 at 2:25 am // Reply

    You are really a excellent professor.Thank you sir for your kindness towards humans.

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