What have you shared with others most
I asked myself what does
'right for me to feel this way about all of
you' refer to?
I am reminded from the previous verse that
it refers to Paul being confident that He who began a good work in the
Philippians will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
I asked myself, what is the cause-effect
1. Since I have you in my heart, it is
right for me to feel this way about all of you.
2. Whether I
am in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel, all of you share in
God's GRACE with me.
I asked myself, according to these verses,
what is God's GRACE not dependent on?
1. Whether I am in chains.
2. Whether I am defending the gospel
3. Whether I am confirming the gospel
I asked myself why is it significant that
Paul shares these different scenarios and then says,
"All of you share in God's GRACE with me?"
It is so significant because Paul is making a point to the Philippians
that sharing in God's GRACE is not dependent at all on WHERE WE ARE (in
prison, chains) and is not dependent on WHAT WE DO (defend or confirm
the gospel) which can be seen as good works too if
God is taken out of the picture. GRACE has nothing to do with us but everything to do with
God. Sharing in God's GRACE is God's initiative in Paul's life and the
Philippians lives, so they do not have to think 'they have to do this
and that to receive God's GRACE' If they felt they have to try to
defend the Gospel, confirm the Gospel, try to be persecuted for Christ's
sake so they can experience God's GRACE, they have missed the whole
point of understanding the sharing in God's GRACE. The amazing thing
about GRACE is that it has nothing to do with us but everything to do
with God. He showers His GRACE upon others to share in as His gift of
GRACE. Resting in that GRACE is what we gives us joy and incentive to
live our lives for Him. Paul is living His life for Christ especially
being in chains. So his living for Christ is based on His experience in
sharing in God's GRACE and not on WHAT HE WILL GET or WHAT GOOD THINGS
HAPPENED TO HIM.
I asked myself what are the implications for
my own life?
'Sharing in God's GRACE' is something I can
be part of too not because of anything I have done or will do but
because of God who is rich in mercy chose to come as God-incarnate and
save a wretched sinner like me showering me with His wonderful GRACE. If I had to work for it then it
would not be GRACE at all. GRACE is unmerited favor from God because of
His love for me. What will give me incentive to live for Christ is not
because of fear of losing my Salvation because once saved by Christ, I am
always saved for eternity. God will not take away the GRACE I share in
Him because He chose me before the beginning of time to become part of His family forever! Amen! Wow!
Praise the Lord! He chose me by using His instruments such as others
confirming the Gospel for me to know it is true. That confirmation to
was by His GRACE.
GRACE is what saved me from my wretched
condition and GRACE is what will take me home. Understanding God's GRACE
is vital to my life and anyone's life so it is not surprising that Paul
talks about GRACE right away with the Philippians and making them know
that they share in God's GRACE with Him because they are followers of
Christ based on 'He who began a good work
in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus'.
Good work and carry it on is all based on GRACE.
GRACE is also unexpected favor when it is not
When I think 'What
did I do to deserve this good gift?, I
should not have received it, look at how I am, where I have been, what I
have done, etc', I have missed the point of GRACE. The whole point
of GRACE is God's unconditional favor for conditionals beings like us
who think we have to always do something good to receive good in return.
God does not work that way.
GOSPEL GIVES ME TESTIMONY REGARDING G.R.A.C.E:
I remember sharing with a Nepalese student who did not think he
needed God's GRACE to save Him because he thought 'doing good works is
the reason why God will let Him into heaven'. I told him that's what
most of humanity thinks. I told him in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, etc
people are trying to do good works so they can reach God BUT in
Christianity, God is the One that reached out to humanity by sending
Jesus Christ by His GRACE to save and we don't have to try to reach God because
God took initiative to reach out to us. I told him I was a Hindu just
like him and no amount of good works would have saved me. I made him
understand as I prayed that many think they can reach God by the good
works they think they do but God says, "All
of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous
acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the
wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay
hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste
away because of our sins." (Isaiah 64:6-7, NIV)
"No one is good not one, all have sinned and
fallen short of the glory of God!" (Romans 3:23, NIV)
Of course, the natural response would be,
'How can anyone be saved then?'
Exactly and that's the point that I made him
realize and see as a Hindu or any religious person who is trying to
reach God, that I, he nor they cannot do anything to reach God, save
themselves and be with God in Heaven because God sees all our good works
as 'filthy rags'.
I am reminded that 'filthy rags' refers to
a women's menstruation cycle cloth filled with blood that is unclean and
polluted. The Bible refers to that as unclean and anything associated
with that is unclean. That means God sees us as unclean because of how
God views our good works.
I let him see the cause-effect relationship: 'Because of us being unclean, the effect is that a Holy God cannot allow
anyone unclean into His presence'
I made him see that a clean place like
Heaven will become unclean if the unclean get entrance into it.
So, naturally he wanted to know
'why I think I will be accepted into Heaven?'
I told him it is not anything I do to strive to
get to Heaven.
I am reminded of
Isaiah 64:8: "Yet,
O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are
all the work of your hand."
I shared with Him about God and Man being
together and sin separated us from God creating a huge chasm
between God and Man. I told him man still tried to reach God and even
today tries to by the good works they think they do but everything falls
in the chasm without reaching God because to God it is all unclean
including man. But God in His love for humanity decided to send Jesus
Christ into the world to save humanity from their sin. God intervened by
I told him that I am a wretched sinner who
cannot save myself or reach God on my own at all but God intervened in
my life by providing me a bridge to reach God. It was not any kind of
bridge but the CROSS became the bridge. I told him how Jesus who had no
sin became sin for me and how He took all the yuckiness, sinfulness, and
uncleanness of my life upon Himself when He shed His precious blood on
the cross. I shared with Him that it is the BLOOD OF CHRIST that
cleansed me from unrighteousness and I accepted the FREE GIFT OF GRACE
THAT GOD PROVIDED FOR ME. So, now when God looks at me, He does not see
my sin but He sees Christ's righteousness covering me by His precious
cleansing blood. Now since I am seen as clean in God's sight, I can have
entrance into Heaven. It is all because God took the initiative to save
me by His GRACE!
Wow! That is so wonderful to know that there is
nothing I have to do to receive His love and GRACE except accept the
GIFT OF GRACE. I told Him how God's GRACE will also transform our lives
as it did my own life and continues to do it. I made Him realize as I
was praying in my mind that it is Jesus that is reaching out to him
right now by His GRACE. I wanted him to see that it is Jesus that is
drawing him near to him to give him Eternal Life and a new beginning.
So he gave His life to Jesus Christ praying a
similar prayer that is below knowing "For
it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith—and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can
boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)
He realized it is God's GRACE that saves Him
and it is His GRACE that will sanctify him too because he told me 'even
though I don't have all the answers, Jesus will reveal them to me after
I become a Christian so He became a Christian'
He understood God's GRACE is what saves and not
what he thinks he does for God. When we realize we cannot do anything
for God to save us except accept the Way, He has shown us through Christ
by His GRACE who says, "I am the Way, the
Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me!"
(John 14:6), we are on the path to
Salvation because we understand Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the
Life to reach God by GRACE.
refers to the GRACE offered in Christ alone the hope of glory! When we
remember that and act on it, we
are freed to live our lives in joy knowing God in His love loves us so
much that He who began a good work in us
will carry it to completion in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6, NIV)
Now, we will not be trying to do good works to
achieve God's favor but will allow God to work in us and through us so
the good works that are seen by others are seen as a fruit of the Holy
Spirit working in us and through us. These good works are seen as the
true good works empowered by the Lord Almighty so there will not be any
uncleanness in them! Praise the Lord!
When we understand the magnitude of God's GRACE
then our love for God will become the incentive to live for Him and do
things with Him and for Him! Praise the Lord!
I ask you now dear friend, why cannot you be
saved by G.R.A.C.E alone?
