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    There has been much controversy surrounding how this word has been defined and preached in churches across America. Every church preaches and teaches about "grace" but not all preach and teach the same message of grace and therein lies the opening for controversy.

    Since I was saved in '76, I've heard numerous messages identifying what grace is. Not all messages I've heard fully agree with each other. I suppose that no one message will be able to cover the message of God's grace as revealed through His Son Jesus Christ in all its usage and power. However, I DO believe that the message of grace, as all encompassing as it is, does have a very specific definition and usage that CAN be defined. In a nutshell, here are several verses that I believe give us a clear picture of what grace is.
    Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21 NKJV)
    “Grace might reign THROUGH righteousness to (toward) eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    This verse clearly describes grace being obtained through righteousness. Righteousness can only be obtained through faith as Abraham was accounted righteous because of he “believed” God. Jesus promises eternal life for all who believe (have faith in, rely upon & trust in) in Him. To truly have faith in Jesus, one must also be willing to turn away from that which is known as “unrighteousness”. The practice of sin is considered by God’s Word, the definition of unrighteousness. So, by simple reasoning, the only way Grace can be activated and maintained is when we no longer practice sin. 
    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2 NKJV)

    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! (Romans 6:15 NKJV)

    For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4 NKJV)
    According to the verses above, there were questions arising about the nature of grace as far back as the first century where Paul seeks to address those questions. Apparently, there were those, even then, who wanted to continue in sin, expecting that they could do this pre-meditatively, and it will be okay with God. As you can readily see, Paul’s responsive was a resounding NO!

    Grace is not “permission” from God to sin. The purpose of Jesus Christ coming to earth, suffering and dying for our sin was not so we can continue as we lived before. If we truly died in Christ then we should live according to Christ. If we have left the old man to die and allow the new man to live, shouldn’t this new life mean that we no longer have the DESIRE to walk in disobedience, seeing what disobedience obtained?

    Grace is not a “license” to sin. Grace exists for one purpose, to ENABLE us to walk by the Spirit and THROUGH the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the flesh. Grace is God’s power where we have none, to defeat the powers of darkness in our lives by walking according to His Spirit as He leads us and guides us on that journey to BECOME sons of God.
    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 NKJV)
    When we are born again of the Spirit of God, we are given the right, power, privilege to BECOME sons/daughters of God. This is a lifelong process. When a human is born in this world, they are fully human but only as an infant. They cannot understand, speak or care for themselves. They must be nurtured (loved), taught, trained, corrected in order to BECOME sons and daughters. They are given this privilege, power and right BECAUSE they were born into that family. Not because they were smarter, stronger, faster, more beautiful or any of the other things we attribute as being necessary to be accepted in this world. We all were helpless and came into a world we were unfamiliar with. We didn’t come into this world knowing all things, understanding all things nor even knowing all languages. Everything we would attain would be because someone took time to, through nurturing, to teach us and train us how to live in this world. 

    It is the same in the kingdom of God. Unless there is someone who loves us enough to take that necessary time to nurture us through love, teaching, training, correcting, we would grow up not being able to communicate with our heavenly Father. Holy Spirit was sent to us to enable us to grow up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and to become sons and daughters. 

    When we were teenagers in this world, we strove against everything and everyone we considered was trying to “hold us back” from “our potential” (being generous here). We wanted to “cast off” all restraints and “launch” into this world because we felt we CAN! Our parents felt otherwise and “held us back” until THEY felt we were ready by giving us their "approval".

    So it is with our spiritual Father. We will only be “released” when the Father says so. It is called simply, “approval”. Jesus waited till He was 30 years old to receive His Father’s approval and that was at the Jordan river where He had his cousin John, baptize Him to fulfill all righteousness. Even then, as soon as He was baptized and the Father spoke His approval, Jesus still required “testing” and the Spirit of the Lord drove Him to the desert to try Him and test Him for 40 days and 40 nights.

    Because Jesus emptied Himself of all that He had in heaven after His arrival here on earth, He put Himself in a place of needing the same things the rest of us on earth needed. So, in this life, He CHOSE not to do or say anything according to His own will but gave that up. He chose not to defend His “rights” but gave that up. He gave up everything to become just as we are, in need of guidance…everyday….every hour….every moment. He declared, “I only do what I see My Father do.” He also said, “I have a commandment of what I am to speak and that is all I speak.” If we are to follow Jesus, then we are to walk in the same manner as He walked, in total dependence of the Spirit of God.

    As we seek to do this, Grace becomes that power of God, through total obedience to His instructions. In this way, grace is not only that unmerited favor but represents the very power of God to give to us a power to walk in righteousness that previously was not in our power to achieve. God gives us of His power, that resurrection power, also known as “grace”, so that we can overcome the temptations of the flesh, put to death the deeds of the flesh, to sin no more. This power, this grace therefore is not a license to live our lives as WE see fit. If we have truly been born again and can “see” the kingdom of God as Jesus told Nicodemus in John chapter 3, then we should no longer WANT to live our lives as we did before in all selfishness and self-centeredness.

