Ten Ways to Respond to Grace

Sept. 29, 2019 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

There is a distinction between performance-based Christianity and living lives of faith in which we correctly respond to the finished works of Jesus. Because of our identity in Christ, we do not have to work for God’s blessings; Jesus has done everything necessary to make what we need available. We have already been made righteous and holy; we have already been healed, delivered, and made whole and prosperous. In light of this, we must decide how to respond to this grace. To see manifestations in our lives, responding in faith positions us to receive what is already waiting for us. Having a personal relationship with God strengthens our faith; this relationship influences our giving, our church attendance, our prayer lives, our witnessing, and everything else we do. We respond to God’s favor the right way when we believe that He loves us, no matter what.

  1. We do not have to toil endlessly to earn God’s blessings; He has already blessed us.
    1. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified… I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Galatians 2:16, 20, 21).
      1. Our performance is not needed in order to be justified; Jesus has already justified us. Our faith takes what is already done.
      2. Our efforts to add to what Jesus did frustrate the grace of God. We cannot make ourselves righteous.
    2. We are in spiritual warfare, but this does not involve fighting to try to beat the enemy. Jesus has already obtained the victory for us; our job is to maintain it. The enemy will do all he can to take away what God gave us.
      1. Regardless of what it seems like in the physical realm, we still win if we are in Christ.
      2. …And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4).
      3. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil… Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:11, 13).
    3. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29, NLT).
      1. We must not let our relationship with God become passive; it requires putting real work into believing Christ, especially when the world pressures us to doubt.
      2. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
      3. …He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe (Mark 5:36).
  1. A relationship with God reveals how much He loves us. This strengthens our faith.
    1. We must understand faith in order for it to work for us.
      1. Faith is a positive response to what Jesus made available through His finished works. Faith does not move God; it moves us to line up with what has already been done.
      2. Faith takes only what grace has made; if grace did not make it, our faith cannot take it. Therefore, we cannot use faith for our own selfish purposes.
      3. The Shunammite was a good example of faith; even when her son died, she still declared that all was well (2 Kings 4:19-26).
      4. Not only should we respond in faith to bad situations, we must also be consistent in our response. Otherwise, we are being double-minded.
      5. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:7, 8).
    2. We need to cultivate a relationship with God. This changes our entire mental outlook and impacts our lives on every level.
      1. We get to know God personally by reading His Word and meditating on it.
      2. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29, 30).
  1. If we do not believe God loves us unconditionally, we will not make progress in life.
    1. We respond to grace by believing in the love God has for us. God is love. How He feels about us is unaffected by what we do.
      1. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love (Galatians 5:6).
    2. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us (Deuteronomy 1:25-27).
      1. We cannot respond to God if we are questioning His love for us. If we do not believe He loves us, our faith is paralyzed.
      2. We are bound to suffer persecution in life (2 Timothy 3:12). However, we must not think we suffer because God hates us.
      3. Much of the junk in life that happens is an opportunity for us to strengthen our faith. Going through adversity makes us stronger and helps us grow spiritually.
      4. When something bad happens, we must not blame God. Others are also involved in whatever is going on; the devil may be one of them.
      5. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
      6. We need faith in the love God has for us; we must not let ourselves be moved from this stance. When we know He loves us, we will believe what He tells us.

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