Proverbs 18 3-18-19

Which side of grace on which we live has to do with what we think about grace. Did we earn it? If so, then it’s not grace.

23 The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly.

Grace is “unmerited favor.” To earn it makes it something other than grace. In the Old Testament (OT) under the Old Covenant (OC), the rich perceived themselves as blessed by God because a person earned God’s favor by obeying the Law–which is only partially true because God’s nature never changes; He has always been about the heart of a person. What He was doing was showing (over a long period of time with a nation) what people–Jews and Gentiles alike–needed, which is GRACE. The Law was designed for us to realize that we CANNOT keep it (Acts 15:10) so that we would cry out to God for His mercy. King David understood this concept and called upon it when the Bathsheba Incident happened,

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

Under the OC, a person was supposed to do right so that he would be blessed, or at least, avoid judgement. Under the NC (New Covenant), we have already received grace, and therefore, we are already blessed, so we don’t have to worry about coming judgement or having to work for blessings. EVERYTHING we do is out of gratitude for what God has done through Christ. Indeed, Christ has taken our sins, past and future, and removed them from us as far as the east is from the west, as David wrote in Psalm 103. Why? Because of the previous verse:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear [revere] him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12

God loves us! He has ALWAYS loved us. Christ proves it.

The Apostle Paul spends quite a bit of time in Romans 7 explaining why the Law didn’t work: Without the Spirit of God in us, we have NO POWER to break the chains of sin. But, look where he takes us:

What a wretched man I am! who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 8:1 Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Conclusions:

  1. Under the Law, we were subject to sin and death.
  2. Jesus delivers us from sin and death!
  3. The Spirit gives us new life.
  4. We are free from the consequences of breaking the Law.
  5. We are NC people living in OC bodies.
  6. We no longer are slaves to sin because His Spirit gives us everything we need to live a righteous life (see 2 Peter 1:3).

What would happen if we all started living our lives in gratitude for all Christ has done for us and stopped living in fear: fear of disappointing God, of His judgement, of not receiving blessings because we weren’t good enough, or of not living up to His expectations? I think our joy level, our peace level, and ultimately, our love level would skyrocket! Let’s try it!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: