Let me pose what we call a “no brainer” to you. You know, one of those questions where you don’t have to think about your response. It would just be yes, a flat out yes.
In John 1:16, Pastor Bevere pinpoints a key verse that he uses to build his case and eventually to ask us his “no brainer.” The verse goes “Of His fullness, we have all received, and grace for grace.” In the original Greek, this verse means the “overflow, or abundance, of what grace does for us is it gives us the fullness of Jesus Christ.”
Then Bevere asks if you had a chance to be experience the fullness of Jesus Christ, would you take it?
A no brainer…
As I wrote in my previous post, Bevere is building on the idea of grace as more than a free gift, salvation, or forgiveness of sins. It is a source of empowerment. Grace as a gift, salvation and forgiveness is wonderful but what is Bevere is right? What if grace is more than that?
Most of us have heard of preachers who have said things like “We are no better than sinners, we’re just forgiven” or maybe this: “We are just unworthy worms.” One of my favorites is “We are humans with a sin nature and bound to it.” These statements are humbling and they may be designed to get us to feel dependent on The Lord for our failings but what if we can move beyond our failings? What if we can tap into a power that allows us to grow as Christians at the next level?
Bevere is not like one of “those preachers” in the previous paragraph. He points to Ephesians 5:30 where we are reminded that we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. He prefers to focus on the statement “Beloved, now we are children of God” [1 John 3:2]. This is empowerment now, not later in heaven. Second Peter 1: 2-3 states “May God give you more and more grace…by His divine power [grace] God has given us everything we need for living a holy life.”
I like to highlight “more and more grace” because I need more and more and when it comes to empowerment, don’t you need more and more also? I don’t want to stay the man I am today; I want to live a better life, a more effective life for Christ. In an earlier post, I cited James 4: 4, 6 when he says “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?…But He gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires…so humble yourself before God.” The key words are “even more grace”.
I have spent so many years trying to move beyond my sins. I thought I had the ability to do it on my own. Bevere cites Eliab, David oldest brother who faced Goliath in his own strength. Then we see the humble shepherd boy David who confronted the giant in God’s strength and everyone know that outcome.
Bevere cites Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane who was in the biggest fight of his life. His flesh wanted out of what His father commanded. Who would want to face what he was about to face? Yet in his humility, he cried out for His Father’s grace to get him through the fight. The disciples failed to even stay awake but Jesus did not fail. His spirit was strong and his body was strong: God strong.
Think about life and the struggles you have. Mine are evident to me. I really want to cast them off. I know the peace that can happen when God gives me the strength to make better choices. I know that sin is a prison and I am the one that walks right into my prison cell. I am weak but my God is strong. I don’t have what it takes for victory but He does. He offers it to me and He offers it to you.
It is not in my strength; it is in my weakness, my humble weakness…that is when God works His miracles.
It is counter-intuitive.
Certainly if it counter-cultural…
But when I am weak, My God is strong…
When I am weak, I feel the power of His grace the most…more and more grace.