“You All Are Partakers of My Grace”


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“You All Are Partakers of My Grace”

Introduction

As you all know, the Lord has granted Sandi and me, through the agency of a sister and a brother in Australia and the help of several others, the opportunity to visit our brothers and sisters all around the world. We may one day be physical prisoners in our Lord’s service, but we are already our Lord’s bond servants, His slaves, and we are all to count our lives as “a living sacrifice” in His service (Rom 12:1). As a brother just recently mentioned on a fellowship call, we are all “Jesus of Nazareth” (Act 22:8). But, as that brother pointed out, we are not Jesus Christ as individuals, and being Jesus of Nazareth was never intended to be understood as being Christ by or of oneself. That is a claim you and I can only make as part of His ‘many-membered body’:

1Co 12:12 For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ, (YLT)

With that doctrine firmly in place, if “you all are partakers of my grace”, then it follows that in Christ I am also a partaker of your grace, and we are all partakers of Christ’s grace, which is the very meaning of this statement of our Lord:

Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

What does that mean? Why did Christ bother to tell us that? This is why He wants us to know that He is in His Father, we are in Him, and He is in us. We are in Christ’s heart, and He is in our hearts. Our relationship with Christ is to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His Father, His Head, because Christ has told us just that:

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

But look at what Christ had just done in the previous verse:

Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Joh 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

We know that Christ showed His disciples His wounds for the purpose of demonstrating that He really had been raised up from the grave, as the next few verses demonstrate:

Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

But there is another reason why Christ showed His disciples His wounds. He also wanted them to know that they, too, must partake of His afflictions:

Col 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly, (YLT)

Christ showed His disciples the wound in His hands, His feet and His side because He wants us to understand that we, too, ‘partake of His grace’, and ‘grace’ is part of the two-edged sword that is the word of God. In other words, ‘grace’ has two applications, one for our flesh, the chastening of our old man, and another application is for the encouraging and edification of our spiritual man, the new man.

So what is grace? Here is how Strong’s defines the Greek word, ‘charis’ which is most commonly translated as ‘grace’.

G5485
χάρις
charis
khar’-ece
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): – acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

In the New Testament, grace is translated from the Greek word ‘karis’, and it means, among other things, ‘favor’, as these few verses will serve to demonstrate:

Luk 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour [G5485: grace] with God.

Act 2:47 Praising God, and [those who had been converted on the day of Pentecost] having favour [G5485] with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Act 7:9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,
Act 7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour [G5485] and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

Here are three examples of how ‘grace’ is properly translated as ‘favor’. Mary, along with the converts on the day of Pentecost, and Joseph, were all favored of God and of men. In time God will show His ‘favor’ and His ‘grace’ upon all men (1Co 15:22, 1Ti 4:10, and 2Jo 2:2), but at this time that favor is given to just a very few:

Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

So what separates those who have God’s ‘favor’ from those who are not at this time being shown God’s grace, His favor? Can we discern those whom God favors by how they are being blessed financially as the prosperity ministers would have us to believe, or is the exact opposite true? What do the scriptures teach us about how we can know those upon whom God has poured out His saving grace, His favor which He plainly states is being given to very few in this age?

More specifically, what does the favor of God do in our lives, if we are favored by God? This is what the scriptures actually teach:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you [God’s grace and favor]: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

That is what the grace and favor of God produces in the lives of the few who are chosen to receive of His favor and grace. The spirit repeats this Truth in the book of Hebrews:

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening [G3809: paideia, the noun form of the verb; G3811: paideuo, chasteneth] for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Every father favors his own children over the children of strangers:

Mat 17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
Mat 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Mat 17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

But tribute money is not the chastening love of God. God chastens and scourges every son He receives. The strangers who pay the tribute money are, in spiritual terms, those who do not receive of the chastening, scourging love, favor and grace of God. Those who are under tribute generally are those who are prosperous in this life and who are not receiving of God’s chastening grace.

Is it true that the grace of God chastens those who receive of it? Or are the prosperity ministers right in telling us that those whom God favors are physically and financially prosperous in this age? For all who are given to receive what the scriptures actually teach, here it is:

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

It is through the grace of God that we are ‘taught to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly lives in this present age’.