Dear friend, you nor I cannot be saved by GRACE alone in life if we are
adding something else to GRACE. There is no add-on or plug-in's for
GRACE such as 'I will do these good works to be accepted by God so I
will have these brownie points', 'I will scourge myself by punishing
myself for the bad things I have done', 'I will do these amount of good
works to replace the bad things I have done', etc. Once we add on
anything to GRACE, it is not 'SAVED BY GRACE ALONE'. Let us remember we
are SAVED BY GRACE ALONE through faith without any additions to GRACE!!!
Praise the Lord! This is a truth Pastor Ed
would always emphasize to me :)
Friend, you and I need to be very careful not
to think we can please God and be accepted by God by promoting GRACE +
SELF EFFORT, GRACE + BROWNIE POINTS, etc.
When we do that it is a SLAP TO THE FACE OF GOD
because we have cheapened His loving GRACE for us. We are trying
to be accepted by what we do, who we are, where we came from, etc. That
is the not the way of the Master.
The apostle Paul understood that too so he
counted everything a loss compared to Christ!
The Way of the Master is GRACE ALONE. Jesus
paid the ultimate price at the Cross of Calvary to save you and me by
His GRACE alone. He does not want us to add things because HIS BLOOD IS
SUFFICIENT TO SAVE THE FOULEST HEART. All our hearts are wicked that can
only be cleansed by His GRACE which He offers us.
As Chris Tomlin sings, "I will rise because He
calls my name...." and Casting Crowns sings 'Who Am I', the emphasis is
on God's GRACE and not anything we do.
It is God who works in us and through us as we
accept His FREE GIFT OF GRACE to save us. If we feel, we have to
give anything in return or feel obligated to give something back to God,
then again it is not GRACE ALONE and we have not understood the
magnitude of His GRACE and basked in it. When we bask in His GRACE, it will not be obligation but
love that prompts us to live for Christ!
Thank you Jesus for your GRACE and help! In
Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!
Religions will be the destruction of humanity
because religions put emphasis on man's work to reach God but a
relationship with Christ is what will restore humanity because that
relationship is based on GRACE ALONE because of GOD'S AGAPE LOVE FOR US.
His love for us is what will draw us to Him to abide in Him restoring a
fallen world to the creator.
Martin Luther suffered for many years because
he was trying to attain God's favor by how he lived his life instead of
realizing that God already knew 2000 years ago how he was going to live
his life and still died for His sins and came back to life to save! God
wanted Martin Luther and others to receive that free gift of GRACE and
bask in His love. That's how the Reformation came to be and the 95
Thesis was posted on the door.
Today there are still bondaged Martin Luther's
who depend on themselves to please God instead of the
freed Martin's Luther's. Now there is still division
in the churches and among believers because people are adding things to
GRACE when that cannot be done. When that is done, it is not GRACE
Pastor Ed, Pastor Hugo,
and Edwin Chan of
Oakland International Fellowship emphasized the importance of
understanding GRACE in my life. It cannot ever be GRACE + add on's.
An unmerited favor is unmerited favor so
nothing should be added to it. When we do that, we can become prideful
too thinking, 'I did this and that to be saved and be accepted by God'.
Hogwash, you nor I didn't to anything to be
saved if it were not for the finished work of Christ on the Cross of
Calvary who did the work to save us. The work was very, very, very
painful to Christ's body but that's how He showered His GRACE upon us!
Praise the Lord! Watch the PASSION OF THE CHRIST!
"How great is the love the Father has lavished
upon us that we should be called His dear children!" (1 John 3:1, NIV)
God asks us to receive that GRACE and we cannot
do that until we understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ is also the GRACE
of Jesus Christ not only to save but to sanctify. That is freeing to
know that no matter where you have been, what you have done, etc, you
are never out of His love and never out of His reach because it is HIS
GRACE that saves through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
No wonder the song, 'Amazing GRACE' is so
popular because it shows how AMAZING GRACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT
SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME.
It is that same GRACE that will take us home to
the Father when we leave this earth as we depend on Him and Him alone.
It is the same GRACE that will help us live our life here on earth!
Praise the Lord!
