The Word of Grace – Ray E Horton
I have for quite a few years identified myself as a Word of Faith person, focusing on the very real truth that it is by faith in Jesus Christ, according to God’s living Word, that we are reborn, grow, and receive all that God has accomplished for us in Jesus. But I have only recently re-focused on the Word of Grace.
Our righteousness, like everything else, is received by faith, which isn’t just silent assent, but speaks – it is in our heart, and must proceed from our mouth. The Holy Spirit through Paul said in Rom 10:6-8, ” But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: ‘…The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ – that is, the WORD OF FAITH which we are preaching.” It begins with our rebirth, as verse 9 continues, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
By “saved” we understand it to mean our full salvation, which includes not only being forgiven, but an ongoing relationship with Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit, victory over sin, deliverance from the curse of the law, healing, prosperity in life
And by “saved” we understand it to mean our full salvation, which includes not only being forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future, and redeemed, but an ongoing relationship with Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit, victory over sin, deliverance from the curse of the law, healing, prosperity in life, and more. In fact, as Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3, “… His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
In fact, according to Heb. 5:13-14, “the teaching about righteousness” is the “solid food” for the mature, which we need to grow up into, getting beyond the milk of the Word and “elementary teaching,” which Heb 6 explains is “the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” Can you imagine, repentance, faith, even raising the dead, are elementary? It is the knowledge of His righteousness imputed to us that transforms our souls and daily lives, our spirits having been regenerated at the new birth.
It is “the teaching about righteousness” that we are to grow up into if we are to be mature and Christlike. It is the Kingdom and His Righteousness that we are to know and to seek first, then everything else will be added to us. (Matt. 6:33). It’s all about THE GREAT EXCHANGE, “For he has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
It’s all about our identity in Him. We have been cleansed – He took on our sins, and we have been made to be who we now are, “THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST.” It’s not us; it’s what He did, His death on the cross and resurrection, bringing us new, eternal life now, recreating us, when we receive it personally as the free gift that it is, the gift of GRACE.
Taking for granted the Word of Grace
In our focus on that which is our part, choosing to receive by faith (which is itself a gift), have we too often taken for granted the Word of Grace? We know what He did, so we must focus on doing our part, we assume. We proclaim that we are the “righteousness of God in Christ.” But do we know the power behind it. It’s more than a slogan, it’s a deep truth we need to meditate on and let change our minds and fully persuade us of our new identity so that all the old condemnation and futile law-keeping ways fall off, renewing out minds to be transformed from “glory to glory.” Yes, we receive by faith, but it is still all His work that happened 2,000 years ago. That must be our renewed focus.
More and more we need to turn and be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
In Paul’s farewell to the Ephesians, He spoke of, “…the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.” Acts 20:24. What ministry did Paul receive from the Lord? It was testifying to the “Gospel of the Grace of God.” What did He call the Grace of God? – The Gospel, the Good News.
Word of Grace Upbuilding
Oh the beauty of a loving God, who made the way; who gave His all, His dearly beloved Son, to win us back, to receive a people, His “pearl of great price,” a bride for eternal fellowship.
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the WORD OF HIS GRACE, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” Acts 20:32.
It is the Word of Grace that builds us up, freeing us from the lies and condemnation of the world, the flesh and the devil, (of unbelief, dead religion and the enemy’s accusations), giving us the confidence for victory over sin, encouraging us to receive our inheritance as the blood-bought saints of God that He has made us to be. So we continue in the Word of Faith, the only way to receive, growing strong in the faith that He has placed within us, speaking it forth, as we keep our eyes and hearts renewed in the WORD OF GRACE.