How Jeff found his Purpose – Part 9: Intro to Grace

Intro to grace.jpg

Monday night arrived, and it was time to go to Grace Discipleship. Both Jeff and Annie arrived 30 mins early as they had planned. They arrived early so they can get a chance to interact with the other church members. That is one of the things that Benny had advised them to do. To look for like minded believers who will help them grow in the Lord. The turn out to the discipleship was great. Jeff and Annie got to meet a lot of the people. It was time for the discipleship to start so everybody went inside the discipleship class and sat. Kenneth walked up front to kick off the proceedings.

“Good evening!?” Kenneth asked, “Hope you had a wonderful Monday. I see we have both fresh faces and old faces. I’m excited to start our 10-week Grace Discipleship class.”

The attendees applauded because they all were very excited.

“This class is designed to establish a foundation of Grace. As you can see some members decide to take it again. The members who take it again say that they get new revelations every time. We are going to jump into today’s lesson. During the discipleship classes we don’t usually have the formalities that we have on Sundays. Also, if you have any questions as we are going through the lesson, write them down and wait till the end. We are going to have a fifteen-minute Q&A session.

The first thing I want to talk to you about is spirit, soul, and body. This is a very important truth that changed my Christian walk. The Bible teaches that man is a triune being. Look at 1st Thessalonians 5:23, Paul states that may the Lord keep our spirit, soul, and body blameless. Also, Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that when we die our body goes back to the ground while our spirit goes back to God who gave it. These scriptures confirm that we have a spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit consists of intuition, communion, and conscience. Our soul consists of mind, will, and emotions. Our body consists of the five senses.

Let’s go back to the creation of man (this indicates both male and female) and see what happened. In Genesis 1:26, God says let’s make man in our image. He also states let them have dominion. In verse 27, it states God created man…. male and female He created them. From that verse we see the distinction between the spirit and body. Man is the type of spirit and male and female is the type of body, the spirit inhabits. In chapter 2 we see the detailed account of the creation of man and woman. The first person that God created was the male. God called him, Adam. When God made the woman, He pulled the rib out of Adam to form her body and He breathed in her the spirit of man. She was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, showing her flesh originated from the male. Look at Genesis 5:2, “he created them male and female; he blessed them and called them Adam [humankind, man] on the day they were created.” (CJB) The man and the woman were one before the fall. The man named his wife Eve after the fall in Genesis 3:20, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Adam, both the man and the woman, were also conscious of God and His presence. They abided with God and God abided with them. Before the fall, Adam were just like God (Gen 1:26). They were in His image and likeness, and they had dominion like God did. Adam were also conscious of God and His presence. They abided with God and God abided with them.

In Genesis 2:16-17, God tells Adam that he will die when he eats the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The death that God meant was spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God. A spirit being cannot cease to exist. Our spirits originate from God, who is eternal. If a spirit is separated from God, who is life, it is joined to death.

The devil tempted the woman because she didn’t know who she was and exactly what God said. The devil also used her not because she was the weaker vessel, in terms of inferiority, but she became more important to Adam than God. Adam knew exactly what God said and he chose to obey the woman instead of obeying God. In John 7:38-39, Jesus states if you believe in Him, out of your heart shall flow rivers of living water. If you contrast that to not believing in Him, out of your heart shall flow rivers of death. This is what happened to Adam, when they were separated from God, death began to flow from them and they eventually physically died. With this separation, man became self-conscious. God stopped being Adam’s father and Satan became their father (Ephesians 2:1-2; John 8:44). In Ephesians 2:1-2, it explains it best. It states that we walked according to the ways of the devil. In Isaiah 14:13, we see the ways of the devil. The ways of the devil are selfish, and they are all about him. If you look at the sons & daughters of disobedience one thing they all have in common is that they are all concerned about themselves just like their father, the devil.

After the death of Christ, we became new creatures. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17, it states that if a person accepts Christ as His Lord, He is a new creature. The question we must ask is what are the qualities of this new creature? One of the qualities that that this new creature has it is a position of power. After the fall, man was under the ruler ship of Satan, now he is seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:18-22; 2:6). In 1 John 4:17, it states that as He is so are we in this world. Since Christ is perfect, we are perfect. Since He is Holy we are Holy. Since He is righteous, we are righteous. Since He is love we are Love. The holy, and righteous part is our spirit. Our spirit is the only part that was affected when we were born again.

The question we must ask ourselves now is this, how do I make this spiritual reality manifest in my physical world? In Philippians 2:12-16, Paul encourages the church in Philippi to work out their salvation so that they can be blameless by clinging to the word of life. Paul here shows us a clue. The clue is to let whatever is in us to flow out of us through the word of life. In Romans 12:1-2, he urges the believers in Rome to present their bodies to God and to renew their minds. If you put these two scriptures together we get a bigger picture of what the Holy Spirit is trying to convey. Once we are born again, our spirit is the only part that is saved. Our soul and body stay the same. Now rivers of life start flowing but the one issue that we have is we have been taught death. In Proverbs 23:7, it states, “For as he calculates in his soul, so is he….” (ESV…look at the margins) For the life of God to be a reality in our lives we must reteach ourselves. We must renew our minds with the word of life. One area that we need to start is what we are conscious of. Are we self-conscious or God-conscious (self-dependent vs God-dependent)?

For us to be God-conscious we must start renewing our minds so that we see things from God’s perspective (Ephesians 4:17-24). When Joshua became the leader of the children of Israel, God gave him a key to success that we can apply today in our lives. Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” We know that we are not under the law today. So, if you put this scripture in New Testament context, it would ready, “This word of life shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” From this scripture, we can pull three areas that we have to guard: Our mouth – what are we speaking; Our minds – what are we thinking; Our actions – what are we doing.

In Proverbs 4:20-27 and Matthew 15:18-19, these two scriptures narrow down the source of our speaking, thinking and actions to whatever is in our hearts. So, what is the heart? The heart is where the soul and spirit intersect. Our spirit side of the heart believes everything that God teaches. The soul side of the heart needs to be renewed. In Proverbs 3:1-3, the Lord tells us what should be in our hearts. The next question we need to ask is how, do we put his commandments in our hearts. Psalms 45:1 tells us how to do that. The verse calls our tongue a pen of a ready writer. This ready writer is ready to write anything in our hearts. You can either write God’s word or the world’s words.

When we get born again, that is not the end of the road. That is the beginning. We must renew our soul (mind, will, and emotions). When we get born again, our spirit is made perfect; our soul is being made perfect by the renewing of the mind; and our body will be made perfect when Christ comes back, and we receive our new bodies. Amen. Now it’s time for our Q&A.” Kenneth concluded.

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