    Why then do so many feel that walking in righteousness has become burdensome? They cry, “Why can’t we live our lives the way we want to? What’s wrong with having a great time? We’re not hurting anyone. I thought God wanted us to be happy!” Brethren, these are not the words of a born again spirit-filled follower of Christ. At what point do you read in the New Testament any of the followers of Christ say the same thing. These are not the words of followers of Christ but of a generation that is still focused on self and selfish interests. These are the ones we were warned about in God’s Word that will arise in the last days. 
    But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self- control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. (2 Timothy 3:1-9 NKJV)
    Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:“The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
    But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:14-26 NKJV)

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    1. God's grace has been twisted where some believe in a type of hyper-grace in which obedience is no longer required. Grace is the only thing that matters; it covers all sins and any type of obedience is wrongly condemned as works-based salvation. This leads to a lukewarm body of believers at best and at worst unfaithful "followers" prone to habitual sin. If we cannot commit ourselves to following Christ now, how can we expect to hear and follow Christ when under tribulation? Many are those who protest claiming that they will never perish and in no way be snatched out of the Father's hand (Jn 10:28-29). However, they ignore v.27 where the promise of eternal life is only given to those sheep who continue to hear and follow (Greek present tense verbs) the Shepherd. No such assurance is given to those who habitually disobey.

      You rightly state "that the only way Grace can be activated and maintained is when we no longer practice sin." This is confirmed in 1 John 1:7-9 where we are cleansed and forgiven of our sins only IF (conditional) we are walking (present tense verb) in the light (v.7). Conversely, the one who practices sin is of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).

      Tragically, it seems that these distinctions have been omitted from the teachings amongst the body of Christ today. Keep up your teaching of sound doctrine!

    2. Thank you Evan. Much has changed and not for the better in the church. Church members hate to be corrected, no matter the form of correction. They know more and this qualifies them for "exemption" from error. This is what I've been facing in today's church. There no longer is respect for elders, and not just those elders in age. A babe in Christ, who has lived a scant 25 years and been saved a few years choose to reject the wisdom of those much older with many times their experience. This is precisely what the book of Proverbs speaks loudly about. Those who love the truth SEEK correction from the "experienced". I've walked with the Lord according to the Spirit since I came into His kingdom in early '76 and yet, many of these "more knowledgeable than you" children simply will not take correction in any form, no matter how careful the correction is made. It gets worse online. I would venture to say that many online cast away from themselves all manner of constraint and become vicious in their criticisms. Not content with embracing their "feelings" above the scripture, they begin to denigrate those who oppose them.

      Each time I encounter these, I see myself standing with Jesus on that hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem and lament with Him. It is such a wonderful experience when I get to converse with a likeminded saint. Truly we are few in number for now but that will soon change when persecution comes. I've seen what is coming since a vision I received in Oct. '78. That one brought me to my face as I wept loudly for what I saw coming to this country. Jesus told me that the terrorism and the persecution is necessary to weed out the evil. Yes, His threshing hook is in His hand and He will winnow out all the chaff while separating out the true "kernels of wheat". I have prayed for and longed for this time of persecution that is coming for many years. And yet, I both dread its arrival and rejoice in that God will have His way with His people and bring about such a change among the true believers and followers of Christ. However, I still weep as I see how so many will not be ready and will be swept away with the influence of the evil deceiver.

      The time of the end is approaching very quickly and the events of this world are in the beginnings of that time of sorrow. This is the time of great hope for the saved but great fear for the lost. Soon, that man of sin will be revealed and all we fear except for the redeemed. Much seeking of the Lord is needed as God is placing such a great emphasis on the attainment of sonship according to the Spirit. I have not heard such an urgency in the Spirit as I am now. The Spirit is crying out for His children to wake up, trim their lamps and continue in that continual refreshing of His anointing. He is coming soon and those who are truly His will be prepared as a Bride and together with the Spirit of the Lord, we will give to the world out WITNESS of the One True God and His Son, Jesus Christ!

    3. Yes Jerry; I agree with much of what you have written. It is refreshing for me to read words of wisdom and discernment concerning the times in which we live and the corresponding call to each of us to live our lives in a circumspect and holy manner. For me It is has been a lonely experience for the past several years - kind of like Moses living in isolation on the backside of the desert due to my own self-inflicted sins which I am still learning from.
      I found the following revelatory word to be a pearl of wisdom concerning the days that fast approach us and the deceptions that will catch believers unaware by following false teachers and prophets. I trust that it will be an encouragement for you as it is for me. Click on the link and listen to the audio - Program 77 dated 6/30/15. Blessings brother.


    Item Reviewed: GRACE Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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