Grace and Our Responsibility

Grace and Our Responsibility

“Looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God”
Hebrews 12:15

In all of God’s benevolence to mankind there ought to be nothing more striking and more humbling to us than His ministration of Grace. The sheer weight of its power and wonder is incomprehensible in light of our undeserving condition. Throughout the scriptures we see this God pouring out his benefits to countless people, tribes and nations. The intended purpose of the grace given is not always fulfilled within those to whom it is given.

In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul clearly declares this powerful truth: the grace of God requires the response of His People. We must see this high and holy truth. We are made “partakers” of the grace of God; not just recipients. Grace is always given with the intent that we grow, develop and become more like Him. Grace is a resource of God Himself; the life blood of His being. It is the pouring out of Himself upon the lost, the wayward and the aspiring child of God. In its flow men and women are transformed from their selfish, barren, fruitless and impotent living. Grace is the very power of heaven invading and empowering His Own to arise and walk in the strength of our God.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ…”
1 Corinthians 10:1-4

We read here of the incredible grace of God given to His people. We see the rich provisions of food and water and their spiritual representations! God provided ALL that was necessary for their journey in the Wilderness and to enter into the Land of Promise. What was God’s estimation of their walk?

“But with many of them God was not well pleased:
for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:5

This is God’s testimony of a people who had been given grace upon grace! Why does Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) write this to the Church at Corinth?

6. “Now these things were OUR examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
1 Corinthians 10:6-10

Paul’s final exhortation concerning this powerful truth:

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for OUR admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come”
1 Corinthians 10:11

To whom is this vital truth given? To us, those “upon whom the ends of the world are come”!

It is vital that we take heed to the Word of God in our day. It is not a day for us to glory in the grace given, but to give Him glory, by allowing the grace given to work in us that which pleases Him in our daily life!

How foolish is the notion that men cannot fail the grace of God; that men cannot fall far short of God’s intention for our lives. How detrimental for His people to consider that God is pleased with such.

“Looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God
Hebrews 12:15

There is a diligence born out of the knowledge of the truth. Grace is given with purpose and design and the more we have received of it the more we are held accountable unto Him who is the giver of all good things.

“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain
2 Corinthians 6:1

Brian Troxel

The Path to Ministry – Correction and Growth

The Path to Ministry

Part Six

Correction and Growth

“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Hebrews 12:5

Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.

“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
Hebrews 12:11

The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.

“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
Hebrews 12:9

We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.

The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.

“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness
Hebrews 12:10

Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.

What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?

“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14

The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3

Σ

A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.

*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel