J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Sample Chapter on Grace from The Gospel Carries US

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you

do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?

This verse plunks down in the middle of the struggle in the book of Galatians.  It was a classic struggle of whether Jesus’ work is sufficient or whether a person has to add anything to it.  Paul asks this rhetorical question:  “God who gives you His Holy Spirit and works miracles among you, does He do those things because you have obeyed so much?”

The answer of course is, “By faith.”  One enters into the graces of God only by the faith that God gifts.  Every benefit from God is supplied by God and is not earned.

That word supplies in this verse is the same word in the Greek used during a first century wedding service.  It is the declaration of a groom to his bride.  It is like the groom who sees his beautiful bride and says, “I will provide for you because I love you.  Anything you need, I will supply.  You don’t have to earn it.  I just want to do it for you because I love you.”

In the language of scripture, that is exactly what Jesus does.  Jesus looks at His church the bride and says, “I love you, and I will make you beautiful.”  Because of that, no one improves on what God has done by their own efforts.  You can’t go out and try to earn His love.  All that the child of God has, He has graciously given.  It is not payment for a debt incurred by work.

As Galatians argues, these truths squash self-righteousness, and should instill patience within and among those who profess faith in Christ.  It should also give hope for any who struggle, as they know that it is God who supplies, and God who works.

You can purchases “The Gospel Carries Us” in four three different formats:

Kindle at Amazon
Nook at Barnes and Noble
Paperback
Smashwords

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August 30, 2012 - Posted by | church, gospel, mission, missional | , , , , ,

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