But when we look up the Greek word which is translated as “teaching us” here in Titus 2:12, just look at what we learn about this Greek word:

G3811
παιδεύω
paideuō
Total KJV Occurrences: 13
chastened, 3
1Co_11:32, 2Co_6:9, Heb_12:10
chasteneth, 2
Heb_12:6-7 (2)
chastise, 2
Luk_23:16, Luk_23:22
chasten, 1
Rev_3:19
instructing, 1
2Ti_2:25
learn, 1
1Ti_1:20
learned, 1
Act_7:22
taught, 1
Act_22:3
teaching, 1
Tit_2:12

When we take the time to read the 13 entries of this word as it was inspired to be used in the New Testament, it clearly imparts the concept of receiving discipline from a father or from others in the vast majority of these entries. Any entries listed which are not translated as either ‘chastened’ or chastise are better and more consistently understood as being ‘disciplined’ rather than learning or being taught. Being taught is often referred to as being disciplined, even in English where we speak of the disciplines of math, languages or the sciences. But the concepts of chastening and scourging are far more in line with most entries of this Greek word, paideuo, and that certainly applies to what Titus 2:11-12 tells us is the function of God’s saving grace.

Let’s read those verses again and replace the word ‘teaching’ with the far more common translation of ‘chasteneth’, and see what we are actually being told is the function of the grace of God:

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 [Chastening] us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Notice how well that accords with these verses in the book of Revelation where we find this very same Greek word ‘paideuo’:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

How does a person who is blessed to have the grace of God poured out in his life “buy gold tried in the fire”? How do any of us buy white raiment of God that will cover our sinful nakedness? How can we buy eye salve with which to anoint our eyes to give us spiritual vision? Here is the only way as it is revealed in the very next verse:

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten [G3811: paideuo]: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Those gifts of gold tried in the fire, white clothes, and eyesalve that will give us spiritual vision, come to us only through the chastening grace of God, as we’re told in:

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Learning what grace does gives this verse of scripture a completely new slant:

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Now we know what Paul meant by that statement. Contrary to the false doctrines of substitutionary atonement and the false doctrine that grace delivers us from punishment, we now know that God’s chastening is a free gift which will, in the end, overwhelm and scourge any attempt to “sin that grace may abound”. It will indeed abound, and the chastening and scourging hand of God will, without even breaking a sweat, “much more abound” than the most rebellious and most stubborn of men. And there will be absolutely no charge for the free spankings and the free discipline of His saving grace:

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of [our] works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Conclusion

But there is also a positive side to the two-edged sword of this subject of God’s saving grace. On the negative side we are saved by God’s chastening grace, and His scourging of our rebellious, sinful, carnal-minded, old man. But through that fiery chastening work of grace we find much ‘favor’ with our heavenly father, and “through faith… [we are] created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them”. God’s chastening grace does not permit us to “sin that grace may abound”. Quite the opposite; becoming “free from sin” (Rom 6:14, 18 and 22) is the fruit of God’s free chastening grace which He pours out freely upon all those whom He favors:

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Those words of Paul were and still are twisted into a message of permissiveness, but the holy spirit foresaw that and inspired these words in the very next chapter:

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [of our old man]
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [of our new man]

And that “newness of life… free from [the bondage of] sin… no longer living therein” is the positive side of the sword of God’s grace with which Paul was blessing the church of Philippi, and that is the same blessing Sandi and I wish to share with all of you as we make this blessed trip around the entire earth, meeting with, fellowshipping with and ministering to the scattered body of Christ of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, through Christ, through you:

Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Do not think this trip will be just nothing but sweet fellowship. I have no doubt we will have plenty of that. But I am old enough to know that a man’s days are few and full of trouble, and that we are all given an evil experience to humble us:

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

But I also know what it is like to live in the favor of our loving heavenly Father, and you all are partakers of that favor, that grace we have in Christ, and I want to end this study by reminding you of what we have in each other with Christ being within each of us:

Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

And here is one last thing we partake of together in Christ:

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

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