“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Karis – God’s grace to man – brings us abundant life. Through God’s grace we can have forgiveness of sin and be a whole new creation. And that opens the door to abundant life.
You don’t get abundant life by being religious.
You don’t get abundant life by going to church.
If you want to have abundant life you not only need to go to church and read your Bible, there comes a point when you must confess that you are a sinner and repent.
Confession is admitting and acknowledging that you are a sinner; but that’s not enough. You must repent and go the other way! Where you once ran after sin, now you have to run after Jesus Christ!
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10
When charis – grace – comes into your life, God wants you to be a steward of His grace to other lives. It’s not only grace in you, its grace through you.
Charizomai. Grace – Charis – becomes charizomai through our life. What is charizomai?
Forgiving people for the stupid things they do.
Forgiving people for the mean things they do.
Forgiving people for the abusive things they do.
Forgiving people for the really hurtful, painful things they do in our life.
Do you understand the power of living in an ungrieved spirit?
When we hold resentment, bitterness, judgement, and accounts we put chains around our own feet, hands, and emotions and we keep ourselves in prison.
Because we’re not giving the grace that God poured into our life.
But the moment we become willing to give to others what they don’t deserve and what they could never earn saying “I forgive you. I release judgement against you. I will not hold this account against you. As far as I’m concerned you never did that. I will give you the same grace that God gave me. Do you know what happens?
You absolutely burst open your life into a freedom that you cannot believe!
And now you live in abundance because you enlarge the space of your life. You enlarge your heart. Because you’re giving the same grace God gave you.
It releases them to step into a life they didn’t know they could step into.
The reverse of that is:
If you continue to hold that account, and someone invites them to a youth meeting, to watch Billy Graham on T.V., to go to church with them on Sunday morning and they hear the gospel and they give their life to Jesus Christ and God forgives them…
Now they have grace and they are just as if they had never sinned!
But you’re in chains. Because you haven’t given them charizomai yet.
God wants us to be stewards of grace!
This is part three of the series 4 Aspects of Grace. You can download the full message in MP3 here.