You may wonder if you are saved by GRACE and it
has nothing to do with you, then why not live your life anyway you want
Friend, when you receive God's GRACE and
understand that you are saved by His GRACE, your love for God and the
amazing favor He has shown you when you do not deserve it and yet He
decided to save you by GRACE ALONE, that alone is the incentive to live
for Jesus remembering the cost He paid for us by His Blood when He went
through excruciating pain on the cross to take our sins upon Himself
because 'while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us'
So, if our living for Christ is based on the
good or bad that happens in our lives, we have still missed the point of
GRACE and the magnitude of it. GRACE in our lives is what compels
Evangelism too because when we experience God's free gift of GRACE that
we choose to receive, seeing our lives transformed, we cannot but help
share in God's GRACE with others. This is what Paul did when he shared
with the Philippians. Paul knew it is GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ
that began the good work in them and it is Christ who will carry it to
The same Christ that Paul talked about is the
same Christ that we can follow too. It is the same Christ that offers
GRACE ALONE to be saved. You and I can receive that free gift of GRACE.
It is something that has to be received. A gift that is not received is
a gift that has no impact so just because Christ died for the sins of
humanity by shedding His blood does not mean you and I will be saved if
we do not accept Christ into our hearts, acknowledging the gift by GRACE
ALONE through faith. God can offer this gift of grace through Christ
because He is the Living God. When Christ died for our sins, He did not
remain dead but 3 days later rose again to give transforming life to all
those who would believe in Him and come to Him because of His grace!
Praise the Lord!
So please let us not think we can be saved by
GRACE alone + something else. No, friend GRACE ALONE means God's GRACE
alone! Praise the Lord for Gospel reveals always Christ's evangelism! It
is by GRACE we are saved!
You may have a lot of questions than answers
right now but please don't wait till you have all the answers to come to
Christ because then again you are depending on yourself to save you. No
friend, come as you are right now just as you are. Receive His free gift
of GRACE. Yes, friend this GRACE is for you. Yeah, friend don't think some
other time. Now is the time of Salvation!
It is appointed to man to die once and then the
judgment. There is no second chance if you
don't receive God's free gift of GRACE here on earth. God is calling you
to be His very own. God says, "I have
called you by Name. You are precious and special in my sight. You are
Wow! No matter where we have been or what we
have done, God wants us to be His. I am speechless.........! Wow! You
and I are never out of His love and never out of His reach! Thank you
"Gospel Reveals Always Christ's Evangelism! (G.R.A.C.E)/"Why
cannot you be saved by GRACE alone?
Make this your prayer to receive Christ the
Lord into your life who offers His gift of grace to you:
Dear Lord Jesus, I heard that there is nothing I can do on my own to
receive your favor. Your favor is not dependent on what I do. Thanks
Jesus because I know now just as the Hindu person I read about, there is
nothing I do that can save me because my good works are seen as filthy
rags to you making me unclean. If I am unclean, you cannot receive me
into Heaven and I cannot have a relationship with you that is fruitful.
But, you already know that and you intervened for me. You have offered
me the FREE GIFT OF GRACE that I did not even know about because I was
so busy trying to do my own things to reach you God. I am sorry. Now, I
know I cannot reach you by anything I do but I can reach you because you
reached me first. Thanks so much by providing Christ to become the
bridge for me to save me. Now I can come to you and have that personal
relationship with you because Jesus died on the cross shedding His
precious Blood washing away all my uncleanness of sin and making me pure in
your sight. OH thank you for amazing GRACE, how sweet the sound
that can save a wretch like me. So, Lord I once was lost without
receiving your GRACE but now I want it in my life and open the gift of
GRACE you have given me through faith and ask you to be part of my life.
Thank you for loving me so much. Everything you did for me and do for me
is because of your love for me. I now confess all my sins to you and
repent of them and want to follow you Jesus receiving your GRACE. Please
help me by coming into my heart and making my heart your home. Live in
me Jesus and I will live for you and serve you the rest of the days of
my life. Thank you for coming into my heart right now and making my
heart your home. You live in me Jesus by your GRACE. I acknowledge you
as my Lord and Personal Savior. Thanks for being my Lord and Personal
Savior. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering me. I belong to
you now Jesus. Thanks for saving me and you will work in me and through
me by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!