So what does grace have to do with all of this? That’s the question you are asking right. Ok, well maybe not but it is a good question. The one thing I have come to realize is that I have no power to do the saving work of Christ. I can plant seeds, I can water them, but whether the sun comes out is completely up to God. He alone is the one who does the work of salvation. It is by grace you are saved…not by works. Grace and nothing else. Grace.
What I’ve begun to realize is that a gospel of salvation or the good news of salvation doesn’t mean a whole lot to an unbeliever without an encounter with the living God. Just to clarify, I do think salvation is good news! It’s just that I’m realizing that’s not my job. My job is the gospel of the KINGDOM. What’s the difference?
The difference is that although I have been given no authority to bring about the work of salvation, I have been made an ambassador of Christ through grace to represent his kingdom on earth. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Our mission is to bring the reality of God’s kingdom wherever we go until it comes in its fullness.
The ultimate end and joyful conclusion to this adventure is summed up in Rev 11:15: The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ”The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” When this takes place the kingdom of God will have come in its fullness. The king is coming! Jesus is going to return to rule His kingdom. But until that day comes, He has placed us here as ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) of His kingdom and he has given us power to turn the hearts of men and women to Himself. 1 Cor 4:2 says, “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” How then do we preach a gospel that is not about “talk”? You see the gospel message is a wonderful truth that means a lot to those who believe, but to those who don’t it may seem like empty words. The disciples heard Jesus speak every day, but it wasn’t until the Father revealed the truth to their hearts that they began to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Through the signs and wonders, the miracles, the providence and supernatural encounters eventually something sunk in and brought revelation to them that was above and beyond the words of Christ.
The kingdom still operates the same way today. As ambassadors of His kingdom we have been given authority to do miracles in His name. This is where grace really comes in. Scripture teaches that Jesus had compassion on the crowds and he healed their sick. Jesus’ compassion was for the whole person. So intense was His love for His creation that He was willing to forgive their sins, He was willing to heal their diseases, He was even willing to die to restore what sin had destroyed. The kingdom of God is driven by love and compassion and confirmed through power. Followers of Christ have the authority and have been given a green light to touch the world around us. People are waiting to be set free, healed an delivered.
I used to think that the gospel was about “words” and “faith”, but what I have come to understand is that it is all about the power of God touching humanity with love and compassion in very real and tangible ways! It is the grace of God expressed in a heavenly kiss that cures cancer, an embrace of the Father that eradicates Multiple Sclerosis. All because of love! Not all who have a “power/love” encounter will surrender their lives to Jesus, but the prospect of even one person was enough to move the heart of Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!
And He’s alive today in those who believe. I have seen it with my own eyes and experienced this power firsthand. God is still at work in the world today.
Blessings to you all and thank-you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings.
P.S. I will share some stories in future posts.